After a couple decides to start a family, many women do everything they can to conceive. However, you need to understand that the road to parenthood and getting pregnant could be a huge challenge. This could take a considerable amount of time.
Knowing how to boost fertility with healthy lifestyle habits can potentially increase a couple’s chances of conceiving. This knowledge is essential for those who have struggled to get pregnant, even after several attempts.
Understanding the causes of infertility is also crucial for identifying the steps that you or your partner can take to restore balance to the reproductive system. Here are the causes of infertility and traditional remedies that you and your partner can use.
Common Causes of Infertility in Men and Women
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that infertility associates with imbalances in the liver, spleen, and kidneys.
The spleen is responsible for the healthy production of blood and qi. On the other hand, the liver supports a positive flow of both substances in the body. The kidneys, on the other hand, play a significant role in supporting conception and reproductive function.
A struggle to cope with the demands of a fast-paced life or career could cause imbalance to a person’s body and, consequently, impair fertility. It is worth noting that stress can affect a man or woman differently.
For a man, unmanaged stress can reduce sperm count and quality. For a woman, stress could also inhibit ovulation and the quality of a woman’s egg cells.
Waiting too long before deciding to have a baby could also reduce a couple’s chances of conceiving. Typically, a woman’s fertility will be at its peak before the age of 25 and decline after that. Meanwhile, a man’s fertility will start to decline progressively when they turn 50 years old.
According to TCM beliefs, reproductive disorders in women such as endometrioses, fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and premature ovarian failure (POF) are all directly linked to imbalances in the liver, spleen, and kidneys.
For instance, uterine blood stagnation could lead to endometriosis and fibroids. These disorders are characterised by abnormal tissue growth in a woman’s reproductive system. If left untreated, these growths can damage a woman’s uterus and prevent conception.
PCOS is a common reproductive disorder among women of child-bearing age. It presents itself in numerous ways. This includes excessive hair growth on various parts of the body, irregular menstruation, infertility, oily skin, and weight gain.
POF, meanwhile, occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop working before she turns 40. It’s diagnosed through symptoms such as hot flashes, irritability, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
Traditional Chinese Remedies for Treating Infertility
Herbal prescriptions and treatments aim to nourish and restore balance to the reproductive system, liver, kidneys, and spleen. TCM, however, doesn’t stop there. Treatment is holistic and addresses everything from diet and adequate exercise to restful sleep to good stress management techniques.
“We also want to improve all systems of your body and mind. If you are sleeping well, are full of vitality, have proper digestion and a healthy sense of self, then all systems will work more efficiently, including your reproductive system,” says Zhong Xi Ming, a Senior TCM Physician at Eu Yan Sang Premier TCM Centre. She adds that the overarching principle of TCM when it comes to fertility is to “cultivate the soil before planting the seed”.
“We treat holistically, taking into account your physical, emotional and spiritual aspect,” she adds.
Backed by scientific research findings, acupuncture treatment has been found to boost fertility in a woman by increasing blood flow to the uterus, normalising the hormones that regulate ovulation, regulating the ovulation cycle in women with PCOS, and reducing stress. In addition, acupuncture could also help to enhance the efficacy of in-vitro fertilisation.
Jia Wei Xiao Yao San
You could consume a herbal formulation known as Jia Wei Xiao Yao San. This helps to boost fertility by improving blood and kidney qi. It’s made of medicinal herbs Atractylodes, gardenia fruit, ginger, Poria mushrooms, root cortex of Paeonia suffruticosa Andrews, white peonies and wild mint, as well as the roots of Bupleurum, Chinese liquorice and Chinese Angelica Root.
At the same time, Jia Wei Xiao Yao San can also address qi stagnation in the liver during pre-menstruation, which spans from the day of ovulation until the first day of bleeding. Consuming a health supplement formulated with dried deer tail and other herbals can tonify qi in the body.
Zi Shen Yu Tai Wan
Popularly known as the Fertile Tonic, Zi Shen Yu Tai Wan is as effective as progesterone – a hormone that is naturally released by the ovaries – in improving hormone levels and peri-menopausal symptoms and regulating menstruation.
Interestingly, some of the women who used progesterone to improve fertility exhibited side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and swollen breasts. Yet, the women who used Zi Shen Yu Tai Wan did not demonstrate any adverse side effects. Drinking a herbal tonic made with chicken essence could help to improve fertility by tonifying your blood and qi. It can also enhance concentration and increase your energy levels.
Knowing how to boost fertility using traditional Chinese remedies will go a long way in helping you and your partner conceive. However, you should also consider a more holistic approach that includes a healthy diet, quality sleep, and regular exercise. While TCM is an alternative for women who want to avoid taking fertility drugs or are not eligible for IVF, you can also use it effectively with conventional fertility treatments. Always remember, however, to keep both your doctor and TCM practitioner informed of all medicines, herbs and other treatments you are receiving.
This is an adaptation of an article, “A Traditional Boost for Fertility”, which first appeared on Eu Yan Sang website.
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- Pacific College of Health and Science. Supporting Ovarian Reserve with Chinese Medicine. [Accessed 19 July 2021]