In a perfect world, conceiving a child when a couple is ready should be a straightforward matter. But according to studies, 12 to 15 per cent of couples are unable to conceive due to fertility issues after a year of having unprotected sex. For those who have trouble conceiving, do not fret: You are not alone.
Perhaps you have tried what feels like a million and one tips for getting pregnant, and — understandably — have become a tad sceptical of the many options available. Well, rest assured that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has transitioned from an “alternative therapy” to a more commonly accepted option for treating common natural fertility issues, when administered by qualified and highly experienced practitioners.
Here are four reasons to choose TCM to help treat female fertility issues like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes and high follicle stimulating hormone (FSH):
- TCM supports ongoing Western fertility treatments
Unlike some forms of alternative therapies, TCM practices boast an over 2,000-year history. Studies like a 2017 paper published by the Journal of Integrative Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal by Shanghai Changhai Hospital in China, have also shown that co-treating conditions like PCOS with TCM is more effective than receiving only Western medical treatments.
However, you should consult practitioners who are trained to provide the most effective TCM for fertility methods that complement — and not counteract — ongoing Western treatments. A TCM physician familiar with Western fertility treatments will be able to ensure that they are providing the best possible advice and regimen to address the couple’s concerns. For example, a trained physician will know how and when to perform acupuncture during ovulation, an embryo transfer procedure, or early pregnancy to increase the chances of successful pregnancy.
- Tailored to you
While there may be many others who are experiencing similar fertility issues, the best course of action to increase your chances of getting pregnant should be tailored to address your specific problems. Qualified TCM physicians who treat fertility patients are able to pin-point the ideal combination of treatments to target any issues faced by a patient. For example, the course of treatment prescribed to one patient suffering from PCOS might differ from another who has been diagnosed with the same condition, so as to cater to the different physical constitutions of patients. One patient may suffer from Liver-Qi deficiency, while the other from Blood-Qi deficiency. One patient may suffer from dampness while another from excessive heat. Each patient is unique and would need to be treated as such to effectively increase her natural fertility.
- Natural and non-invasive
Traditional Chinese herbal medicine, which is derived from natural products that are plant-, animal- or mineral-based, involves no or minimal side effects when consumed correctly. It has to be taken under the prescription by a qualified TCM physician and having considered other prescription medications or treatments the patient might be receiving. Modification to lifestyle or dietary habits may also be advised to improve one’s body constitution. With TCM helping with infertility conditions such as by reducing inflammation or improving blood circulation and the functions of reproduction organs, some patients are even able to conceive naturally without the need for invasive surgeries or hormonal drugs.
- A restoration of holistic health
Often, common fertility issues are not viewed so much as disorders, but a lack of balance in the body which prevents conception from occurring naturally. While Western medicine generally focuses on treating a particular medical issue, TCM addresses the constitution of the patient on the whole. Besides targeting a particular ailment, the overall well-being of a patient will be considered during TCM treatment.
Elevated FSH levels, for example, are viewed as a result of poor reproductive health rather than simply an inability of a patient to get pregnant. Acupuncture may assist to restore FSH levels by improving blood flow to the ovaries to boost the health of developing follicles. Chinese herbs may also be prescribed to regulate your body’s natural hormonal production and improve ovarian function and the health of eggs. As such, the TCM regimen will aid in improving the holistic health of the patient, while treating each individual fertility issue.
The journey of overcoming the fertility road blocks can be long and discouraging. At Thomson Chinese Medicine, our physicians are committed to helping couples towards a successful pregnancy, whether by regaining their fertility health for natural conception or supporting their Western fertility treatments.