Infertility can be caused by a problem in either partner or with both partners (secondary infertility). Some of the causes include blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis and ovulation disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It’s not always clear what the cause is, but it may be due to stress, weight and lifestyle factors that affect your hormones and reproductive system.
Clinical trials have shown that acupuncture is more effective than medicine in increasing the chances of pregnancy.1
Some research suggests that acupuncture can improve IVF live birth rates in people. Others show that it aids in the reduction of fertility-related tension and anxiety. Acupuncture has no significant short- or long-term detrimental side effects.2
One study found that acupuncture and its combined therapy may be effective for treating female infertility.3
Another study suggests that acupuncture may improve CPR, AMH, AFC and the number of retrieved oocytes in women with POR undergoing IVF.4
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
A systematic review suggests there is some evidence that the addition of Chinese herbal medicine to clomiphene is associated with improved clinical pregnancy outcomes. 5
One study found that for male infertility treatment, acupuncture is reported to be equally effective as Chinese herbal medicine and more effective than Western medicine, and its effectiveness is enhanced when applied in combination with either TCM or Western medicine. Acupuncture is distinctively efficacious in improving sperm quality.6
What is TCM
TCM refers to Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. It has been used and proved highly effective for over three thousand years. It is a truly holistic and natural system of health based on the theory of balance within the human body. According to TCM philosophy, fertility and gynaecological problems are closely related to the Kidney, Spleen and Liver organs. These internal organs are interconnected function units, every malfunction in any of these organs could cause fertility problems. We take a holistic approach to help you get pregnant – from the diet, exercise and lifestyle changes to stress management.
TCM Treatment Principle
We look at all aspects of your health and wellbeing from both a Chinese and Western medical perspective. We discuss all aspects of you and your partner’s health and general wellbeing, including pre-conception planning, natural fertility care, assisted conception, and pregnancy support.
We will then put together a personalised treatment plan that combines Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to help you achieve pregnancy naturally or combined with assisted conception treatment such as IVF or IUI.
TCM recognises that different energies dominate each phase of your menstrual cycle. It is vitally important to understand the characteristics of your menstrual cycle and the Yin-Yang patterns. Therefore, your acupuncture points and herbal prescription may vary depending on your condition and menstrual phases.
The field of infertility is complicated, and many people turn to acupuncture to help with their fertility. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been shown to improve the chances of conception by increasing blood flow and regulating hormones. It can also reduce stress levels, which is beneficial for both general health and reproductive health. If you are struggling with infertility, it may be worthwhile to consult an acupuncturist about how they may be able to help!
Questions and Answers
Finding it Difficult to Get Pregnant?
There are many reasons why you might not get pregnant straight away through natural means. Worries and stress, for example, are factors that could stop you get pregnant. Diet may also have a huge impact subject on pregnancy. Acupuncture and herbal medicine may improve your physical and emotional health and harmonise your body’s Yin-Yang balance.
Are You Frustrated with Unexplained Infertility?
Often, even if a couple is unable to conceive, a fertility test might show a normal result. This can lead to much frustration.
Generally, the reproductive system should be in a healthy condition to support fertility. This means that the Fallopian tubes are clear, the uterus is healthy, the sperm is good, and the Hormone level is within the normal range. Should any of those conditions apply to you, and you cannot conceive, please talk to one of our experienced practitioners to find out how TCM could help you find a way to resolve the problem.
Are You Suffering From Pains due to Menstruation or Endometriosis?
Period pain or dysmenorrhoea usually occurs when the muscular wall of the womb contracts and presses blood vessels, cutting off the oxygen supply to the womb and causing the pain. TCM view period pain as the circulation and Qi was blocked in the pelvic area, which may be caused by the so-called ‘cold womb’ or by endometriosis. So with TCM, we can warm your womb, help get rid of the blockage caused by endometriosis, and improve the pelvic blood supply.
Experiencing Recurrent Miscarriage?
Miscarriage affects approximately 25% of pregnant women. However, the most distressing experience for a couple is repeated miscarriage, and they won’t be sent for investigation until they have had at least three miscarriages. We can offer an extra understanding of your physiologic state through TCM differentiation diagnosis to explain why you are experiencing a recurrent miscarriage and treat the root of your problem. For instance, it may be caused by Kidney Yang and Spleen Qi deficiency, related to progesterone production.
Male Factors Infertility
Studies indicate that 30% of infertility is related to male factor problems. The cause of infertility can be from unknown factors or a combination of factors. Common reasons for male infertility are poor sperm count, poor sperm motility, poor morphology, ejaculatory disturbances and immunologic disorder.
TCM has demonstrated that it can increase the blood flow and strengthen the functions of male reproductive organs, improving sperm quality and quantity. Therefore, the female partner may not only have a better chance of conceiving naturally, but also have less risk of miscarriage or complications, or you can attempt less invasive and less expensive procedures such as IUI or IVF instead of ICSI.
How Frequent are the Treatments?
The treatment, including acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, is tailored to the individual since each person condition is unique. The length of treatment differs. It usually takes several months, although sometimes treatment works dramatically well and may only take a few sessions for you to get pregnant. The treatment usually is received weekly, and sometimes it may be less than one week due to different phases of periods.
1.Yang JR, Ma YY, Liu YL, Wang HL, Liu Z. [Controlled study on acupuncture for treatment of endocrine dysfunctional infertility] [Chinese]. Zhongguo Zhenjiu. 2005;25(5):299-300
2.Cheong YC, Dix S, Hung Yu Ng E, Ledger WL, Farquhar C. Acupuncture and assisted reproductive technology. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD006920. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006920.pub3. Accessed 26 November 2021.
3.Yun L, Liqun W, Shuqi Y, Chunxiao W, Liming L, Wei Y. Acupuncture for infertile women without undergoing assisted reproductive techniques (ART): A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Jul;98(29):e16463. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000016463. PMID: 31335705; PMCID: PMC6709164.
4.Jang S, Kim KH, Jun JH, You S. Acupuncture for in vitro fertilisation in women with poor ovarian response: a systematic review. Integr Med Res. 2020 Jun;9(2):100395. doi: 10.1016/j.imr.2020.02.003. Epub 2020 Feb 27. PMID: 32322482; PMCID: PMC7160570.
5.Zhang J, Li T, Zhou L, Tang L, Xu L, Wu T, Lim DC. Chinese herbal medicine for subfertile women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Sep 8;(9):CD007535. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007535.pub2. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Oct 12;10 :CD007535. PMID: 20824862.
6.He Y, Chen CT, Qian LH, Xia CL, Li J, Li SQ, Liu BP. [Acupuncture treatment of male infertility: a systematic review]. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2015 Jul;21(7):637-45. Chinese. PMID: 26333228.