Whether you are trying to get pregnant naturally or going through Assisted Reproductive Therapy (ART), Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been clinically proven to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy.
Causes of infertility in women and men
The causes of infertility can vary greatly from couple to couple. In about one-third of cases, the cause of infertility involves only the male. Another third involves only the female. In the remaining cases, the cause of infertility involves both the male and female, or no cause can be identified. Some of the common causes of infertility include:
Acupuncture for infertility
The first step in treating infertility is to understand the cause from both a Western and Chinese medical perspective. Some conditions that affect fertility can be treated successfully with Chinese medicine alone. Other conditions are best treated by combining Western and Chinese medicine.
Therapies used in Chinese medicine
The primary methods used in Chinese medicine are Chinese herbs, acupuncture, and a fertility diet using Chinese Nutritional Therapy. Additional therapies may also be used to enhance fertility. These may include moxibustion, cupping, guasha, electrical stimulation, and massage therapy. Lifestyle, sleep, and exercise practices will also be explored and addressed during treatment. The goal is to create optimal health and fertility for both the mother, father, and baby.
Chinese herbs and infertility
Chinese herbs play an important role in enhancing fertility and treating underlying causes of infertility. They have been used for more than 2,000 years in China to treat conditions related to infertility. They are very safe to take and have virtually no side effects. Chinese herbs are available in pill-form, teas, tinctures, and granules. Although Chinese herbs can be used in conjunction with ART, they are generally not used during IVF due to the doctor’s request.
The Fertility Diet
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, food is viewed as medicine. Foods are categorized by their thermal nature and flavor. Each flavor can create a certain physiological response in the body, thus creating positive change and healing in the body. In addition, food preparation, food combining, and quality of food are implemented in order to help optimize health and fertility. Learn more
Chinese Medicine and IVF
Using acupuncture, Chinese nutritional therapy, and other healing modalities during the entire IVF or IUI process can be very beneficial in attaining a successful pregnancy. A widely published German study found that using acupuncture with IVF achieved a 42% clinical pregnancy rate compared to only 26% in the control group that did not receive acupuncture. When acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are used in conjunction with IVF, clinical experience suggests the pregnancy rate can be raised to at least 60%.
For more information on acupuncture and IVF...
How does TCM increase your chances of getting pregnant?
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a holistic form of medicine. The primary goal is to establish balance and harmony in the body, thus creating a fertile environment for ovulation, fertilization, and implantation to occur. Treatments focus on improving the quality of blood/yin, boosting the jing qi (life force), increasing the flow of qi/blood, balancing the hormones (yin/yang), and calming the spirit/shen. TCM can assist women trying to conceive naturally and going through ART by:
When should treatment begin?
The ideal time to begin treatment can be anywhere from three to six months prior to wanting to get pregnant or beginning ART. This time frame varies depending on a woman’s state of health and fertility issues. For women about to begin or currently going through ART, treatments can still be helpful.
How long does it take?
The duration of treatment can vary depending on the underlying condition and the age and general health of the patient. Achieving a successful pregnancy may be quick, within 1-2 months, or prolonged over 6-8 months. Patients are seen initially once a week. Once pregnancy is established, treatment will be administered up to 12 weeks (1st trimester) to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Acupuncture for male infertility
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs also helps with men’s sperm count and sperm quality. In a study published in Fertility and Sterility in 2005, men who received acupuncture had fewer structural defects in sperm and an increase in the number of normal sperm than men who received no acupuncture.