Most couples who have struggled with fertility are likely somewhat familiar with Western medical diagnoses, such as luteal defect, premature ovarian failure, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), male factor infertility and unexplained infertility. However, not many people are familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnoses, such as Liver Qi stagnation or Kidney Yang deficiency. These TCM diagnoses and their treatments may be the key to unlocking your struggle with fertility and help you realize your dream to conceive.
The Diagnosis of Fertility Issues with TCM
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views health as a state of balance between all the systems of the body. With regards to fertility issues, there are four organ systems that, when unbalanced, can lead to problems – Kidney, Spleen, Heart and Liver.
In addition to the organ systems, TCM describes four vital substances – Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood – that can become deficient, excessive or stagnant and create a state of imbalance that may manifest as issues with fertility.
The term, infertility, is misleading. True infertility does certainly exist and can be seen in some cases of testicular trauma, cancers, ovarian disorders, etc. Generally though, most people struggling to conceive are sub fertile rather than truly infertile. This means there is something interfering with conception that may have the potential to be remedied naturally before resorting to giving up or assisted reproductive techniques (ART) like IVF, donors or surrogates.
All TCM treatments for fertility issues – sub fertility – are founded upon restoring balance and health to the four main organ systems and vital substances most related to fertility. The ideal is to help you get your body healthier and more balanced so it becomes more fertile and much easier to have a healthy baby.
Common TCM Diagnoses for Fertility Issues
TCM diagnoses are made by a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (DTCM) such as myself or registered acupuncturists after a comprehensive investigation involving questions about aspects of your health including history of illness, lifestyle, diet, emotions, tongue and pulse evaluation, family medical history and review of any available bloodwork or other functional medicine test results.
The terminology used in TCM diagnosis may be unfamiliar to you. TCM is a different way of looking at patterns of interactions between organ systems in your body. While Western medicine may indicate you have low progesterone, for example, a TCM diagnosis may describe your body as lacking in Kidney Yang. It is simply a different way of saying similar things which gives a different perspective on your state of health and fertility.
While a comprehensive intake with a qualified TCM practitioner is necessary for proper diagnosis, the following Fertility Quiz will illuminate your most likely dominant TCM imbalance that influences your fertility health. Keep in mind this quiz is not to be taken as a full diagnosis of your TCM patterns of illness as relates to your health. Instead please view it as an opportunity to understand a small, partial glimpse into your fertility issues from the paradigm of TCM and as a stepping stone to working further with a qualified TCM practitioner to help you realize your dreams of conceiving.
If you would like to work with me and start naturally improving your chances of conception, please contact me at AcuPlus Wellness Clinic, 403-942-7070 or email me here.
How to take the AcuPlus Fertility Quiz
Click on the icon for the AcuPlus Fertility Quiz for women or men, depending on your gender. Enter your email address, as prompted, and you will be redirected to the quiz.
The quiz contains 18 questions for 5 sections representing 5 TCM diagnoses most related to fertility issues. Your dominant score will indicate your most dominant TCM diagnosis, as particularly applies to your fertility issues. Always keep in mind your diagnosis is never this simple. There are always complicating layers to TCM diagnoses that only a qualified TCM practitioner can determine. However, your dominant diagnosis would be the main focus for any future treatment protocols.
Upon completion of the quiz, you will be redirected to a section containing a description of your dominant TCM diagnosis, along with tips to implement immediately to begin remedying the imbalance.
Remember, if you would like additional assistance managing your fertility concerns, please call AcuPlus Wellness Clinic at 403-942-7070 or email me here to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with me to see if TCM is a great fit for you.
FOUR STEP FERTILITY PROGRAM
At AcuPlus, I use a Four Step Fertility Program to help women and men rebalance their body systems so they can realize their dreams of having a healthy baby. I can assist you to improve your chances of a natural conception or to help prepare your body for assisted reproductive techniques (ART) such as IVF, FED, etc.
Step 1: I make an accurate TCM diagnosis of your individual body system imbalances and develop a comprehensive Fertility Plan that will explain how to harmonize those systems and build improved health.
Step 2: The Fertility Plan will describe some recommended lifestyle and dietary changes to support balance in your body systems. In TCM, certain foods and activities have specific properties that can influence the energy of your Kidneys, boost your Spleen Qi, support Heart vitality, clear Liver stagnation, remove blood stasis and build blood. BBT charting for women may be involved, as well as testing of hormone levels during cycles. I coach you on how to start implementing these strategies to maximize positive changes to your health in a quick manner.
Step 3: I always recommend acupuncture to treat fertility issues, but it does not have to be part of a treatment plan. A planned series of acupuncture treatments can quicken the rate of rebalance of the organ systems and support smooth flow of Blood and Qi to the reproductive organs and throughout the body. For women, I typically time treatments based on the four phases of her cycle, and often it takes three months to improve egg quality. For men, I typically see them weekly for about three months before re-evaluating sperm health as it takes at least that amount of time for immature sperm to fully mature.
Step 4: To further influence imbalances and increase chances of pregnancy more quickly, I often combine acupuncture treatments with daily herbal formulas. As a trained herbalist, I design herbal formula strategies to influence the chemistry of your body and improve overall health, including improving the energetics of the reproductive system. Herbal formulas are designed based on your individual body imbalances so that even if you have the same Western medical diagnosis as another person, you may be treated very differently with herbal medicine as your TCM diagnosis may be quite different. Herbs are strong medicine and need to be treated with great respect. I teach you how to use them correctly and explain what they are for.
Have fun doing the quiz! It may take you about 8 – 10 minutes to do, and the results will be helpful to improve your chances of conception.
REMEMBER, call AcuPlus Wellness Clinic at 403-942-7070 or email me here to let me know your results and we can determine if TCM is a good fit for your fertility goals.