- The term “Infertility” is defined as “the failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse”. About 30% of all cases of infertility are due to female factors. About 30% (and some recent sources are suggesting up to 50%) of all cases are due to male factors, such as low sperm numbers/density, abnormal sperm morphology and limited mobility of sperm. About 20% of all cases are caused by a combination of male and female factors. And the remaining 20% of all cases of infertility evade diagnosis. In other words, there is no clear medical reason why pregnancy should not be occurring. This is referred to as “Functional Infertility” or “Unexplained Infertility “. Your body is functional and normal, but you are not getting pregnant.
Functional Infertility is an excellent example where Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) demonstrates it’s facility at providing a solution. Chinese Medical Diagnosis looks at the body in a completely different way than Western Medicine does, and in cases where Western Medicine can determine no reason for infertility, it is more clear to the TCM Provider.
Imbalances with a patient’s physical constitution will be determined using Chinese diagnosis, and through treatment these will be corrected so the patient becomes more receptive to all of the phases of conception and pregnancy. There are many possible diagnoses and targeted treatments using TCM.
The Cleveland Clinic published this article that summarizes how TCM works to promote fertility and conception.
The New England Journal of Medicine has reported that acupuncture increases the chance for a successful pregnancy by about 50% per cycle on average. When time is a factor, TCM can be especially useful. TCM treatments have been shown to increase the number and quality of eggs and the occurrence of successful fertilization and implantation, have been shown to decrease blockages in the reproductive tract, positively effect hormonal imbalances, and reduce the inhibiting effects of stress.
For a summary article on the efficacy of TCM in increasing fertility in women, this article published by the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in April of 2015 is an excellent introduction.
Below is a video that demonstrates the basics of using TCM and Acupuncture to promote fertility, conception, and a healthy full term pregnancy: