Western medicine has a very important role to play in people’s health and more often than not, it is the go to treatment for couples who for whatever reason are not able to conceive after a year of unprotected sexual intercourse. But because Western treatments for infertility are costly and relatively ineffective, some turn to TCM or tradition Chinese medicine for infertility treatment. We will talk about how hormonal imbalances that lead to infertility can be addressed by TCM, in this article.
Different to Western medicine, TCM treats each patient in a unique way and treats the body as a whole. TCM practitioners rarely prescribe one method of treatment for all patients, although there have been generally methods that have been practiced for more than 4,000 years in resolving infertility:
After evaluating your past medical records and personal files, your Chinese medicine practitioner will do:
An examination of your facial appearance and your body – You may not be aware of it but your facial appearance and your body can give your practitioner an idea about your state of health. Sometimes, having a pale facial appearance may suspect the practitioner that you may be suffering from a deficiency in yang qi.
1. A reading of your pulse – There are 2 types of pulses:
a. Kidney pulse – In traditional Chinese medicine, the Kidney pulse is very important for infertility treatment as TCM practitioners see the kidney as a type of regulator for the reproductive system. In men, lower sperm quantity and quality may develop, while in women, a disrupted menstrual cycle if there is any deficiency in their reproductive system.
b. Heart pulse – The heart pulse will allow your practitioner to determine how your heart functions. Various readings of irregularly slow or fast pulses may result in different types of deficiency.
2. Tongue examination – Any stagnation or deficiency of blood and qi will manifest in the color, taste buds, and appearance of the tongue.
Losing or Gaining Weight
After your condition is diagnosed through the reading of your files and initial examination, and assuming that your infertility condition is not due to structure problems, your practitioner may recommend that you either lose or gain weight. TCM considers the desired weight for conception is more than 5 to 10 above the BMI normal range.
It may be hard to believe that some women who play in some type of sport or engage in running and who may seem to be healthy are infertile because of their activities.
A. Exercise – Your practitioner may advice that you do some moderate exercises to boost the circulation of blood in your body and to lower stress in your nervous system. Exercises such as yoga, tai chi, and walking are highly recommended.
B. Smoking – If you suffer from infertility and smoke, your practitioner will definitely request that you stop smoking. Fortunately, TCM has certain techniques that can help you stop smoking for good.
To treat infertility, you may be asked to stop drinking alcohol completely. This is especially true if your practitioner suspects that alcohol is impairing the function of your liver.
TCM Treatments for Infertility
1. Herbs – If medications are required, Chinese herbal remedies may be given instead to bring back the patient’s overall health.
2. Minerals and vitamins – Your TCM practitioner may advice that you take certain mineral supplements and vitamins to address the deficiency in your body.
3. Food – In TCM, foods are categorized into five groups:
Your practitioner may advice that you add certain types of foods and leave out others in your diet if he/she thinks your diet is interfering with the normal function of your body systems or organs. Kidney yang deficient women are advised to add into their diet hot or warm foods.
4. Breathing techniques – Relieving depression, anxiety, physical and emotional stress, and symptoms of nervous disorders help a lot in the treatment of infertility. Breathing techniques are especially helpful if the woman suffers from infertility due to stress-related activities or constant stress.
5. Acupressure – If the underlying root of infertility is pain, then acupressure may be performed to relieve muscle tension and pain.
6. Acupuncture – Acupuncture is a 4,000-year-old TCM treatment. If your practitioner thinks that an imbalance of qi or qi or blood stagnation has disrupted the normal function of your body, resulting in an underlying condition, then you may need to undergo a few or several rounds of acupuncture treatment in Bellingham. Through the insertion of needles in certain meridian points, infertility can be cured.
There are other forms of TCM methods that can be used treat different underlying causes of infertility and since each person is unique, there is no one form of treatment for all.