A study1 by the University of Adelaide, South Australia, took into account 1,851 women, aged between 18-45 that received infertility treatment. The result was published in the December 2011 issue of Complementary Therapies in Medicine, with the following conclusion
Our review suggests that management of female infertility with Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 4 month period compared with Western Medical fertility drug therapy or IVF …
The group of researchers reviewed seven randomized controlled trials; one non-random control trial; 13 parallel studies; three series of cases and six other case studies. The outcome of this study revealed that women received:
- Chinese Herbal Medicine alone,
- Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture, or
- Chinese Herbal Medicine in conjunction with Western drugs and surgery
This result shows a 350% greater likelihood of getting pregnant with Chinese Herbal Medicine therapy in the course of four-month treatment compared with western drug medicine alone. It was found that Chinese Herbal Medicine achieved on average, a 60% fertility rate compared with 30% for standard treatment using Western drug medicine or IVF. Comparative analysis of selected parallel studies showed an average clinical pregnancy rate of 50% using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) compared to 30% while applying IVF treatment.
Why is Chinese Herbal Medicine Effective for Infertility?
The inference made by this study proves that Chinese Herbal Medicine is twice as effective as conventional drug therapies in view of helping women attain conception due to its efficacy in improving the quality of women’s menstrual cycle.
TCM concentrates treatment procedure on the organs that form the reproductive activity which eventually regulates the menstrual cycle, these organs are the kidneys, liver, heart, and uterus. Acupuncture and herbal medicine do increase the likelihood of conception by improving the functions of the aforementioned organs. Consequently, Qi (energy) and blood flow to important parts of the body is increased.
Emotional stress, infection, trauma, and unhealthy lifestyle are also factors that inhibit Qi as well as supply and flow of blood. This leads to health issues concerning blood flow and ovulation. Other potential problems caused by anomalous blood flow and Qi are Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Amenorrhea and Advanced Maternal Age.
Beyond facilitating the improved flow of blood and Qi to all sections of the body and the reproductive organs; the quality of blood is also greatly enhanced. TCM considers blood as a vital Yin agent that nourished the Uterus and the Ovaries. If the blood composition is poor, the quality of the developing ova will be poor and the walls of the uterus will be too thin for implantation of a fertilized Ovum.
The Goal of TCM therapies is to restore balance in the body. At the first clinical appointment, a TCM practitioner will usually check a patient’s tongue and pulse in view of accessing the present state of health. This helps the medical practitioner to determine the pattern of disharmony in the body and prescribe a treatment plan.
No two individuals will present the same symptom picture. It, therefore, follows that every single herbal prescription is unique to individual treatment requirements. This an important aspect of TCM that contribute to its high rate of successful treatments
IVF Support with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs
IVF is usually referred to as an emotionally stressful, physically invasive treatment method. We usually encourage women to try natural therapies first before considering more invasive options such as IVF.
It should be noted that IVF and IUI are not befitting for everyone; despite the fact that acupuncture has been proven to increase the success rates of IVF and IUI. The fact that TCM stimulates the body’s natural capacity to conceive makes it stand out as a preferred treatment method.
It is evident that TCM is effective in increasing female fertility. It can also be used in increasing the efficacy of IVF or IUI. TCM reduces stress, enhances the ovaries to produce quality ova, prevents the contraction of the uterus after an IVE/IUI session and alleviates the effect of the drugs used in the process.
- Ried K, Stuart K. Efficacy of Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in the management of female infertility: A systematic review. Complemt Ther Med 2011; 19 (6): 319-31.