The problem of infertility has become increasingly common among Americans. It is estimated that infertility affects about 20% of North American couples. The problem of infertility usually is a result of: Ovarian dysfunction, Tubal dysfunction, Abdominal cervical mucus, sperm disorders and other unidentified factors.
Ovarian function starts to decline after a woman reaches her thirties. Under optimal circumstances, a woman in her mid-twenties would have a 25% change of getting pregnant per month; this chance declines to 5% in a woman who is 40 years or older. Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes infertility as a result of imbalance among the functions of the liver, spleen and kidney meridians. The problem could originate much earlier in a woman life. In other words, the imbalance could have started as early as a few years after a young lady has her first menstruation.
In the Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, any abnormality of a menstrual flow requires proper uterine functions for fertility. These abnormalities include: early or late menstruation, painful menstruation, and nose bleeds or bruises before menstrual cycle. all these presentations bear significance in evaluation a woman menstrual cycle. Each one of these abnormal presentations should and can be corrected, either with acupuncture or herbal supplements, so that one can maintain balance reproductive functions.
At Dao-Sheng, Dr. Loh will review and discuss all these issues with you, and design a treatment plan tailored to your unique situation, whether or not you are receiving Western infertility treatments. There are clinical reports that showed acupuncture can improve the success rate of pregnancy among women had undergone in-vitro fertilization procedures for infertility. Please see detailed reports in the sections "Research from China."
In Western Medicine, all of these presentations seem to be so common that they attract very little attention by patients and doctors; frequently, these problems are treated with hormonal therapy. However, some women experience the problem of infertility after prolonged use of hormones. In addition, the side effects caused by the hormone treatments can be intolerable for some women.
Other conditions that are associated with infertility include: hypothyroidism, luteal phase defect, endometriosis, uterine fibromas ("fibroids"), polycystic ovarian syndrome, hyper prolactinemia, premature ovarian failure, habitual miscarriage, and autoimmune infertility. These abnormalities can also be treated with either acupuncture of Chinese herbal supplements.
Another important factor that affects fertility is "stress." In Traditional Chines Medicine, stress can easily affect the liver meridian, which in turn causes liver Qi stagnation, and result in spleen Qi deficient, with subsequent menstrual dysfunction. The increasing stresses brought on by the modern western lifestyle is one reason we may have seen more women suffer from menstrual disorders as well as infertility in the past two decades.