Beating Infertility with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) suggests that there are three main causes of infertility: deficiency syndrome, stagnancy syndrome and heat syndrome.

When you are deficient this means your hormones are not properly influencing the sexual and reproductive functions.

When you are stagnant your body is preventing the sexual and reproductive organs from functioning despite normal hormone levels and a normal ability to respond to hormones.  This has the impact of restricting circulation to tissues.

The heat syndrome may be associated with an infection or inflammatory process.  It can produce abnormal semen quality leading to male infertility, while gynecologic infections can cause female infertility by blocking the passages, altering the mucous membrane conditions or influencing the local temperature.

All three syndromes can be treated with Chinese herbs, acupuncture or a combination of both.  These traditional Chinese approaches can also, and are often, combined with Western medicine in treating infertility.

The evidence of using herbs to treat infertility dates back to around 2,000 years ago.  With the help of herbs most women’s fertility chances increase after 6-12 months of use. Acupuncture is another effective way of restoring fertility.  It can be used as a complementary treatment with herbs, with western medicine, or both. Acupuncture aids in blood flow to the reproductive organs and stabilizes hormone levels.  This will increase ovarian function in women and sperm production in men.

A German study published in 2002 showed that acupuncture may be helpful to couples undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF).  Of 80 women in the study who underwent IVF and received acupuncture, 34 of the women got pregnant.  Of another 80 women who only received IVF without acupuncture treatment, only 21 women became pregnant.  A later American study revealed similar results, showing that 51 percent of the women who had both acupuncture and IVF treatments became pregnant, while only 36 percent of the women who only received IVF treatment without acupuncture became pregnant.

Acupuncture 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.

If you are having difficulty conceiving I encourage you to seek out a DAOM or Naturopath that specializes in infertility. Many work within Infertility clinics throughout the U.S.

Medicine, P. C. (n.d.). TCM to Treat Infertility. Retrieved from PacificCollegeedu.

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