For Mdm Tan*, 39, the road to become a mother had been a long one. She was 37 and her husband 38, when they tried to have a baby. After six months of trying to conceive naturally, they made the decision to go for fertility treatments. one year, three in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) cycles and two frozen-thawed embryo transfers later, she finally got pregnant.
Although Thomson Medical has long been known for its fertility treatments, Mdm Tan believes that the TCM fertility programme specially tailored for her by Thomson Chinese Medicine made her reproductive therapy sessions more effective.
“After I failed my first IVF cycle, Physician Seah Ai Wei got me on acupuncture treatments, which she planned in stages to complement my menstrual cycle and IVF cycle,” says Mdm Tan. She also followed advice on changing her lifestyle habits to increase the effectiveness of the acupuncture assisted reproductive treatments. “In line with TCM principles, which emphasise holistic wellness, I avoided cold foods and drinks, did regular light exercises and went to bed early.”
Mdm Tan is not alone in getting help from Traditional Chinese Medicine in her quest to conceive. According to Physician Seah, the fertility services at Thomson Chinese Medicine are the most sought-after programmes for women between 33 to 38 years old. Thomson Chinese Medicine offers two fertility programmes across its clinics – namely Natural Fertility Treatments, and Acupuncture for IVF and IUI.
“Whether couples plan to conceive naturally or through assisted reproductive therapies, it is important to customise a TCM treatment programme for both the wife and husband,” says Physician Seah. “We use TCM treatments such as acupuncture and herbal medicine to achieve and sustain a healthy pregnancy.”
The physicians from Thomson Chinese Medicine work closely with Thomson Fertility Centre to recommend the appropriate treatments for couples either as standalone or complementary treatments to the fertility treatments they are currently receiving.
“We take into account our patients’ profiles and medical history, and if issues are identified along the way, we will refer them to specialists at Thomson Fertility Centre,” says Physician Seah. “When blood tests and ultrasound reports are available, we will compare them periodically to assess the treatment progress of our patients.”
Although the exact mechanisms of how TCM works are not fully understood by Western medicine, many experts agree that there is sufficient clinical evidence that supports the claims of TCM treatments’ efficacy in improving fertility naturally. “I believe the benefits of TCM and acupuncture lie in their ability to adjust homeostasis and balance in the body,” states Dr Loh Seong Feei, Medical Director of Thomson Fertility Centre.
“At Thomson Fertility Centre, we work to provide the optimal conditions for a successful IVF cycle – these include removing blockages that affect implantation, and correcting any hormonal or autoimmune factors that are found. These can be complemented with a customised TCM treatment to maximise the chances of IVF success.”
Mdm Tan, who was due to deliver very soon after this interview, would continue to tap on TCM to help her body recover from childbirth. “I personally believe TCM complements a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle habits,” she assured us.