WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF INFERTILITY?
Infertility can be a result of problems in the ovaries, hormones, uterus, cervix or in the fallopian tubes.
Problems in the ovaries and hormonal factors are the cause the majority of infertility cases among females. When the problem is in the ovaries it usually indicates that hormonal levels are inadequate (such as estrogen and progesterone), which can be a cause for habitual miscarriage or problems with egg implantation. Hormonal factors may indicate a pituitary gland problem with FSH production, which controls ovulation.
HOW CAN CHINESE MEDICINE IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF HAVING A BABY?
- It can make your body stronger
- It can help you balance your endocrine system (balance hormone levels); increase uterine lining and facilitate implantation
- It can bring more blood flow to the uterus
- It can stimulate ovulation and increase the chances of producing higher quality eggs
- It can restore your body homeostasis
In TCM we often talk about “patterns of disharmony” instead of the diseases that we often hear in Western Medicine. There are some common patterns associated with infertility: liver qi stagnation, kidney qi deficiency and dampness/heat.
Liver qi stagnation: related to stress, excessive anger, overuse of alcohol, diet which is too rich in spices and coffee. Blood flow to the uterus is impeded which results in ovulation problems and disruption of blood to the pelvic cavity with problems with egg implantation.
A sign that it may be your case: If you have a tendency to anger, irritability, excessive sighing, feeling of lump in the throat, tendency to feel slightly suffocated in the chest, dry eyes, flushed face, painful periods with blood clots, long cycle, breast distention.
Dampness: Over eating, overthinking, excessive worrying and a diet which is full of sugar, carbohydrates, fried or cold foods can damage the spleen which is the main responsible for our digestion. In TCM we say that the same energy used for thinking is used for digesting our food. If we work too hard without breaks, if we eat too fast and incorrectly, the spleen will not be able to use its energy to properly digest and the tendency is that we fell bloated, uncomfortable after eating and easily fatigued. In fertility it translates into blocking the eggs on its normal pathway (ectopic pregnancy), or problems holding the pregnancy.
A sign that it may be your case: if you have scanty menstrual flow, feel always cold especially in the hands and feet, doesn’t feel thirsty, have low appetite, bloated after meals, easily tired, nausea, foggy mind and disorganized thoughts.
Kidney qi deficiency: one of the major causes of infertility lies in the kidneys according to Chinese Medicine. It can be related to low sperm count, with the ability to produce healthy eggs and it is closely connected to our endocrine system (in western language). The endocrine system provides hormones which will regulate the body’s homeostasis; and in fertility terms: the pituitary gland which releases FSH which stimulates ovulation (and in males the production of sperm); the adrenal glands which produces DHEA (which is a precursor of estrogen) and the ovaries which produce estrogen and progesterone, which are vital for a healthy menstrual cycle and to support the embryo, form the placenta and keep the pregnancy.
A sign that it may be your case: if you have light periods, soreness in the lower back and knees, tendency to fright and fear, poor memory, low libido, low pitch ringing in the ear, urinary dysfunction, dizzyness and thyroid dysfunction (usually hypo).
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO IMPROVE YOU CHANCES?
- Reducing stress: which will direct blood flow into your reproductive organs
- Improve your diet (avoid dampness): avoid dairy (too much cheese, yogurt), cold foods (ice cream, iced water, cold drinks in general), fried foods and alcohol
- Check your temperature, chart your cycle: check your basal temperature to determine day of ovulation
- Acupuncture to stimulate follicle formation, ovulation & hormone balance
- Do NOT obsess, which will only damage your spleen and stagnate your liver energy
HEALTHY TIPS TO ENHANCE FERTILITY: