An inability to get pregnant on your own is usually connected to an underlying condition. With the intervention of a fertility specialist and a course of treatment, many couples go on to conceive, either through a few courses of fertility medication, surgery or a procedure such as IVF. Today more and more physicians are incorporating less invasive and more natural treatments when possible.
Fertility treatment such as minimal stimulation IVF or natural IVF are successful for some patients, depending on their diagnosis. Many couples utilize holistic practices such as acupuncture, meditation, yoga and stress management techniques along with their physician prescribed fertility treatment. There is much evidence these holistic techniques aid in successful pregnancy when utilized in conjunction with traditional western medical practices.
Lately, however, there is more and more data coming to light that shows Chinese Herbal medicine is quite successful in treating many of the conditions associated with infertility and enhancing fertility for those who suffer from these certain conditions. So, yes, depending on the diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine successfully boosts fertility in some patients.
How Chinese Herbal Medicine Differs From The Western Approach
Western medicine recognizes the validity of Chinese Herbal medicine in many different areas of health, reproduction being one of those areas. The approach to this practice is a sophisticated one. Use of herbs and herbal tinctures in medicine dates back several millennia however Chinese Herbal medicine is a holistic system of medicine. In other words it is an individualized formula of herbal compounds that target the whole body.
While western medicine seeks diagnosis using lab tests and a study of symptoms, Chinese Medicine focuses on the entire interconnected bio-system of the body. In modern medicine (Western medicine) doctors give pharmaceutical prescriptions in standard dosages, varying with severity of the illness or patient’s body weight. There are thousands of herbs in the Chinese pharmacy, and formulas are carefully customized to each individual’s whole bio-system.
It’s important to note, however, these formulations are not effective unless you are properly diagnosed by a practitioner of Chinese Herbal medicine. Treating a medical condition with herbal compounds requires an experienced Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncturist or a licensed and qualified practitioner.
How Chinese Herbal Medicine Improves Fertility
According to a study by the NIH Chinese Herbal medicine increases a woman’s fertility, improving pregnancy rates 2-fold over a three to six month period when compared with Western medicine. With the use of Chinese Herbal medicine, there were significant improvements in ovulation, cervical mucus and endometrial (uterine) lining, all necessary to a successful pregnancy.
As a stand-alone treatment Chinese Herbal medicine is promising and the results fairly positive. When used in conjunction with Assisted Reproductive Technologies the opportunity for success is very good. Combining herbal formulas with standard fertility medication carries the potential for improved IVF outcomes.
While much is still being discovered about the use of Chinese Herbal medicine in improving fertility many physicians prefer their patients discontinue herbal formulas once they begin their IVF cycle. Because IVF requires a very controlled protocol doctors prefer to pare down the variables. Additionally, there are certain conditions in which Chinese Herbal medicine shows no effect.
Chinese medicine shows a lot of success in treating fertility issues that stem from endometriosis, PCOS, irregular menstrual cycles or the absence of menstruation altogether (amenorrhea). One study by the NIH on a woman of advanced maternal age (43) who suffered from uterine fibroids and diminished ovarian reserve proved Chinese Herbal medicine highly successful. Doctors advised the patient to discontinue her IVF treatment. Practitioners formulated an herbal compound to control the growth of her fibroids and improve her age-related ovarian insufficiency. Within four months the patient was menstruating normally, and hormone levels were also normal. Within six months the patient conceived and 40 weeks later delivered a healthy baby.
That is just one patient from one study, but it is indisputable evidence that Chinese Herbal medicine is a worthwhile course for treating infertility. For patients who have experienced repeated failed IVF, are dealing with age-related diminished ovarian reserve or have any of the above-mentioned issues Chinese herbal medicine may prove beneficial.
For Questions or Concerns We Are Here to Help.
At LA IVF we have one goal: to help you grow your family. For any information regarding the use of Chinese Herbal medicine to boost your fertility or for any other questions please contact us.