Fertility and TCM: Increase Your Chance of Conception
Updated: Jul 31, 2018
Even in a time of modern medicine and scientific advancements, the anguish and hardship experienced by women struggling with fertility issues is far too widespread.
With methods ranging from home remedies, fertility drugs, and surgery to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), donor eggs, and embryos, modern medicine has vastly expanded the array of options available for couples struggling to conceive. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford the costs of fertility treatments, not only financially, but mentally, emotionally, and physically. In light of the emotional and physical trauma experienced by women seeking to overcome infertility, an increasing number of them look to alternative treatments.
What is the success rate of Fertility in TCM?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), management of fertility has been well-developed, as well as widely studied.
In modern China, doctors believe that the use of Chinese herbs led to a success rate of above 70% in the treatment of both male and female infertility.
Chinese medical journals publish the results of large scale clinical trials. TCM treatment of infertility uses a variety of herbs on a frequent basis, usually mixed together using multiple ingredients. Lifestyle changes, diet, massage, and acupuncture are often combined with herbal medicine in addressing infertility. Compared to Western medicine, TCM fertility treatments are less costly, often produce higher success rates, and are comparatively non-invasive.
How does treatment for Infertility work in TCM?
Before we dive into the treatment process, let's talk about what Chinese medicine aims to do, and how it can result in fertility.
"Our view of infertility encompasses both physiological obstacles and mental blockages. Body and mind form a unified entity, in that physical issues may not stem solely from environmental or genetic factors. Internal emotions as well as external stress, nutrition, diet and lifestyle may contribute equally to infertility."
-Dr. Xilin Jordan
An important facet of Traditional Chinese Medicine is channel theory. This is the idea that we have channels called "meridians" that run through our bodies. We can compare these channels to highways, ones that run through us. As Qi and blood runs freely through a balanced body, it nourishes tissues and organs, preserves your life force, and spreads fertile energy. Stagnation in the flow of Qi and blood is like having a red lights in the middle of your highways, creating build ups of traffic in the form of ailments in the body. TCM tells us that this disruption, or stagnation of flow can lead to physical and emotional illnesses, including infertility. (body normal function)
TCM looks to revitalize the flow of Qi along the meridians of the body by needling the relevant points along the meridian network. At this time the Qi energy will become unstuck, and have the ability to flow in a free and balanced way.
TCM treatment for fertility can result in:
Increased blood flow to the uterus, leading to a more conducive endometrial lining improve chance of implantation
Reduced stress and anxiety levels
increase libido and regulating beneficial cervical fluid
Improvement in sperm count, sperm motility and morphology in men
Regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis which in turn could help regulate ovulation and balanced hormonal inductions.
What is My TCM infertility treatment process?
I look to treat my patients holistically through the use of meridian energy network, Chinese botanic herbs, nutritional supplements, and various manipulations of body work. Mental and spiritual awareness and cultivation are also part of the process. To explain the treatment plan, Establishing mutual understanding is a very import part of this professional work. The following aspects of infertility treatment have been clinically proven as effective in my practice:
Regulating menses and improving overall reproductive health. In my years of clinical experience, I have found that as a fertility professional I have to understand and have the tools ready to treat many different ailments that prevent pregnancy. TCM is capable of treating high FSH, amenorrhea, anovulation, endometriosis, luteal phase defects, polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS), recurrent miscarriages, tubal blockage, and uterine fibroids, all without surgery or other invasive methods. Treating these ailments first will drastically improve your chances of having a successful pregnancy.
Minimizing any PMS-related symptoms. Liver energy is like a willow tree in the wind; it needs to flow freely. Liver Qi stagnation is one of the pathogenic parameters in TCM--in other words, it is the root of many health issues, and this includes PMS. Additionally, the liver and kidney are intimately connected when it comes to reproduction, so regulating and increasing the flow of blood to the liver while optimizing kidney function are essential in balancing reproductive hormones.
Establishing proper Basal Body Temperature (BBT), which refers to the changes in body temperature that occur over the course of each menstrual cycle. Having a record of this enables me to see any deviations from normal temperature changes at what stage(s) in the cycle there may be an issue. For example, we can use this information to better facilitate communication in the hormonal feedback system along the hypothalamic (pituitary) ovarian axis, which would also regulate ovulation and maintain sufficient progesterone in the Luteal phase. BBT records also inform me which herb formulas to prescribe.
Changing lifestyles, for both men and women. I encourage my patients to live a healthier lifestyle for both spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing. Exercise, positive thinking, and interspousal support can strengthen the immune system and achieve better egg quality, higher libido, sperm motility/mobility/quantity. Using the herbal formulas and supplements I provide, I can help you detoxify and strengthen your body. Meanwhile, I also strongly encourage meditation and relaxation in order to enable the body to secrete endorphins that will open the gateways to a healthy and effortless conception.
Providing an ongoing service. I do my best to honor my patients' physical timing, especially those undergoing IVF or IUI interventions, on an on-call basis. I follow patients' biological clocks, collaborate with reproductive endocrinologists’ procedure schedules, and accordingly provide treatments with various modalities suited to promote successful conception.
Of course, for the benefit of you and the success of your fertility, all treatments are completely tailored to your individual needs.
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If you are experiencing fertility issues and looking for alternative treatments or simply more information, contact Dr. Jordan today. And of course, be sure to Like our Facebook page so that you can stay up to date on all of our newest blog posts!
“The ending of sorrow is the beginning of wisdom." - Jiddu Krishnamurti