coupleInfertility is a complex issue that may affect both male and female partners.  Whilst many couples turn to their GP when a pregnancy does not easily occur after many months of trying, couples are now turning to TCM as a means of helping the pregnancy process and restoring body and system balance for both mum and dad.

In the beginning a TCM practitioner will ask a range of questions of both partners to diagnose and commence treatment.  These questions are related to time and how long the couple have been trying for a baby, age, historical health issues of both parents and questions related to current health, diet and lifestyle.  Depending on the responses and sometimes with the help of western tests and scans, a TCM practitioner will make a diagnosis.

For women the western conditions and gynaecological disorders which can cause infertility range from the following:

  • Endometriosis – a condition associated with painful periods.  Endometrial tissue may block or deter the natural passage of an egg from the ovary down the fallopian tube.  There may also be a history of pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – this condition is associated with irregularities of the period and in most cases little or no ovulation occurs.
  • Irregularities of ovulation – a woman may have periods that are highly irregular, she may not ovulate at all, or very well, or she may experience premature menopause symptoms.  There may also be problems associated with hormone levels and the frequency of her periods.
  • Tubal blockage – this is when the fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked thus preventing the natural passage of an egg to the uterus.  This is where western technology and IVF procedures achieve good results.
  • Stress – often both partners experience high levels of stress when a pregnancy does not happen, a range of treatments that includes acupuncture, herbs and massage can often help couples deal with conception stress issues.

Acupuncture is excellent at helping the body restore harmony to key organs and systems in the body.  Most importantly, acupuncture is essential at keeping the levels of qi and blood flowing smoothly.  The TCM diagnosis of the above conditions relate to the function of key organs and meridians in the body.  Herbs will help relieve stagnation and blockages, regulate periods and ovulation and relieve pain associated with monthly cycles.  Herbs also help with the quality of blood and eggs required for a successful pregnancy.  Once conceived, acupuncture and herbs can help the mother hold the baby to full term.  Acupuncture can also assist with the position and preparation of the baby for birth.

For men, infertility is often related to historical and current health, diet and lifestyle issues or tubal damage to reproductive organs.  TCM can help and often a program of acupuncture and herbs release stagnation and improve the free flow of blood and qi.  Herbs improve the quality of sperm and its passage to the penis.  Using a range of TCM therapies at the right time and in conjunction with a high quality diet and amendments to lifestyles, often a successful pregnancy can be achieved within a 3-9month timeframe.