Infertility is a devastating experience for many couples these days. Infertility affects both men and women. With the ever-increasing cost of living, couples are waiting longer to have children. This naturally decreases the opportunity for spontaneous pregnancy, especially for women in their mid-to late-thirties, but statistics also confirm that more couples are seeking treatment for infertility.
Infertility results from a male factor in about 35% of cases, and a female factor in about 50%. About 10% of infertility problems remain unexplained even after complete medical evaluations. Around 5% are due to infertility in both partners.
There are many available solutions for infertility and the TCM method is one option definitely worth trying. Click on the links below to read about TCM treatments for infertility.
The standard definition of infertility is a woman of normal childbearing age who has not become pregnant (after at least one year for women under 35 or for women over 35, this decreases to 6 months) of trying to conceive or a man who, after a year of trying, has not been able to impregnate a woman. The term can also be used for a woman who is able to become pregnant but is unsuccessful in carrying the pregnancy to birth.
The cause of infertility appears to vary between the sexes but can be related to a number of things such as:
Possible causes of female infertility:
Possible causes of male infertility:
Excess fat in the abdominal area has been reported to be strongly related to disorders of the reproductive system. Weight loss of approximately 5kg or more and reduction of abdominal fat can improve menstrual regularity, ovulation and infertility in women.
The good news is that infertility can be treated. A number of medical conditions can be treated these days with either Western medicine and/or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
 The Conception Vessel is one of the standard nomenclatures of the eight extra meridians. It goes along the middle of the abdomen and chest, passes through the cheek and enters under the eye socket. It meets all the Yin meridians, and is thus called “the sea of the Yin Meridians”. It is responsible for receiving and bearing the qi of the Yin meridians.
 Thoroughfare Vessel This is one of the standard nomenclatures of the eight extra meridians. It refers to the “sea of blood,” which is the place for the 12 normal meridians to converge and where it helps regulate the Qi and Blood inside them. Sometimes, it also refers to the Liver or an acupuncture point. This channel is closely related to the menses.
 Monarch or principal herbs are herbs that exert the major and leading effects in the herbal combinations. A good herbal combination usually contains one to two monarch herbs only, so that the healing effect can be more focused.
 Minister or supporting herbs have two actions in herbal combination. One is to support the monarch herb to exert major actions on the body, and the second is to improve and treat the accompanying symptoms or syndrome. In comparison with the monarch herbs, minister herbs usually have weaker actions.
 Essence or essential Qi is stored in the Kidneys. It is the basis for growth and development and various other physiological activities in the human body.
 Vital gate refers to the gate of life which is considered the yang origin of the human body. It reflects the functioning of kidney yang, and functions partly as the cortico-adrenal gland in modern medicine.
 Vaporisation refers to the process of refining a crude state or form into a more valuable and finer state or form. Usually it is used to describe the physiological functions of certain organs, such as fluid regulation in the kidneys or urinary excretion in the bladder.
 Evils/Pathogen from a TCM perspective are any substance or element that can affect the body’s healthy balance and course disease. Examples of such elements include climatic abnormalities, improper diet or over strain.
 Virtual heat Yin and yang mutually control and balance each other under normal conditions. If the yin aspect becomes deficient suddenly, a relative excess of yang develops resulting in an excess of heat. This type of heat is called “virtual fire” or “virtual heat” which is caused by a Yin deficiency and not yang excess. Individuals will manifest with heat symptoms.
 Astringes is a common term used frequently in TCM. Astringing functions normally refer to actions that draw together something or arrest persistent exhaustion of the fundamental substances such as Qi, Blood and body fluids. The action is especially carried out by the kidneys and enhanced by herbs with sour tastes.
 The Governor Vessel is one of the standard nomenclatures of the eight extra meridians. It runs along from the end of the spinal column and reaches the head. This meridian meets all the Yang meridians, and thus is called “the sea of the Yang Meridians”. It is responsible for governing the Qi flow of all the Yang meridians of the body.
 Wind evil is considered a yang and very influential pathogen. Characteristic of wind disharmonies are sudden onset, lingering and changeable nature. It often combines with other pathogenic factors especially coldness to invade the body.