Traditional Chinese Medicine (“TCM”) provides a natural approach to gently nourish and encourage the body towards conception. Chinese Medicine views the egg and sperm as our most vital essence that is transmitted by our parents. The first step towards treatment is for the Chinese Medicine practitioner to find out if a woman is having regular menses. The practitioner will ask the patient to take her temperature daily and chart it along with changes in vaginal mucus to get a better picture of her cycle. This is called a BBT chart. If a couple has been having timed intercourse for a year without a pregnancy, then they are candidates for fertility treatments.
Weekly or biweekly acupuncture treatments will be given with various herbal formulas to coincide with the menstrual cycle. Men can also be treated weekly for fertility issues with acupuncture and supplemented with an herbal formula. Dietary and lifestyle changes will also be discussed.
In order to facilitate the most optimal conditions for conception, couples should expect at least 3-6 months of treatment. Many times couples may need as much as a year of treatment depending on the situation. Fertility treatments with Western medicine can be especially stressful. Acupuncture is a proven therapy to relieve stress and calm the nervous system. The main benefits of acupuncture and herbs are as follows: regulate the menstrual cycle, increase blood flow to the uterus, increase the uterine lining thickness, balance hormones, decrease cysts and fibroids.
A 10%-15% increase in conception can occur when used adjunctively with Western reproductive techniques. For example, conception rates with IVF of 25-30% can jump to 35-40% depending partly on the woman’s age. If Chinese herbs are used in addition, the rate can increase to 50%.
TCM is a wonderfully natural way to increase a couple’s chance of conception with virtually no side effects. If you have been struggling to conceive, you may want to consider acupuncture and Chinese herbs to assist in your family planning.