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(Article) Infertility

Thinking of having a baby?—TCM is effective in treating infertility

Senior Physician Xu Xiao Zhen

 

Couples who tried many times but failed to conceive are seen commonly in search for treatment. During consultation, one can feel that the patient withstand the physical and mental stress and emotional ups and downs. There will even be friction and offset between the couple. However, getting pregnant is a complicated process and it involves both the husband and wife’s physical and mental health and age is also a factor. Sometimes, adjusting one’s lifestyle by slowing down the pace of life will allow one to conceive. At times, it needs a little more hard work and sometimes, seeking treatment is also necessary.

 

TCM treatment for infertility in females—Emphasis on regulating menstruation

TCM believes that the main reason for infertility in females lies in irregular menstruation. The patient can restore fertility based on her body constitution, clinical symptoms and menstrual cycles.

1. “Kidney deficiency” patient: The patient’s ovulation function or state of high temperature phase, together with the present menstrual cycle of the patient will be taken into consideration, so as to administer appropriate treatment through supplementing the kidney and Yi Jing herbs such as “Codonopsis pilosula (DangShen), Epimedium (YinYangHuo), seed of chinese dodder (TuSiZi), Morinda officinalis (BaJiTian)”.

 

2. “Qi and blood deficiency”: Patients looking chlorosis, getting tired easily and having pale menstrual blood colour and little blood discharge during menstruation, Qi and blood deficiency must be regulated to help the patient restore fertility. The main formula is Ba Zhen Tang which can achieve desirable effects sometimes.

 

3. “Cold coagulation and blood stasis” patients:  Severe dysmenorrhea that causes one to toss and turn on the ground, a lot of blood clots and dark menstrual colour can use Shao Fu Zu Yu Tang clinically. It will not only help to relieve menstrual pain of the patient but also achieve fertility during the treatment process.

4. Sleeping late and mood swings will cause “liver heat and internal” which result in one getting angry and irritated easily and having severe premenstrual syndrome. Using Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan modification with Rhizoma corydalis (YanHuSuo) and Radix Curcumae (YuJin) can have desirable therapeutic effects.

 

5. Lastly, many patients are diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which cause them to feel as if they were getting sentenced to death. TCM believes that this syndrome is closely related to “dampness and phlegm inside the body”. Wen Dan Tang modification with promoting smooth flow of Qi and diuretic herbs is usually used for treatment. One will achieve fertility after a period of regulation and nourishment.

 

TCM treatment of sterility in males—Regulate and nourish the liver, kidney and spleen as the main axis

TCM believes that sterility in males is mainly due to the malfunction of the liver, kidney and spleen. The kidney stores “semen (Jin)” which is mainly for reproduction, the liver stores blood, the liver and kidney come from the same origin, Jin and blood forming in the presence of the other. When liver Yang is deficient, Jin will also be lesser, hence when there is dampness and heat in the liver meridian, it will destroy Jin and thus causing infertility. 

 

Many patients who come for consultation usually have normal sexual function. We can first look into the mobility of the sperms and semen to understand the reason of infertility. It can also be related to stress at work, sleeping late and irregular meals which can cause liver and kidney Yin to be deficient. Weak spleen and stomach can deplete the origin of the formation of Qi and blood, resulting in less Jin. Appropriate treatment can be administered, the strong can use expurgation and the weak can use supplementation. For example, using Bu Gan Tang as the main formula and adding supplementing the kidney and enhancing Jin herbs such as Eucommia (DuZhong), seed of chinese dodder (TuSiZi), Semen euryales (QianShi), Morinda officinalis (BaJiTian), Codonopsis pilosula (DangShen) and Angelica Sinensis (DangGui) so as to supplement liver blood, warming kidney Yang, replenishing Qi and blood to improve the body state, stamina and stress and also the mobility and quality of the semen and sperms.

 

Lastly, “heat dampness in XiaoJiao” is another type of syndrome differentiation that is commonly seen in sterile males. Urinary tract infection or prostatitis can present as clinical symptoms and there is a need to improve the problem of heat dampness in XiaoJiao first before any regulating and supplementing of the constitution.

 

Emotions can also affect the success of conceiving

   It is advised to combine psychological consultation and treatment together with treating infertility at the same time. The emotions which will affect the physical and mental health of a person should not be underestimated. Some physical factors in some patients are secondary, with emotional factors as the key element. Once the psychological barrier is eliminated, the patient will be able to conceive very quickly. Some couples who are childless after wedded for many year gets pregnant very quickly after carrying a child. Relaxation of the mental state is a huge reason for being able to conceive.

 

Food supplementation

   Below are some food advised to eat more due to its function in supplementing the kidney and nourishing Jin: Hawthorn (ShanZha), eel, gingko biloba (YinXin), sea cucumber, black beans and frozen tofu. Some food can increase sexual desire and increase reproductive capacity, such as dates, honey, grapes, lotus seed, fish, Allium tuberosum (JiuCai), mutton and the whip of animals.