From a TCM perspective, three organs are largely responsible for one’s fertility – the Kidney, Liver and Spleen. The Kidney stores the Reproductive Essence, the Spleen transforms Nutritive Essence into Energy and Blood, and the Liver regulates the movement of Energy in the body. Infertility could result when one or more of these organs are not functioning optimally.
Causes that may affect the Kidney, Spleen or Liver include an unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet, lack of exercise, excessive toxins in the body, environmental factors, emotional imbalance and one’s genetic disposition.
Female infertility causes
Common pathological conditions that may interfere with a female’s ability to achieve pregnancy or failure to carry a pregnancy to full term include the following –
- Ovarian factors – high follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, production of lesser quality eggs and failure to ovulate
- Fallopian tube factors – blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, fallopian tube infection
- Uterine factors – distortions of or damage to the uterine cavity, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, thin endometrium
- Cervical factors – cervical infection, vaginal infection, pelvic infection
TCM perspective on female infertility causes
From a TCM perspective, the root causes and their effects can be summarised as follows:
Lack of yang qi (energy) in the Kidney causes insufficient production of body heat. The main symptoms are infrequent or delayed menstruation and watery or excessive white-turbid vaginal discharge. Other symptoms include lower back and knee pain, fatigue and general weakness. You’ll also be averse to cold and experience low libido. Individuals usually have dark eye circles, a dull complexion and darkish spots on the face.
Lack of yin in the Kidney leads to a lack of fluids, or “moisture” in the body. The main symptoms are frequent or infrequent periods, with very little blood. Other symptoms include insomnia, hot sensations in the chest, night sweats, dry mouth, “ringing” ear as well as lower back and knee pain. The individual tends to appear thin.
Blood and Qi Deficiency
The main symptoms are excessive or thin and light coloured menses. Individuals also experience a menstrual delay and a dull pain in the lower abdomen after each menstrual cycle. Other symptoms include dizziness, palpitations, limb numbness, fatigue and insomnia. The individual may have a dull or sallow complexion.
Blood and Qi Stagnation
Irregular menstruation and painful menses (dysmenorrhea) are the main symptoms. The menstrual blood may be purplish dark with plenty of blood clots. The individual may also have scaly skin, purplish lips, brownish spots or pigmentation on the face, experience pain and swelling in the breasts and lower abdomen. Individuals usually suffer from uterine myoma (muscular tumor), ovarian cysts or masses in the pelvic region.
Main symptoms experiences are irregular menstrual cycles with impeded menstrual flow. The colour of the menstrual blood is darkish red with small blood clots. Pain in the breasts and abdomen are felt before the menstruation cycle begins. Other symptoms include irritability, depression, and even severe depression.
Phlegm and Dampness
The main symptoms include premature menopause or a delay in menstrual cycles. Individuals usually have excessive thick vaginal discharge. Other symptoms include obesity, poor appetite, loose bowels, fatigue, excessive sweating, dizziness and heart palpitations.
Thomson Chinese Medicine Fertility Services
Thomson Chinese Medicine offers alternative and complementary fertility treatments for both men and women. We use Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as standalone treatments for couples wanting to conceive naturally as well as to complement conventional fertility treatments couples might be going through to improve your chances of conception. We work closely with IVF patients from both private and restructured hospitals to complement their fertility treatments with our TCM treatments to improve pregnancy success rates for couples.
Thomson Chinese Medicine has formulated 2 specialised TCM fertility programmes – one to assist couples to conceive naturally and the other for couples going through assisted reproductive therapy (IUI and IVF). See the links below for more information.