What is Infertility?
The defines Infertility as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.” Infertility affects both men and women and can be a result of multiple factors such as age, health and lifestyle, exposure to environmental toxins, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking as well as genetic factors.
Common Types of Infertility
For women, common types of infertility include pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis or uterine fibroids, a previous ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, abnormal cervical mucous and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) among others. And although there is a common misconception that infertility affects females more than males, male infertility actually contributes to roughly half of all infertility cases. Male infertility can include varicocele, oligospermia (low sperm count), asthenospermia (low sperm mobility, teratospermia (abnormal sperm morphology), retrograde ejaculation, blockage of the vasa deferentia (the tubes carrying sperm) and undescended testicles.
Western Fertility Treatments
There are various fertility treatments for both men and women. The primary aim of fertility treatment is to increase the likelihood of conception and the intended outcome is a successful pregnancy.
For women these treatments can be the prescription of fertility drugs to regulate or stimulate ovulation if her natural hormones do not function properly. These are the main treatments for women who are infertile due to ovulation disorders. Female fertility treatments can also include surgical treatments such as laparoscopic or hysteroscopic surgery to deal with issues affecting the uterus as well as tubal surgeries to remove blockages in the fallopian tubes. There are also assisted reproductive procedures such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) to increase her chances of conceiving.
Male fertility treatments include surgery to repair enlarged varicose veins to treat varicocele, prescription of hormonal drugs, surgery to remove blockages in the vasa deferentia and harvesting the sperm for assisted reproductive procedures such as IUI, IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
These are all methods that carry risk factors as they involve invasive surgical procedures and/or hormonal drug use. That is why more and more couples are turning towards alternative forms of fertility treatments such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to help them conceive naturally.
Can Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Help Couples Conceive?
TCM success rate in improving fertility and conception depends on several factors. Couples who are ready to try this form of natural fertility treatment need to be honest in their answers to the following questions –
How long have you been trying to conceive?
How old are you and your partner?
Do you have any lifestyle or dietary habits that need to be improved?
Are there any existing medical problems you are aware of that are making it difficult for you to conceive? If yes, what are the treatments that you have undergone? Have they been effective? If no, why not?
Thomson Chinese Medicine Fertility Services
Thomson Chinese Medicine offers alternative and complementary fertility treatments for both men and women. We use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as standalone treatments for couples wanting to conceive naturally as well as to complement conventional fertility treatments couples might be going through to improve your chances of conception. We work closely with IVF patients from both private and restructured hospitals to complement their fertility treatments with our TCM treatments to improve pregnancy success rates for couples.
Thomson Chinese Medicine has formulated 2 specialised TCM fertility programmes – one to assist couples to conceive naturally and the other for couples going through assisted reproductive therapy (IUI and IVF). See the links below for more information.