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Going to IVF too Early? Chinese Medicine as an Fertility Option Before IVF 

In today’s modern world, the path to parenthood can sometimes feel like a maze, particularly for couples feeling pressured by time as they navigate fertility challenges. While IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is often considered a go-to solution, it’s crucial to explore alternative options before diving into more invasive treatments.

Rushing into IVF without considering gentler alternatives can bring about drawbacks and challenges, including financial burden, physical discomfort, emotional stress, and potential side effects. Chinese medicine, for example, could be a great alternative fertility treatment before IVF for couples who are trying to conceive.

10 Benefits of Chinese Medicine as a Fertility Option Before IVF:

Chinese medicine stands as a compelling option for couples navigating the challenging journey of fertility, offering a holistic approach that prioritises balance, well-being, and personalised care. Before considering more invasive treatments such as IVF, many couples are turning to Chinese medicine for its array of benefits.

1. Cost-Effectiveness: One significant advantage of Chinese medicine is its relative affordability compared to IVF. Acupuncture sessions and herbal remedies are often less expensive than fertility treatments such as IVF, making it a more accessible option for couples who may be concerned about the financial burden of assisted reproductive technologies.

Related: Acupuncture and Fertility: How Effective is Acupuncture For Fertility?

2. Minimal or No Side Effects: Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture typically have minimal or no side effects when administered by a qualified practitioner. This contrasts with the potential side effects associated with IVF medications, such as mood swings, hot flashes, and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Choosing Chinese medicine as a first-line approach may reduce the risk of experiencing adverse effects commonly associated with fertility medications.

3. Stress Reduction: Studies have shown that stress is a common factor that can negatively impact fertility. Acupuncture and other Chinese medicine modalities are known for their stress-reducing effects, helping couples relax and manage anxiety related to fertility struggles. By reducing stress levels, Chinese medicine may enhance the chances of conception naturally.

4. Regulating Menstrual Cycles: Chinese medicine focuses on addressing imbalances in Qi, blood, and hormonal levels, which can regulate menstrual cycles and optimise fertility. Research studies have shown promising results regarding acupuncture’s efficacy in improving egg quality. A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that acupuncture can increase blood flow to the ovaries, potentially improving ovarian function and egg quality.

Recommended Supplement: Menstro Support

5. Improving Egg Quality: Through methods like acupuncture and herbal medicine, Chinese medicine enhances blood flow to the ovaries, reduces oxidative stress, and balances hormonal levels, thus improving egg quality. In a study of 10 infertile but otherwise healthy women, Stener-Victorin et al. found that acupuncture can increase blood flow to the ovaries, potentially improving ovarian function and egg quality.

Related: Why you need CoQ10 for Egg Quality and Fertility

6. Supporting Ovarian Function: Chinese medicine also promotes the development of healthy follicles and regulates ovulation, supporting optimal ovarian function. In their systematic review investigating the effects of using Chinese medicine to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of infertility, Wang et al., found that Chinese herbal medicine can improve ovarian function and regulate menstrual cycles in women with PCOS.

Recommended supplement: Her Estro Balance

7. Customised Treatment Plans: Chinese medicine practitioners tailor treatment plans to address the specific needs and imbalances of each individual or couple. This personalised approach allows for a more targeted and comprehensive treatment strategy compared to a one-size-fits-all approach often seen in conventional fertility treatments.

8. Optimising Sperm Quality: For men, Chinese medicine can increase sperm count, motility, and morphology, while also reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the reproductive tract. In a literature review investigating the efficacy of acupuncture to treat male infertility, Feng et al., concluded that acupuncture may improve sperm quality in men with infertility.

9. Complementary to Other Treatments: Chinese medicine can be used as a standalone fertility treatment before IVF or in conjunction with other fertility treatments, including IVF. Some couples choose to combine acupuncture and herbal medicine with IVF to potentially improve the success rates of the procedure and mitigate any side effects associated with IVF medications.

Recommended supplement: Ferti Mate Booster 

10. Can address unexplained infertility: Chinese medicine provides a holistic approach to addressing unexplained infertility by identifying and treating underlying imbalances within the body. Through treatments such as acupuncture and herbal medicine, practitioners aim to restore the flow of Qi and blood, harmonise hormonal balance, and reduce stress levels.

For couples with unexplained infertility or those with time on their side, research shows that starting with Chinese medicine allows the body time to correct imbalances naturally before considering more invasive treatments.

When to Try IVF vs. Chinese Medicine:

  • If Fallopian tubes are removed or there are serious autoimmune system issues, IVF may be necessary right away due to structural limitations. Research published in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics highlights that IVF is often recommended for couples with tubal factor infertility or severe male factor infertility, where other interventions may not be effective.
  • Severe Endometriosis can impair ovarian function and egg quality, leading to a reduced ovarian reserve and decreased fertility potential. IVF allows for the use of fertility medications to stimulate the ovaries and retrieve multiple eggs, increasing the chances of obtaining healthy eggs for fertilization.
  • Chinese Medicine before starting IVF treatment: In a meta-analysis of studies considering the compounding effect of Chinese medicine and IVF, Cao et al., found that Chinese medicine can help strengthen the body before undergoing IVF, potentially improving the success rates of the procedure.
  • Late 40’s Pregnancy: As women approach their late 40s, their ovarian reserve (the number of remaining viable eggs) decreases significantly, making natural conception extremely difficult. IVF allows for the use of donor eggs from younger women, increasing the chances of successful fertilisation and pregnancy.

Rushing into IVF may not always be the best first step for couples trying to conceive. Exploring gentler fertility treatment before IVF like Chinese medicine could help many conceive naturally. Chinese medicine works to balance the body and create an optimal environment for fertility, while also being gentler and less invasive than IVF. Consulting with a Chinese medicine specialist, like GinSen, to determine if trying Chinese medicine first may be appropriate. With patience and the right treatment plan, the dream of parenthood could still come true!

For more information about Chinese Medicine, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

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