In order to assist in a healthy conception and pregnancy, a Chinese medicine fertility specialist aims, most basically, to balance the menstrual cycle of a woman and then address any underlying root causes that are impacting the woman’s fertility.
Ultimately a woman’s menstrual cycle should be regular (28-30 days), with good quality fertile mucous at ovulation with no pain or spotting when ovulation occurs. She should experience a healthy menstrual bleed that is efficient (4-5 days long) with no pain or clots and without an extensive list of pre-menstrual symptoms preceding it.
Lots of women would look at this list and laugh. Many women have already deviated from this perfect menstrual cycle picture at one time or another, or will at some stage do so. TCM has the ability to regulate the imbalances and irregularities that cause many of these deviations and in turn enhance fertility.
Aims of fertility treatment in women
- Influence growth and maturation of the woman’s eggs by increasing the blood supply to the developing follicles and nourishing the eggs themselves
- Improve the quality of the cervical secretions at ovulation
- Improve the elasticity and secretions of the fallopian tubes to assist the smooth passage of the eggs through the tubes themselves
- Promote the development and nourishment of the endometrium
At first thought, many people associate fertility issues with the inability of the woman to fall pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term. However, the incidence of declining reproductive health in males is becoming more prevalent.
Chinese medicine, both herbs and acupuncture, are able to positively change many of the factors that go into male infertility. Sperm is constantly being formed with the male testes and then takes 2-3 months to develop and mature before it is ejaculated and then needed for the fertilisation of an egg. This long developmental and maturation process means that sperm can be exposed to external factors along the way which may decrease the quality of the man’s sperm. Thankfully though, it also means that treatment of sperm disorders is possible. We can treat the sperm as they start to form, and therefore influence their healthy development.
Sperm factors treated with Chinese medicine
- Low sperm count
- Poor morphology (structure)
- Decreased mobility (movement)
- High levels of DNA fragmentation