Whether you are trying to conceive naturally or intending to start fertility treatments such as IVF, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine will help improve your fertility. Both these TCM modalities help regulate hormonal levels, improve ovarian function, improve uterine health and increase implantation rates. They also offer much to improve many aspects of sperm health.
Conditions causing fertility issues including PCOS, endometriosis and fibroids, can all benefit from using TCM treatment. Other problems such as recurrent miscarriage or reproductive immunology issues will also benefit.
Ideally, treatment should be given for at least three months as it takes this long for the full development of both an ovarian egg and a sperm cell; during this time, TCM treatment can have a significant effect on their development. Even if you are do not go on to conceive naturally you will be in a better place should you ultimately choose to receive IVF.
When using TCM treatment before starting IVF, although treatment will not increase the actual number of eggs, they will be well-nourished eggs, developing in a balanced hormonal environment and be more responsive to the IVF medication. If ICSI is to be used alongside IVF, men will benefit from receiving Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture prior to this treatment as the sperm will be in a healthier state. Also, women who have already been through IVF treatment often get improved results when they receive TCM treatment in the lead up to their next IVF course.
TCM’s approach to fertility
When treating women for fertility issues, after we have made our initial diagnosis, we focus on regulating the menstrual cycle; Is the cycle too long, too short or irregular? Are there premenstrual issues, or perhaps the period itself is too heavy and is painful. In TCM, each of these signs are meaningful clues and will have related TCM patterns causing the problem. This is where we focus our treatment.
Multiple factors including stress levels, diet, poor sleep, age, overwork and exhaustion, all need to be addressed. In TCM, stress stagnates qi and ultimately causes blood stasis. A poor diet may be linked to blood deficiency. Overwork and poor sleep will also take their toll, potentially impacting fertility levels. Acupuncture is brilliant for reducing the effects of stress. However, if there is a significant level of deficiency as part of the TCM diagnosis, herbal medicine will speed up treatment results compared to just having acupuncture alone.
Heavy periods or painful periods, often symptoms present with conditions such as fibroids or endometriosis, are also best treated with herbal medicine alongside the acupuncture treatment; with these conditions, we will often make a diagnosis of “heat in the blood” or “blood stagnation” and herbs are best at dealing with both these TCM patterns.
Infertility presents in many ways. Ultimately, once we have assessed the underlying Chinese medicine patterns, we will treat each fertility issue differently depending on our diagnosis.
The Advanced Level Diploma in Fertility Acupuncture
I am proud to have been awarded “The Advanced Level Diploma in Fertility Acupuncture”. The training offered in-depth expert knowledge on integrative medicine to enable me to support all aspects of fertility using Chinese medicine including recurrent miscarriage, low sperm count, IVF, IUI, ICSI and pregnancy in the over 40s.
At the Jade Centre we see many patients each year to help them manage issues with their fertility. Contact us now and book an appointment to get the support you need,