Enhancing Fertility

Fertility Support for Women and Men

Chinese medicine offers effective techniques for fertility support in both unexplained infertility and specifically diagnosed problems. There are many situations where regulating a woman’s menstrual cycle and reducing stress is the strategy that helps her to conceive. In other cases, more complex patterns between the Heart/Kidney/Liver energetic systems need to be addressed. Research shows that acupuncture and Chinese herbs can also assist fertility by improving ovarian reserve and function, and increasing uterine blood flow.

fertilization slidesThere are times when assisted reproductive technology (ART) is the right path for a woman to achieve pregnancy, and in these cases, acupuncture and herbal medicine have been shown to increase positive outcomes and enhance reproductive potential when used in conjunction with IUI and IVF. There is an abundance of medical research that supports the effectiveness of Chinese medicine when used alone, or when combining treatment modalities from both Eastern and Western traditions.

Optimizing Sperm

Male factor is an increasing cause of infertility in the modern world. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine reports that the male factor is responsible for about 1/3 of fertility problems in the U.S. spermThe female factor is responsible for another 1/3, and male and female factors combined responsible for another 1/3.  Some studies show that 48% of miscarriages are due to abnormal sperm issues. Chinese herbs and acupuncture can be effectively used to enhance sperm quality in general, and especially useful when tests show issues with suboptimal sperm parameters. Treatment is best begun at least 3 months prior to trying to conceive, as it takes 75 to 90 days for sperm to generate.

Evaluation for Female Fertility Support

For women, it is optimal, though not crucial, to begin Oriental medicine treatment 3 or 4 months in advance of trying to conceive. Because it takes about three months for a follicle to mature from the antral follicle stage, it is most effective to support this growth throughout as much of that process as possible. It may be helpful for women to keep a basal body temperature (BBT) chart, if possible. You can download charting directions here.  For a Chinese medicine practitioner, these charts show more than just the day of ovulation, as the dips, spikes, and details of monthly temperature fluctuations often help clarify energetic and hormonal imbalances that can benefit from specific treatment.  Chinese medicine approaches treatment by taking into account multiple factors in each individual:

• Whole system presentation
• Underlying constitution
• Mind-body balance
• Menstrual cycle rhythm
• Specific reproductive system symptoms
• Western tests and diagnosis

More Information About Fertility Enhancement

Eating For Fertility Support
Important Nutrients for Fertility
Regulating the Menstrual Cycle In Fertility
Medical Research on Chinese Medicine in Fertility Treatment
Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Instructions
Moxabustion (Moxa) on Sp-6