Dr. Heidi Kao and associates

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info@heidikao.com

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Fertility

Enhance Your Fertility
with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, it is often said that there is no such thing as “infertility.” That is because TCM is founded on a theory of balance. One’s inability to conceive is considered an imbalance that needs to be rectified, not necessarily a condition of infertility. Generally, the TCM practitioner treats the body’s root imbalances and the body’s symptoms are thereby alleviated. This theory applies to fertility as much as to any other condition. A woman’s natural balanced state, from the time she begins menstruating to the time she begins menopause, is in a state of “potentially conceiving.” A deviation from this state—an imbalance in TCM theory—does not necessarily imply “infertility;” it simply means a shift from one’s optimum reproductive health.

According to traditional Chinese medicine philosophy, we say that the best way to achieve a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby is to cultivate the soil in order to plant the seed, so getting your body as healthy as it can be is our focus. We utilize a broad spectrum of treatment modalities to including a combination of individualized diagnostic measures, herbal formulas, stimulation of acupuncture points, bodywork, dietary, and lifestyle adjustments. Chinese medicine enhances fertility by strengthening and balancing organ functions and production of hormones, an essential component to fertility. Additionally, by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (which induces the relaxation response) and calming the sympathetic nervous system (which initiates the stress response), Chinese herbs and acupuncture encourage the fertility process by restoring a deep relaxation to the mind and body.

Your Individualized Treatment

You are an individual. No person’s imbalances are identical to those of anyone else. Using TCM diagnosis, I will determine your body’s current imbalance at your first visit. This will include looking for certain physiological changes on your tongue, taking your pulse, learning your complete health history, and asking many questions about your body and habits. Once your imbalance is determined, I will proceed with a treatment of acupuncture and Chinese herbs tailor-made for your body. If it appears your diet, exercise habits, and lifestyle are contributing to your imbalance, I will make relevant suggestions.

Ready to Conceive

Your acupuncture and herbal medicine treatments will start working right away to get your body back to its optimum balance and ready for conception. Typical changes you may sense quickly include: reduction in the stresses that interfere with ovulation, regulation of menses, and a general feeling of good health. More subtle changes may eventually include a normalization of the hormones that regulate ovulation and allow an egg to be released, an increase in uterine blood flow improving chances of a fertilized egg implanting, or an improvement in ovulation cycles in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, to name a few. All together, TCM will work to get your body in a healthier and more balanced state which will better lend itself to conception.

Male Factor Infertility. It takes two . . .

Chinese medicine theory applies equally for male factor infertility. A man’s low sperm count, poor motility, morphology, or sexual dysfunction can all be linked to the body’s imbalances and treated with great success.

IVF and other Assisted Reproductive Therapies

Many couples today are employing the assisted reproductive therapies of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Intra Uterine Injections (IUI). A common and effective practice of TCM today is to have an acupuncture treatment immediately before and immediately after IVF. Studies have shown this practice to increase the number of resulting pregnancies by as much as 50% as compared to IVF treatments that did not employ TCM concurrently.

IVF and other assisted reproductive therapies are very expensive and emotionally draining. By contrast, TCM alone is a fraction of the cost and generally promotes good emotional health. Given that stress alone can be a significant roadblock to getting you pregnant, I recommend that couples try TCM for several months before even trying assisted reproductive therapies.

If you have already begun IVF treatments, you should begin your course of TCM therapies right away. This will ensure the significant emotional and financial investment you’ve made in your IVF therapy is given the best possible landscape for success.

Is it ok to do IVF at the same time?

Yes it is. If you haven’t started IVF yet, however, it is recommended you begin your TCM treatment first.

Modern Western Diagnoses Treated with TCM:

  • Advanced Maternal Age
  • Amenorrhea
  • Anovulation
  • Elevated FSH Levels
  • Endometriosis
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Immunologic Infertility
  • Luteal Phase Defect
  • Male Factor Infertility
  • Ovarian cysts, Polycystic Ovaries
  • Recurrent Miscarriage
  • Tubal Blockage
  • Unexplained Infertility
  • Uterine Fibroids

Advantages to Fertility treatment by TCM:

  • Safe
  • Cost-effective
  • Non-surgical / Non-invasive
  • Chemical free