Infertility is a growing concern for many couples especially in Western societies. We live in a very fast paced world these days, with many couples delaying pregnancy and child rearing until their mid to late 30s. Often when couples feel that emotionally and financially the time is right to conceive, their bodies have different plans. Pregnancy is such an amazing and delicate phenomena, that even slight imbalance in the body can lead to an inability to conceive.
From a Chinese Medical perspective, there are many different pathological conditions that can lead to infertility or issues relating to the inability to “hold” a pregnancy. An individuals signs and symptoms’, along with pulse and tongue diagnosis can lead to an accurate depiction of why an embryo is unable to imbed in the womb, remain in the womb or even lead to an indication of why ovulation fails to occur at all. Based on the underlying “root” causes of the condition, a herbal and acupuncture formula may be implemented.
Kidney Deficiency: This condition has a major affect on the follicular phase of a woman’s cycle (the yin phase).
Signs and symptoms may include: Hot flushes, night sweats, thirst, dry mucous membranes, scanty periods, dry skin, hair and nails and irritability.
Kidney Yang Deficiency: This condition mainly affects the luteal phase of the cycle.
Signs and symptoms include: Frequent urination, edema, lethargy, weight issues, feeling the cold and desire for warm food and drinks.
Heart & Liver Qi Stagnation: Conception and maintenance of pregnancy requires that the mind and spirit be calm and free from stress.
Signs and symptoms: Anxiety, fear, depression, sadness, tender breasts around period time and period pain.
Blood Stagnation: It’s important that blood and qi are able to flow freely throughout the body without becoming impeded.
Signs and symptoms: Sharp stabbing period pain, endometriosis & clotted menstrual flow.
Damp Phlegm Accumulation: Can lead to blockages in the body, i.e. blocked fallopian tubes or a womb that is too slick and therefore does not encourage embryo implantation. Fertile mucous may also be absent with the presence of copious damp type mucous which can actually impede sperm travel towards the reproductive tract.
Signs and symptoms: Weight issues, excessive vaginal discharge, edema, digestive disorders, PCOS (can occur in yin deficient types also), chronic phlegm disorders such as nasal congestion, sinusitis etc.
Spleen Qi or Blood Deficiency: The spleen in Chinese medicine is responsible for holding the blood and organs in their place, and has a fundamental role in blood production.
Signs and symptoms: Heavy periods, prolapses, weak digestion, diarrhoea or constipation, lethargy, dizziness, miscarriage or anaemia.
(SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS ARE GUIDES ONLY AS USUALLY A CLIENT WILL PRESENT WITH MORE THAN ONE DISHARMONY AT A TIME. SO SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS CAN BE MIXED AND VARIED, EVEN HIDING ONE ANOTHER)
Any problems with the menstrual cycle can indicate issues relating to blood and qi movement. Obstructions to either of these mechanisms can have implications for fertility. Pain during the menstrual periods, passing of clots, breast distension or pain, scanty or heavy flow, excessively long or short periods, break through bleeding, periods that stop and start. All these factors can indicate a dysfunction of the movement of qi and blood.