The treatment focuses on regulating the menses, balancing hormone levels, and if needed, treating cystic ovaries, uterine fibroids and endometriosis. Once this is achieved, fertility is greatly increased.
Areas of treatment by TCM
Optimum length of treatment
When to use Chinese medicine with IVF
For best results, Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Chinese dietary and lifestyle therapy, should be used before, during, and after IVF. Chinese medicine can help prepare both partners before IVF in order to improve the function of the ovaries, strengthen and regulate the immune system, reduce stress, and improve the quantity and quality of sperm and the quality of the seminal fluid. This is accomplished in the female partner by treating any menstrual irregularities, such as amenorrhea, PMS, endometriosis, uterine myomas (a.k.a fibroids), or heavy bleeding due to lack of ovulation. Such preparatory treatment usually lasts 3-6 months. Specific acupuncture and Chinese herbal protocol exist for the treatment of any and all of these menstrual irregularities and gynecological problems. Specific Chinese medical protocols also exist for the low sperm count, low sperm motility, abnormal sperm morphology (or shape), and problems with seminal fluid liquefaction.
Once the woman’s menstrual cycle and period are normal according to the guidelines of Chinese medicine, acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be used during the IVF procedure itself. This typically begins during the month prior to IVF when the woman is placed on oral contraceptives in order to give her ovaries a rest. Step-by-step protocols are then used at every phase of the IVF procedure. For instance certain acupuncture points and Chinese herbs are used after this transfer has been accomplished. Not only are different treatment methods used at these different stages, but each treatment is also individualized to fit each patient’s personal Chinese medical pattern.
After successful implantation of the embryo has taken place, Chinese medicine can also be used to help prevent miscarriage. In general, Chinese medicine is extremely effective for preventing miscarriage when threatened miscarriage is due to hormonal imbalances, such as low progesterone. For this purpose, it may be used either preventively when the woman is asymptomatic or even after symptoms of threatened miscarriage have appeared.
The best of both worlds
When one combines the high tech power of modern assisted reproductive technologies with the holistic wisdom of centuries of Chinese medicine, one makes use of “the best of both worlds”. Numerous studies published in the People’s Republic of Chine show that the combination of Chinese and Western medicine is, in many cases, superior to either alone. While Western medicine is capable of micromanaging human physiology, Chinese medicine addresses the bigger picture, thus insuring that the whole organism is brought back to a state of dynamic balance and vibrant health.
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