Reviewed by Physician Lim Sock Ling and Dr Andre Budihardjo, MM
How Can TCM Support In Vitro Fertilization?
Published | 5 min read
Did you know that adding Traditional Chinese Medicine to your in vitro fertilization plan can boost your fertility to help you get pregnant faster? These couples did it and you can, too.
If you struggle to conceive, your doctor may have told you about in vitro
In fact, TCM is often combined with fertility treatments in Malaysia, one of the top healthcare travel destinations in the world for IVF. Many couples here in the United States are jumping on the TCM bandwagon to help them get pregnant.
Read on to learn more about how to use TCM to support your fertility – and why you may want to add these techniques to your IVF plan.
Who Should Use In Vitro Fertilization?
Many real-life couples have used TCM and in vitro fertilization to get pregnant. We talked to a few and asked them to share their stories.
Joshua (36) and Andrea (33)
At 32, Andrea discovered she had developed ovarian cysts. However, they resolved independently by the time she attended a follow-up consultation.
During the same session, her specialist learned that she and Joshua had been trying for a child for two years, but to no avail. He recommended that Joshua do a sperm count test, which produced a zero.
The specialist prescribed medications to help boost Joshua’s sperm count but unfortunately, it didn’t address the problem. Joshua also potentially had multiple blockages. Surgery was out of the question as it could diminish the couple’s chances of getting pregnant.
IVF treatment was recommended as a last resort, and after careful consideration, the couple agreed to go through with it. Joshua’s semen was extracted via keyhole surgery and stored for use within three to five days during a fresh embryo transfer.
It took only one cycle for Andrea to conceive. Today, the couple are parents to a charming baby boy, Ethan.
Trevor (35) and Kate (34)
After trying to conceive for a year, Kate was told by a specialist that her fallopian tubes were blocked. The fallopian tubes are passageways for an egg and sperm to meet and for a fertilized egg to make its way to the uterus.
To make matters worse, she was also diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The specialist suggested IVF, to which the couple said yes.
In addition, Trevor and Kate used acupuncture and herbal remedies to boost their chances of getting pregnant.
Their efforts eventually bore fruition, as Kate successfully conceived their daughter, Madalyn, within a few months after IVF treatment.
How Does TCM Help In Vitro Fertilization?
A core belief in TCM is that the Kidn
“The Kidneys are directly linked to a woman’s reproductive system, as they’re responsible for storing jing (essence). The Chong Mai and Ren Mai vessels aid the reproductive system. These vessels help distribute jing to all body parts and regulate blood and energy in the uterus respectively.”
TCM Physician Lim Sock Ling
Because of this, it’s vital that women take steps to nourish blood and jing, warm Kidney qi (vital life force), and regulate blood, qi, and the Chong Mai and Ren Mai vessels.
Add herbal remedies and acupuncture to in vitro fertilization
To encourage ovulation, a TCM practitioner will recommend herbal formulas that nourish the Liver and invigorate the Kidneys. Examples of these are Er Zhi pills and Si Wu soup.
They may also suggest using Shou Tai pills or Wen Shen An Tai soup on the day of the embryo transfer. These formulas can invigorate and warm the Kidneys, thus increasing the chances of successful implantation.
Bak Foong pills are often recommended by TCM practitioners to boost womb health and increase fertility. You can also consume them after childbirth to help regulate your periods.
Likewise, acupuncture can also be administered. It encourages relaxation and enhances blood flow to the reproductive organs. It’ll improve ovary follicle development and egg quality.
A few of the points that an acupuncturist may work on are:
- Shen Men (HT7)
- Nei Guan (PC6)
- Guan Yuan (RN4)
- Qi Hai (RN6)
- San Yin Jiao (SP6)
Consider Adding TCM To Your In Vitro Fertilization Plan
IVF treatment has proven to be one of the most successful options for getting pregnant. Likewise, you and your partner should live healthy lifestyles to boost your chances of conceiving.
To support IVF treatment with traditional remedies, speak to a TCM practitioner. Doing so will ensure you’ll avoid contraindications that may hamper your chances.
Would you consider using TCM to help support your fertility? Let us know in the comments below.
- New Straits Times. 2022. Malaysia a top destination for fertility treatment.
- National Health Service. IVF.
- National Library of Medicine. 2020. The effect of acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer on the in vitro fertilization outcomes: An RCT.
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