Chinese herbs have been used in China for male and female reproductive disorders since 200 AD. Traditional Chinese Medicine herbalists used herbs to balance the mind, body and spirit. They are still used extensively in China to treat a wide range of women’s health (gynaecology) disorders and fertility problems for some types of infertility and other disorders such as issues associated with amenorrhea (no period), anovulation (no ovulation), endometriosis, fibroids and sperm abnormalities. The herbs prescribed at East West Fertility are generally prescribed in liquid form which is taken with warm water. Capsules and pills are also used.
A Chinese herbal formula contains from between 3 to 15 individual herbs. They work via a gentle synergistic process to address energetic imbalance, adjust the Yin and Yang and promote wellbeing. It is thought that when bodily systems are balanced they are healthy and function at their peak. This includes the endocrine, neurological and reproductive systems which are important in women’s and men’s health, fertility and pregnancy. At East West Fertility, we usually create an individualised herbal formula which is based upon the Chinese medicine diagnosis. Female infertility and gynaecological disorders are generally treated with a group of formulas which are alternated according to the the phases of the menstrual cycle.
The Chinese pharmacopeia contains thousands of herbs of either plant, mineral or animal origin. East West Fertility uses herbs that are TGA approved and strictly avoids the use of animal parts from endangered species or when they have been collected by inhumane methods.
Chinese herbs are divided into several categories. The main categories that are important in treating women’s and men’s health disorders, infertility problems and obstetric disorders include tonic herbs and moving herbs. There is debate about the exact science behind the efficacy of Chinese herbs for reproductive and sexual health and hopefully there will be further research in this area to clarify.
Clients have come to the clinic to get information on how Chinese Herbs may help a range of issues:
- hypothalamus-pituitary axis disorders
- low oestrogen production
- scant cervical mucous
- low haemoglobin, high FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone)
- thin uterine lining
- poor egg quality
- poor or no ovulation
- poor blood flow to uterus
- low sperm motility & count
- low morphology (shape of sperm)
- thyroid issues
- low progesterone
- low or high testosterone
- luteal insufficiency
- pre-menstrual complaints
- irregular menstrual cycle
- painful periods
Chinese herbs are often combined with acupuncture. Of course herbs can be prescribed and taken without acupuncture, and vice vera.