Optimizing Fertility through IVF or Natural Conception

Chinese medicine can help to improve the success rate of IVF and natural conception in a number of ways: 

  • - Improve the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs
  • - Regulate the hormones to produce a larger number of follicles
  • - Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining
  • - Decrease stress
  • - Prevent the uterus from contracting
  • - Lessen the side effects of drugs used in IVF
  • - Strengthen the immune system
  • - Improve semen to crease better quality and quantity of embryos
  • - Overall health and well-being
  • - Reduce the chance of miscarriage

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine work to enhance both men and women's fertility by restoring health and balance to the body, mind and spirit. There have been many research studies in the past decade showing how acupuncture and Chinese medicine increase the success rate of conventional infertility treatments. In the April 2002 issue of Fertility and Sterility, a German study showed that using acupuncture before and after IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) increased the success rate to 42.5% as opposed to a success rate of only 26.3% by those not using acupuncture. Acupuncture is very effective when combined with assisted reproductive technologies as well as in achieving natural pregnancy. For optimal outcome, at least three months of consistent acupuncture treatments along with Chinese herbs and supplements is recommended as well as maintenance treatments during the pregnancy.

Male Factor

Male factor plays a major role in up to 50% of infertility cases. Many clinics only look at three major factors: sperm count, sperm motility and sperm morphology. There are, however, many other aspects to sperm health beyond these three. For example, newer technology is now demonstrating that there can be sinificant DNA fragmentation (damaged DNA) in sperm that "look good" according to basic parameters.

  • - Male fertility significantly declines with age. With all other factors being equal, at 35 years of age, a man has only HALF the fertility potential he had before age 30.
  • - Any male over 35 is twice as likely to be infertile as a male under 25.

Pregnancy studies have shown that the rate of miscarriage increases proportionally with the age of the father independent of the mother's age. Studies have also found that children of men of advancing age were much more likely to have developmental problems. This data indicates that we should address the health of both partners to optimize the chances of having healthy pregnancies and healthy children. Acupuncture, herbs, and nutrition can help reverse the risk factors involved with advancing paternal age and sperm damage, increasing the likelihood of having a normal pregnancy and healthy child.