Fertility Treatments: East meets West
If you and your partner are struggling to have a baby, you’re not alone. We break down the Eastern and Western fertility treatments available to counter infertility.
Unearthing the Western Fertility Treatments
In today’s modern society, women are pursuing careers, marrying later and postponing motherhood. As for the gentlemen, most would rather focus on their careers first before tying the knot. Dr Sheila Loh, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Raffles Women’s Centre, shares more information on this issue, and some treatments to help married couples to get pregnant.
According to Dr Loh, the ideal age for conception for women is between 22 and 26 years old. “The increase in age also comes with a higher incidence of miscarriages. Sperm quality for men begins to decline after 40 years of age,” she added. On the other hand, medical breakthroughs have made many advances that have helped married couples to conceive. It is important that you and your partner spend some time to plan before starting treatment. Not all treatments for infertility involve “high-tech” procedures. Many couples are successful in maximising their natural fertility potential and with simple treatments and lifestyle changes. Below is an overview of some available treatments to counter infertility issues.
Traditional Chinese Medicine: Complementing Western Fertility Treatment
Couples struggling with infertility can seek out Traditional Chinese Medicine to support certain fertility problems.
“At the heart of TCM is the notion of harmony and balance in our body. From a TCM perspective, infertility is caused by an imbalance of Qi (energy) in the body as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet, lack of exercise, exposure to toxins, one’s genetic disposition, as well as environmental and emotional factors,” said Physician Ho Chin Ee, TCM Physician, Raffles Chinese Medicine.
Acupuncture can help boost fertility by increasing blood flow, stimulating the ovaries to produce healthy eggs and enriching the endometrial lining in the uterus. Acupuncture also reduce stress and promote relaxation, which reduces spasms in the uterus and fallopian tube, so an embryo may successfully implant.
Similar to acupuncture, herbal formula is another effective modality for treating infertility issues. A herbal formula is derived from a combination of different herbal medicines. Fertility problems arise due to imbalance in the body and the herbal formula can help to adjust the body’s Qi, blood and
Jing back in harmony. Herbs can strengthen kidney function, regulate liver energy, tonify spleen, increase Qi and blood. Examples include Danggui, Huangqi, Dangshen, Gouqizi, Shoudi, Yinyanghuo. “Some patients with fertility problems (be it hormonal or uterine) are able to conceive naturally through the use of such herbal treatments,” added Ms Ho.
Many factors are involved in infertility, so it is essential to correctly diagnose and treat your condition with the help of your doctor. Treatments usually involve medical and/or surgical interventions.
- Hormonal problems
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Untreated chlamydia infection
Treatment for male infertility focuses on detecting and treating reversible causes, halting damaging factors and assisting in advanced reproductive techniques. There are cases where no treatment is available and alternative options may be offered. These are:
- Hormone deficiency
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Intercourse problems
Complementary to the above treatments are advanced assisted reproductive techniques such as: