Fertility Support: Exploring the Potential of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)


What is infertility?

Infertility is an issue of the reproductive system, which is defined as unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant with frequent and unprotected sex for at least 12 months. Females who are not able to stay pregnant after pregnancy may also be regarded as infertile. Infertility is not always a female’s problem, it could be either a female’s problem, or male’s problem, or a combination of both. In this article, the focus is on female infertility.

What are the risk factors and causes of infertility?

There are quite a few risk factors that need to be aware of. First, an age over 35 years old could be an essential contributing factor to infertility, due to a decrease in the number and quality of her eggs. Second, smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol reduce the chances of pregnancy, as they increase the rate of miscarriages and tubal pregnancies. Third, either overweight or underweight could affect ovulation negatively. Fourth, the high levels of stress, depression, and anxiety are indicated to relate to infertility, though the mechanism is still unclear. Fifth, multiple miscarriages are also a potential risk to successful pregnancy. Last but not least, sexually transmitted infections could also have negative effects on pregnancy.

How is infertility explained in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)?

According to TCM theory, fertility is intimately related to kidney essence, and is affected by the Conception vessel, the governor vessel, and the penetrating vessel. The pathogenic factors are mainly due to phlegm and dampness, blood stasis, liver qi stagnation, and kidney deficiency. It also emphasizes that the normalizing period is the key step to pregnancy for females.

What could acupuncture and Chinese herbs do to help with infertility?

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are used to soothe the liver, get rid of phlegm, drain dampness, activate blood, and tonify the spleen, liver, and kidney. TCM treatment method is its holistic conception. It is not only focused on the reproductive system but has a broader view of the whole body’s condition.

Acupuncture regulates the meridians related closely to the uterus so that the uterus is expected to function well. The Chinese herbal formula is comprised of a few herbs together based on each individual’s body constitution. The formula in different cycle stages will not be the same. There are four main stages, i.e., pre-period, during the period, post-period, and the interval between post- and pre-period. Thus, FOUR different formulas will be prepared and tailored for each individual in each complete cycle.

How many sessions are needed?

Usually, it is recommended to start with once a week for continuous 4-8 weeks, and then the practitioner will reassess your body condition and discuss with you the next treatment plan. The Chinese herbal tea is expected to be taken once a day for a full period cycle as one course. A reassessment will be done before the second course of the herbs being described. Usually, 2-3 courses are recommended.


If you would like to learn more about this, please reach out to us, as we offer complimentary consultations! This treatment option is offered by Xianmin Yu, our experienced registered TCM Practitioner.