Fertility Problems and Getting Pregnant: Natural Solutions with TCM
When facing difficulties getting pregnant, couples can look for help in the Western medical field. However, after having tried almost everything or simply because they want a more natural solution, they can also find help with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM can help a couple – by treating the woman and/or man – raise their chances of conceiving a baby by a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbal decoctions and the use of relaxation techniques such as Qi Gong and Tai Ji, along with a change of lifestyle.
TCM’s Approach to Fertility
The treatment of infertility in Western medicine differs in many ways and uses a completely different approach than TCM. In the TCM philosophy, the body has to be balanced and in harmony in order to succeed in conceiving and offer a favorable environment for the embryo to grow in the woman’s womb. This happens through a healthy menstrual cycle, an undisturbed flow of energy, enough blood and a peaceful mind. All this can be achieved naturally, without any hormone supplements or extensive and overwhelming treatments; it only takes more time!
Restoring Balance to Vital Organ Systems
The aim of the TCM doctor is to restore balance in the body so that it becomes ready to conceive a baby and have a healthy pregnancy. In TCM, two organ systems are particularly involved in pregnancy: the kidneys and the liver.
The kidneys store the vital essence and are responsible for the different stages in the reproductive process, from puberty to menopause. In many cases of infertility, the kidney essence is exhausted and prevents the Qi (vital energy) from flowing freely in the body, causing imbalances and Yin or Yang deficiencies. The TCM doctor will most likely remove the deficiency or stagnation and restore the free flow of Qi by stimulating the kidneys to replenish the vital essence.
The liver in TCM is the organ responsible for the storage and supply of the other vital substance: blood. Naturally, the liver is involved in the reproductive cycle as it regulates the period and the endometrium. Often, women who are trying to get pregnant – especially in Shanghai where the lifestyle and the environment play a great role in influencing the period – have a blood stagnation or deficiency resulting in disturbed periods. One of the key points of trying to get pregnant is to get a healthy and regular menstrual cycle, without symptoms such as breast pain, mood swings, sadness, anger, headaches or back pain. The blood should be bright red with no blood clots. Having a normal menstrual cycle is a sign of a balanced body that functions properly. It is a necessary step to increase the chances of conceiving.
What Will TCM Treatment for Fertility Entail?
Each case of infertility is different and requires a consultation with a TCM doctor but usually, the treatment plan comprises herbal medicine and acupuncture.
Acupuncture mainly improves the uterine lining, increases blood flow to the uterus, and regulates the stress associated with fertility problems. Acupuncture also enhances sperm quality and mobility, this is an excellent solution to boost the chances to conceive a baby.
Lifestyle Support for Fertility
An easy way to facilitate the process of getting pregnant is to implement a few changes in the lifestyle and diet. For example, depending on their condition, women can improve the treatment’s results by picking the right food items. For instance, a patient having a kidney Yin deficiency should eat items like asparagus, beans, tofu, raspberries, grapes, and pineapple. On the other hand, when there’s a Yang deficiency, one needs to warm up the body with a diet integrating foods like ginger, squash, cabbage and avoiding cold drinks. It is also important to protect the kidney essence with foods like chicken or duck, eggs, seeds and nuts and to limit consumption of alcohol and cigarettes.
For both men and women trying to conceive, it is necessary to get good amounts of sleep and limit stress. The sperm quality changes quickly with a better, less stressful environment. Unfortunately, facing infertility can raise the stress level so this may take some extra effort. It is advised to find ways to relieve stress such as practicing meditation, yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Ji, relaxing with friends and taking part in calming activities.
When Should We Consider TCM? Does it Replace Western Medicine?
TCM doctors also use Western diagnostic techniques to find out possible ways to maximize the chances of getting pregnant through IVF or ICSI, for example. TCM has excellent results with treating infertility and may be combined with other treatments. It appeals to people who have tried other options before, those looking for a more natural treatment and to restore balance in their body, or in combination with Western medicine.
Body & Soul’s gynecologist Liu Ai Wu has a strong background in gynecology as well as in internal medicine, since many gynecological problems originate in areas covered by internal medicine. She has also been trained comprehensively in Western medicine and diagnostics. Our team offers the ideal combination of natural, Eastern approaches and Western science to address your gynecological and overall health.
If you are trying to conceive a baby and would like to explore natural ways to boost fertility, click here to make an appointment with her (Mandarin only, translation during consultation provided).