Female Infertility

Female Infertility

With roots going back 3000 years, Chinese medicine offers treatments applicable for couples suffering infertility, including male disorders. Proved to be effective over several decades, many excellent therapies have been used successfully to treat female and male infertility problems, as the desire to become pregnant is deeply rooted in Chinese culture.

Rising interest in these treatments, even in highly-developed, western countries, shows that the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbs makes sense for infertile couples. Since the mid-eighties, Chinese trials have been published in the west and since then western studies have reflected the increased interest of modern science in the ability of Chinese medicine to treat infertility.

These studies often show either the effectiveness of acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas to increase the chance of conception through their use alone or in combination with western medicine and/or fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Studies show women are far more likely to conceive and give birth if they receive traditional Chinese herbs and acupuncture alongside artificial reproduction. And, interestingly, for women over 40 especially the results using Chinese medicine alone are better than in combination with ART.

Several methods to enhance fertility have resulted from these studies:

  • Chinese Medicine instead of conventional infertility treatment
  • Chinese Medicine after failed or abortive IVF
  • TCM complementing IUI, IVF or ICSI

A key precondition for pregnancy is regular menstruation without any problems. Often other issues exist that make successful conception difficult: anovulation, hormonal imbalances, poor egg quality, blocked fallopian tubes, thin endometrial lining or failure of corpus luteum - or even wider issues such as endometriosis, cysts, polycystic ovary syndrome, early menopause or diminished ovarian reserves. Diseases that prevent successful conception are therefore a large cause of female infertility.

Under these circumstances assisted reproductive technology often appears to be the only solution to escape the problem of childlessness. But also here, with the help of acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs, the chances of success are much higher. The fertilisation of an egg cell that IVF or ISCI can achieve even with blocked fallopian tubes is part of the advantage using this method, while the benefit of applying TCM at the same time lies in increasing the rate of implantation, which many studies have proved scientifically, as well as in reducing the side-effects that may arise through artificial stimulation. Another important factor is the ability of Chinese medicine to reduce stress, psychic strain and anxiety that often go along with artificial reproduction techniques, optimising the pregnancy/conception rate.


The following female gynaecological conditions that may appear in the context of female infertility, can be successfully treated in Chinese medicine:

  • ovarian cysts
  • endometriosis
  • anovulation
  • scars in the endometrium (Asherman’s syndrome)
  • elevated FSH- or prolactin-level
  • hormonal disturbances (luteal deficiency, etc)
  • immunological problems
  • advanced female age
  • problems in the LH-Phase
  • unexplained infertility
  • habitual abortion
  • blockage of fallopian tubes
  • low AMH

The main goals of treatment are as follows:

  • regulated periods
  • menses should become rich; red blood that is free of clots
  • menstrual issues such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), breast distension, etc, should be alleviated
  • any psycho-emotional issues should be treated
  • to help build energy, healthy sleep and stress reduction should be supported
  • any digestive issues should be treated

Click here for information regarding study results and articles
about female infertility:

Influence of Acupuncture on the Pregnancy Rate
Acupuncture IVF and ICSI
Acupuncture Infertility Research, Several Studies
Studies Related to Chinese Herbal Medicine for Male and Female Infertility
Study about Unexplained Infertility


Male Infertility

Men today are also increasingly facing fertility problems. About a third of all infertility problems are caused by men, a third by women and the rest are either caused by both or belong to the field of unexplained infertility.

Reduced male infertility can be successfully treated by TCM:

Recent studies verify that sperm quality can be greatly improved with acupuncture and Chinese medicine. A new study, published in Fertility & Sterility even shows that acupuncture significantly improves both sperm count and quality in men with infertility of unknown cause. Previous studies support these findings, reporting improvements in motility (forward movement), morphology (shape) and overall higher rates of successful pregnancies. Researchers have found that sperm counts, as well as sperm quality are on the decline, so increased awareness of treatment options comes at a crucial time. Men can also benefit from acupuncture and the effectiveness of Chinese herbs increasing the amount of sperm, their motility, and ameliorating malformations to increase their fertility (excluding cases of sterility). These effects are documented in the following studies and articles, although there is need for further research in this area.


Study results and articles on the effectiveness of acupuncture and herbs
for men suffering from poor sperm quality:

Male Infertility Research
Quantitative Evaluation after Acupuncture Treatment for Male Infertility
Traditional Chinese Medicine Effects on Sperm Parameters
Acupuncture can Improve Sperm Quality
Unexplained Male Infertility