Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners are very aware that their modality will not be the most appropriate in every case of infertility. Patients who come to our clinic usually fall into several categories. Within these categories there are some who have already tried IVF, as well as those to whom we suggest IVF as being useful. The patients can be divided roughly into five groups:
1) Couples who are having difficulty conceiving but are not yet ready to use “the big guns.” Some of these patients become pregnant with the help of TCM and some move into Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) after a certain time.
2) Couples wanting “natural medicine.” Some patients who consult us do so because they have a philosophical attachment to the use of natural medicines and a fear of doctors, surgery, and drugs. In some cases, these couples have made a choice not to use ART because they are concerned about possible risk to the baby.
Many of these couples are committed to maintaining their own good health and are often well informed about their options. If their infertility is “unexplained,” often TCM will uncover a possible cause, and because these patients are generally healthy, compliant, and motivated, the results are often positive. However, in some of cases (for example, tubal blockage or very low sperm count), it is not in the best interest of the couple to be treated with TCM, since their only real hope of conception is to embrace what modern medicine has to offer. Often hearing such advice from an acupuncturist can help break down fears, and referral to a compassionate specialist in ART is the next step.
3) Patients for whom IVF has failed or not appropriate. This group contains a large proportion of patients seeking Chinese medicine treatment and includes women who:
- Have completed 3-5 IVF cycles without success (most IVF successes are within the first three cycles)
- Showed no response or a paradoxical response to the drugs used during IVF
- Are over 42 (IVF success is rare in this age group, unless donor eggs are used)
4) Couples who are in the process of preparing for IVF. Some couples who are planning to use IVF or to return to IVF after a break, wish to prepare themselves (and their gametes) by using therapy that enhances their health in the hope of increasing chances of success.
5) Couples who seek TCM treatment for infertility and wish to try everything to help their cause, including TCM and ART.
If you are located in Monmouth County, New Jersey, give us a call at (732) 285-4184 at Central New Jersey Acupuncture & Wellness or fill out an online form to discuss your options for infertility treatment.