The population in China today is 1.2 billion and growing. It is by far the most populous country in the world. The Chinese have not always had a nutrient-rich daily diet that promotes a long and fruitful life. Yet, they have certainly been fertile, and it is only with governmental restrictions that the population has had any slowdown. What could some of the reasons be for their procreative success? Certainly the lack of birth control has had an effect. It is also likely, however, that whenever an individual has been infertile, there have been remedies such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to correct it.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, or herbal therapy, are ancient Chinese methods used for the treatment and prevention of disease and have been practiced consistently for the past five thousand years in the Orient. Seventy percent of one quarter of the world’s population uses acupuncture and herbs as their main form of health care.
The benefits of acupuncture and herbs in treatment for the infertile couple can be found in early Chinese medical literature dating back to the AD. Not only do these techniques assist in regulating the menstrual cycle and invigorating the sperm, but they also serve to enhance the function of the whole body. In the past decade, clinical studies conducted in China have revealed that a large portion of cases of infertility due to both functional and organic disorders can be corrected using Chinese herbs. The usual duration of therapy is about three months, though persons with longer experience of infertility and older persons tend to require longer periods of therapy.
For women, whether it is PMS, amenorrhea, endometriosis, dysfunctional fallopian tubes, immune system imbalances, or hormonal problems causing the infertility, Chinese Medicine is able to address the problem and put the body back into harmony, creating a healthy environment for a baby. TCM can even be used to strengthen and balance one’s general health so that in vitro fertilization (IVF), GIFT, ZIFT, ICSI, AHT, TET, and other western infertility procedures are more effective. Additionally, pregnancy becomes easier to achieve, and postpartum recuperation happens faster. A number of medical studies have been done in the U.S., Europe, and China to verify that TCM increases the success rate for IVF and other medical procedures.
Strengthening a woman’s constitution is another way to treat female infertility. According to TCM, a woman’s constitution consists mainly of her digestive system (stomach and spleen), which is responsible for the production of blood and energy, and her reproductive system (kidneys). If her constitution is not strong, there may be problems with infertility and pregnancy: there may not be conception, or if conception does occur, there may be frequent miscarriage or a very difficult pregnancy that may compromise the woman’s future health.
Eric Grose, L.Ac.