There are many different causes of infertility in both men and in women. The primary source of infertility in men is a low sperm count. This can be due to constitutional and environmental factors. Chinese medicine can be used to increase circulation and body temperature, which may help improve sperm count. The same herbs that are used for this purpose may also improve a man’s sex drive and sexual performance. There are a number of factors involved in female infertility as well. A frequent cause of infertility is a blockage of the fallopian tube that prevents the sperm and the egg from meeting. Polycystic ovarian disease may also interfere with timely release of the eggs. Other gynecological health issues can also cause infertility such as endometriosis, salpingitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and chlamydia. At other times, there can appear to be no structural or physical condition that is causing the infertility. While Chinese medicine and aromatherapy cannot determine the physical factors causing infertility (diagnostic testing is required for that), they can often address some of the sources of infertility once the cause is discovered.
The Chinese herbs, Leonurus (Yi Mu Cao) and Siegesbeckia (Xi Xian Cao), when used together, have been shown to open up blocked fallopian tubes in clinical research studies done in China. The majority of women responded to treatment within 10 days. The blockages in these cases were due to thickening of the lining of the tubes, excessive mucous secretion, partial blockage with scar tissue, inflammation, or infection. One remedy that may work well to treat this condition in combination with Chinese herbs is the enzyme, serrapeptase. Serrapeptase breaks down scar tissue and cystic tissue in the body while promoting circulation.
For women suffering from polycystic ovarian disease, a number of herbs and essential oils may be useful. Saw palmetto berries are known to block the production of the type of testosterone known to cause the disease. Chasteberries may help reduce the tendency towards formation of ovarian cysts and help balance out a woman’s hormones. Cypress essential oil used externally may also reduce the formation of cysts. Generally, women with this condition often need to have Damp Heat cleared from the Lower Burner, in Chinese medicine terms. They often also suffer from Kidney Yin Deficiency, and from Qi and Blood Stasis in the Lower Burner.
For women whose mucous secretions kill their husband’s sperm, their could be a condition of excess congestion and acidity in the body that can be balanced out through dietary and lifestyle changes along with the use of herbs and essential oils. Changing the body’s chemistry through holistic means may increase the likelihood of conception.
There are also a number of essential oils that can help to balance out a woman’s hormonal and reproductive system while promoting fertility. Geranium, clary-sage, and rose essential oil all nourish a woman’s system and help to bring it back into homeostasis.
Many times, there is no diagnosable reason or cause for infertility. In these cases, Chinese medicine can be highly effective in bringing back a woman’s mind, body, and spirit into harmonious balance, making her more receptive to conception.
Chinese herbs can also be used to maintain a healthy pregnancy once conception has occurred. Certain herbs such as xu duan(teasel root) and tu si zi(cuscuta), have traditionally been used to discourage miscarriages and promote a healthy pregnancy. A certain percentage of miscarriages are unpreventable (25%) because they are triggered by genetic abnormalities in the fetus, but in other cases, herbs may help increase the probability of carrying a pregnancy through a full nine month term.
As you can see, there are a wide variety of ways in which Chinese Medicine and aromatherapy can be used to improve a couple’s likelihood of conceiving a child, while preparing the woman emotionally and physically for conception and pregnancy.