Fertility

We understand that the journey to parenthood may not always be smooth sailing for all couples, especially when it comes to fertility issues. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has more than 2,000 years of history and is commonly used as a natural, alternative treatment method on its own, or as a complement to IVF and IUI treatments to improve your chances of conceiving.

Natural Fertility Treatments

What are Natural Fertility treatments?

Natural Fertility treatments are holistic treatments aimed at boosting fertility to enhance the chances of natural conception without the use of invasive medical procedures or prescription drugs.

Who should consider Natural Fertility treatments?
  • Couples who wish to boost fertility without invasive procedures and have been cleared by their fertility doctors to do so.
  • Couples who have mild fertility issues that are treatable without the need for surgery (e.g. lifestyle-related).
  • Couples who have exhausted all other options to treat their fertility issues.
  • Couples who do not wish to go through the physical and mental stress of a medical procedure.
How do TCM treatments boost fertility?

Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on your body (acupoints) to help alleviate pain, unblock Energy, and increase blood flow to the organs, thereby restoring balance to the body and boosting fertility in the process.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Individual Chinese herbs are known to have their own “energetic nature”. In TCM, these herbs are used to balance the disharmony in the body by removing excessive toxins and treating deficiencies.

For women:

Acupuncture is known to improve the immune system and regulate hormones, therefore improving egg quality and thickening the endometrium lining, while Chinese herbal medicine helps to regulate ovulation.

For men:

Studies show that acupuncture can treat ejaculatory dysfunction (issues related to ejaculation), erectile dysfunction, sperm concentration, motility, forward-progressive motility, sperm vitality, and total motile count. Chinese herbal medicine aimed at treating deficiencies also helps to improve sperm quality and quantity.

What takes place during your first TCM Natural Fertility consultation?

You will meet with our TCM physicians for a detailed consultation. This includes getting your medical history, prior test results, and finding out more about your lifestyle and dietary habits. Don’t be surprised when you are asked to stick out your tongue for a visual inspection and have your pulse taken before your physician arrives at a diagnosis.

Your physician will then draw up a treatment plan comprising acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine, specially tailored for you and your body. Your physician will provide advice on dietary adjustments by introducing foods that increase fertility and eliminating foods that negatively impact fertility. As your test results from the gynaecologist will help the physician refine the TCM diagnosis, do remember to bring along all your earlier test results for the first consultation.

Couples who have not sought any consultation and wish to have a holistic fertility assessment from both Western and TCM perspectives can also opt for our Holistic Fertility Consult.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is a Natural Fertility treatment cycle?

Typically three months and above. Your physician will let you know if you should be trying to conceive during this time.

How often should I come for Natural Fertility treatments?

Regular treatment is required for the cumulative effect of TCM treatment to take place. For optimal results, you should visit your physician at least once a week, or as advised by your physician.

Should we seek treatment as a couple or is treatment for one of us sufficient?

The journey to parenthood requires efforts from both parties, so we strongly encourage that the couple seeks treatment together for optimal outcome and greater emotional support throughout the process.

IVF & IUI

What is IVF and IUI?

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Intrauterine insemination (IUI) are two common Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatments:

  • IVF involves the combination of the eggs and sperms in a specialised laboratory to create embryos. The embryos are then selected and transferred into the woman’s uterus, through her cervix, to enhance the chances of pregnancy.
  • IUI is when the sperm is collected in advance and placed into a woman’s uterus when she is ovulating.

Both of these are controlled procedures commonly used to improve the chances of pregnancy.

For more information, visit Thomson Fertility Centre’s website.

How do TCM treatments complement my IVF/IUI treatment?

Studies have shown that the acupuncture improves the clinical pregnancy rate and live birth rate of women undergoing IVF. Since 2009, Thomson Chinese Medicine has been supporting women who are undergoing IVF/IUI treatments. The journey through IVF or IUI treatment can be stressful for some ladies, and acupuncture treatment during the IVF/IUI process is known to reduce stress.

Acupuncture also helps to increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries, and this is an essential factor for the success of IVF or IUI.

Reference: Effects of acupuncture on pregnancy rates in women undergoing in vitro fertilization: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Reference date: 26 August 2018, from https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(11)02859-7/fulltext

How should I time my acupuncture treatment with my IVF/IUI schedule?

Stage

Timing of acupuncture treatment

Frequency of acupuncture treatment

BEFORE IVF/IUI treatment:

You are encouraged to start your acupuncture treatment at least three months before your IVF/IUI treatment commences. This allows sufficient time for your physician to prime your body for the IVF/IUI treatment.

Typically once a week.

DURING IVF/IUI treatment:

Your first acupuncture session will take place after you have started on ovaries stimulations to produce more follicles as part of your IVF/IUI treatment.

Typically twice a week.

For IUI: The last session usually ends 10 – 12 days after IUI treatment is completed.

For IVF: The last session usually ends 10 – 12 days after the embryo transfer is completed.

 
What are the effects of the acupuncture sessions at different stages of my IVF/IUI treatment?

Stage

Purpose of acupuncture treatment at different stages

BEFORE IVF/IUI treatment:

• Calms patient and relaxes the uterus.

• Primes the body to ensure optimal condition during IUI/IVF treatment.

DURING IVF/IUI treatment:

(during follicle stimulation phase)

• Strengthens the Spleen and Kidney to enhance their response to the Follicle Stimulation Hormones (FSH).

• Supports the Liver to improve blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, thereby improving the quality of follicles and thickening the endometrial lining.

AFTER IUI cycle or IVF embryo transfer:

• Improves circulation and reduces stress.

• Improves blood circulation to the uterus, thereby maintaining implantation and nourishment of embryos for a healthy and successful pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I come for acupuncture if my IVF doctor is not from Thomson Fertility Centre?

Yes, you can. We have been supporting patients from both private and restructured hospitals with our TCM fertility treatment services since 2009, complementing IVF and IUI with our Acupuncture for Assisted Reproductive Technology (AART) treatments. Our TCM centres are located conveniently near the various fertility service centres so you can easily visit us for your AART appointments.

For enquiry or appointment request, kindly fill up the form and we will get back to you by the next working day.