Chinese herbal medicine for infertility
Chinese herbal medicine research for infertility
Increasing numbers of studies are demonstrating the effectiveness of Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) for infertility problems. Various studies have shown positive effects of CHM on ovulation and luteal phase insufficiency. Other studies show immune related infertility is improved with CHM.
Preliminary treatment with CHM may also improve IVF and IUI outcomes. Of particular relevance to IVF is a study suggesting CHM may positively influence several female fertility factors. This level III-3 cohort study by Wing & Sedlmeier (2006), suggests individualised CHM treatment positively affects: pre- and post-ovulatory endometrial thickness; serum FSH; number of follicles; size of Graafian follicle; post-ovulatory uterine artery peak systolic velocity; post-ovulatory uterine artery pulsatility index; post-ovulatory serum progesterone; corpus luteum size and vascularity. This suggests CHM may positively affect IVF outcomes by increasing the size and number of eggs for harvest, as well as optimising the environment for embryo implantation and development.
Three to five months of CHM is considered to be a reasonable time in which to observe menstrual cycle changes. When I work with clients, basal body temperature charts are used to help track the cyclical changes that occur during treatment. A number of different physiological functions of the body can be tracked this way – not just ovulation. These charts are also very encouraging for the woman as she observes the changes happening. The time it takes for pregnancy to occur can vary widely depending on the individual presentation of both the man and woman. Clinical experience suggests CHM should be prescribed for a minimum period of 3 months when there are obvious menstrual cycle imbalances. However because fertility challenges do not always involve such obvious issues, it is worth consulting with me about your individual circumstances.