Chinese Medicine & Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an extremely beneficial complement to any IUI treatment because it can essentially help regulate the underlying imbalances that are responsible for infertility. The benefits extend to men and women alike. TCM has the profound effect of regulating the menstrual cycle and promoting ovulation for women with irregular cycles. It can help reduce fibroids and inflammation, alleviate PMS such as mood swings, anxiety or painful periods, regulate FSH and LH levels and promote implantation. TCM can also help restore proper blood flow to the ovaries as well as improve the thickness of the uterine lining and fertile mucus that are often suspected culprits in unsuccessful attempts.
In case of male infertility due to low sperm count, quality and motility, Chinese medicine is just as effective. Modern medicine unfortunately is still very weak in addressing the male causes outside of surgical interventions which are extremely beneficial to some men, but of little effect to most. A combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbs and dietary therapy is proven to have a restorative effect on the male reproductive system.
The TCM treatment protocol for IUI is very similar to one for IVF. Studies have demonstrated that an acupuncture treatment immediately before and after a transfer increases the odds of pregnancy. If you have a longer time frame such as one to three months before a transfer, than a combination of both acupuncture and herbal medicine to balance and regulate your menstrual cycle would be the best approach. For male pattern infertility, generally three months of treatments are required.
What are some of the specific benefits of Acupuncture in fertility treatments? We know that Acupuncture:
1. Improves blood flow to the uterus, Fallopian tubes and ovaries
2. Regulates hormone levels
3. Decreases uterine tension and contractions
4. Promotes relaxation
Although acupuncture is still the main recognized method used for fertility, in reality, herbal medicine plays a central role in most treatments, and certainly combining the two will give the best results rather than either one alone. What role does herbal medicine play in the treatments? We know that Chinese herbal medicine can:
1. Affect hormone levels such as reduce FSH or prolactin levels
2. Promote the thickening of the uterine lining
3. Improve ovarian function
4. Nourish blood
5. Benefit digestion and energy
6. Reduce stress and anxiety
7. Improve implantation
The treatments are comprehensive as you also receive dietary therapy, supplementation suggestions and exercises that you can perform in order to enhance the reproductive function and improve the odds of success.