Wee Min Yee
Fertility Acupuncturist
International Medical University (IMU)

In recent years, the field of reproductive medicine has seen remarkable advancements, offering hope and opportunity for couples struggling with infertility to achieve their dreams of parenthood.

However, there’s no denying that can be overwhelming accompanies this journey. 

Fortunately, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), particularly acupuncture, is gaining recognition for its potential to enhance IVF success rates while mitigating the high costs and emotional toll of treatment.

The Guardian: Acupuncture may help increase IVF success rates by 65%

Understanding the IVF Challenge

IVF is physically and emotionally demanding, with side effects from medications and invasive, sometimes painful procedures.

Five common reasons for IVF failure from both a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and a general perspective:

  1. Qi and Blood Deficiency: 

    In TCM, Qi and Blood deficiencies can weaken the body’s ability to support embryo development and pregnancy. General fatigue and deficiencies can impact overall health and fertility.

  2. Kidney Deficiency: 

    TCM places great importance on Kidney health for fertility. Kidney Qi or Yin deficiencies can lead to difficulties in conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy.

  3. Stagnation of Qi and Blood: 

    Blockages or stagnation in the flow of Qi and Blood can interfere with the proper functioning of reproductive organs, affecting embryo implantation and development.

  4. Emotional Stress: 

    High levels of emotional stress and anxiety, both from a TCM and general perspective, can disrupt hormonal balance and negatively impact fertility. Stress reduction is essential for successful IVF outcomes.

  5. Age: 

    Advanced maternal age is a significant factor in IVF failure, as it can result in reduced egg quality and quantity. From a TCM perspective, aging is associated with declining Kidney energy.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers holistic approaches to enhance the success rate of IVF by addressing the challenges mentioned earlier. 

Here are TCM-based strategies to improve IVF outcomes:

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture can help regulate Qi and Blood flow, reduce stress, and improve overall body balance. 
Incorporating acupuncture sessions before and after key IVF stages, such as embryo transfer, can enhance the chances of success.

Please remember that this timetable serves as a general guideline. The actual timing and frequency of acupuncture sessions should be discussed and personalized with a qualified acupuncturist based on individual needs and medical recommendations.

2. Herbal Medicine

TCM herbal remedies are tailored to individual imbalances.
These herbs can nourish Qi and Blood, strengthen Kidney energy, and address conditions like dampness and phlegm accumulation, all of which can improve fertility.

3. Dietary Modifications

TCM dietary recommendations align with its principles, such as consuming warming foods for a “cold” uterus or avoiding foods that create dampness.
Proper nutrition can support overall health and fertility.

4. Lifestyle Adjustments

TCM encourages lifestyle changes to reduce stress and enhance well-being.
Mind-body practices such as deep breathing exercises, to help manage emotional stress and promote relaxation, positively impacting IVF outcomes.

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