Infertility is defined as one year of unprotected intercourse which does not result in conception. Approximately 2.6 million American couples suffer from infertility. The cause of infertility may stem from either partner. Approximately 60% of infertility cases are due to female conditions, while 40% are due to male conditions. In either case, it can be extremely heartbreaking. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers hope to the couple by establishing harmony within the entire body.
The benefits of acupuncture and TCM for conception problems can be found in early Chinese medicine literature dating back to 11 AD. Not only does TCM improve the probability of becoming pregnant and having a healthier baby, it also serves to enhance the function of the whole body. This holistic approach provides the key to unlocking unlimited potential in healing. This is especially important for people who are over age 40, as it stimulates overall health, which in turn, affects their reproductive system.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we believe conception will occur when Kidney Jing (Tian Kui) is abundant and strong, when Yin, Yang, Qi, and Blood in the channels are harmonized, and when there is a peaceful Shen (spirit). Together, these aspects are the foundation of overall health and the root of conception.
The causes of infertility are many: endometriosis, ovulation problems, tubal factor, hormonal imbalance, unexplained infertility, male factor, poor ovarian reserve function, poor egg quality, premature ovarian failure (POF), luteal phase defect, habitual miscarriage, thin endometrium, irregular period, amenorrhea, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), abnormally shaped uterus, immunological infertility, etc. These causes can be determined by a Western medical reproductive work-up. Western medical methods for treating infertility are highly technical and expensive, and recent reports indicate a relatively low success rate. Because of this, alternative methods, such as TCM and acupuncture, are increasing in popularity.
A recent study published in Fertility and Sterility found that using acupuncture with In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) achieved a 42% clinical pregnancy rate compared to 26% in a control group that did not receive acupuncture. This study involved giving acupuncture for just one day shortly before and after the transfer of the embryos. Clinically, this rate increased to 60% when using a broader support of both Chinese herbs and acupuncture in preparation before, during, and after IVF.
At the Traditional Chinese Medicine Healing Center, we specialize in the treatment of reproductive enhancement, and recognize that every person and couple having difficulty conceiving need individualized treatment. We thoroughly examine your overall health to pinpoint where imbalances are, then develop a treatment plan that is appropriate for you. For best results most couples have greater success using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine before attempting more technically advanced methods such as medications, intrauterine insemination (IUI), and IVF. This is mainly due to the notion that good health is a fundamental precursor to conception. However, in certain cases of infertility, especially in women with disruption affecting both fallopian tubes, assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as IVF, should be the primary treatment, with acupuncture as a support.
In general, women are recommended to implement acupuncture and herbal medicine for at least 3-6 months before considering more high risk, toxic, invasive and expensive ART techniques. Women often feel that they need to do as much as medically possible, often due to a sense of time running out from aging. Actually, the majority of women are able to respond to TCM / acupuncture treatment without the need of powerful drugs, often resulting in an easier pregnancy and healthier baby. Trying TCM / Acupuncture as a primary step is strongly recommended and extremely successful.
In cases of male factor infertility, only a small percentage of cases can be attributed to a treatable condition, and most infertile men are not given a definitive diagnosis in Western Medicine. TCM and acupuncture can greatly improve male factor infertility, including semen quality, which will dramatically improve your chances of natural pregnancy or increase the success rate of IUI or IVF.
We believe the reason for the significantly higher success rate in our clinic with couples who use only acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is because the holistic treatment completely balances the body’s energy flow, balances the hormonal system, and encourages the body to do what it wants to do naturally – conceive.
If you have more questions on female and male Infertility, please go to our FAQ page.