Chinese medicine has its own special vocabulary, and speaks of problems with the primary organ systems such as Kidney Yang deficiency or Liver Chi stagnation, or problems with a fundamental substance of the body, such as blood stagnation, or of pathological factors such as Phlegm accumulation or Damp Heat. These are all common conditions, but each person’s history and particular manifestation of his or her condition varies.
Patients are assessed in terms of their energy level, diet, rest, exercise patterns, etc. In certain cases, such as blocked Fallopian tubes, surgery is the most effective treatment. But for a majority of patients with problems such as a hormone imbalance or low sperm count, Chinese medicine can be an effective way to bring the body back to balance. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment generally combines acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and diet modifications.
Infertility is generally a complex problem, and may involve one or both partners who are trying to conceive. There are no quick fixes and no guarantees, but for many people Chinese medicine has been an affordable solution.
Western medicine has very little means to improve sperm quality and quantity, and management of male infertility is in most cases unsatisfactory. Clomiphene citrate is sometimes prescribed for 3-4 months which can improve sperm count to a certain extend, it does however not improve sperm motility or morphology, and no studies suggest increased fertility. Antibiotics are prescribed if an infection is found, and can be effective in those cases. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) may be performed to overcome abnormal cervical mucus, it is however mostly suitable for normal sperm. IVF and ICSI may enhance fertility.
Chinese medicine on the other hand can offer a large percentage of men a significant improvement in sperm count, morphology, motility and liquefaction. Research studies show that both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine affect hormone levels and testicular blood flow, thus promoting the production of healthy sperm. Chinese medicine increases sperm motility, concentration and survival rate possibly by improving the physiological integrity of sperm membranes. Certain herbs improve liquefaction time by stimulating the secretion of important enzymes into the prostate fluid. Acupuncture has been shown to improve both sperm quality and quantity when carried out regularly over several weeks. One study also suggested that acupuncture carried out at time of their partner’s ovulation greatly enhance the sperm’s activity.