are many causes of infertility according to Western medicine, all with different
corresponding diagnosis in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). For example, an
inability to ovulate often indicates Kidney yang deficiency, while tubal obstruction
means qi and blood or phlegm stagnation. A specific diagnosis is necessary in
selecting the right herbal formula for the patient.
course of treatment is three months. Efficacy ranges from one to three courses.
The couple should not try excessively to become pregnant during the first three
months of herbal treatment. They should be psychologically prepared to not
expect results too soon, and therefore help relax the Liver qi. In such cases,
the chances of becoming pregnant would be greater. Advise patients that proper
pre-conception care enables the body to be at its optimal health and is
extremely important to ensure healthy conception and course of pregnancy.
cases where the period is irregular and there is no clear distinction of the
phases, treat the underlying cause first by using a supplementary formula. When
a menstrual pattern is established, use Blossom (Phases 1-4)
who were on oral contraceptives previously may not become pregnant as quickly
as those who did not take any because the body needs a period of time to
re-adjust and begin to secrete hormones regularly without the interference of
contraceptives. Herbs will help speed up this process.
inflammatory disease (PID), usage of intrauterine devices (IUDs), ruptured
appendix, lower abdominal surgery, and ectopic pregnancy can all be causative
factors to tubal dysfunction. A hysterosalpingogram is taken as a definitive
test for tubal dysfunction. See Supplementary Formulas section for the
most appropriate formula to use.
PID includes endometritis, salpingitis, mucopurulent
cervicitis, oophoritis, and upper female genital tract infection. Transmitted
sexually through gonococcal, chlamydial, or bacterial infection, acute PID may
present with no symptoms and in many instances be barely discernible.
Consequently, pathogenic factors infiltrate and cause damage within the
endocervix, and also weaken tubal integrity.
IUD complications include bleeding and pain as well as
potential for a perforated uterus. The most common side effects of IUDs include
cramping and irregular vaginal bleeding. Complications ensue if other
extenuating pathogens are introduced into the endometrial cavity. The
possibility of rupturing a tubo-ovarian abscess may also occur during insertion.
Pre- and post-surgical impediments also impair tubal
patency. A thorough medical history should be taken, including past surgical
procedures, especially of the lower abdominal region, for complete diagnostic
the formulas throughout the four phases also enhances the success rate of in vitro fertilization
(IVF). Blossom (Phases 1-4) formulas have the following effects:
Tonify the Kidney to help the ovaries produce
Increase blood flow to the lower jiao/uterus and prepare the uterine lining for
Regulate Liver qi for relaxation.
Help consolidate the pregnancy, to decrease the chances
it is unexplained infertility or there is no other significant underlying cause
to the infertility, simply following the four formulas for each phase will be
For sexual and reproductive disorders of the male partner, please refer to Vitality
and Vital Essence.
CAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS
* Blossom (Phases 1-4) should be discontinued when the patient
* Women who take these fertility
formulas may experience more bleeding during their period, which is a normal
response of the herbs.
* It is important to remember that
these formulas are designed to treat infertility. They do not offer any
protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
formulas are ineffective for infertility caused by immune dysfunction.
Supplementary formulas are
crucial to successful treatment of infertility. In addition to taking the
primary formulas, Blossom (Phases 1-4) for the four corresponding
phases, one or two [maximum] supplementary formula(s) should be added for
optimal effect. The following are some recommendations. The patient should take
4 to 6 capsules of the primary formula and 2 to 4 capsules of the supplementary
formula three times daily throughout the month.
* With Kidney yang deficiency manifesting as
cold body and extremities, low libido, polyuria, hair loss, pale and cold
appearance, and other cold symptoms, add Kidney Tonic (Yang).
* With Kidney yin deficiency or women over 40
years of age manifesting heat sensations, dryness, scanty menstruation, flushed
cheeks, thin appearance, night sweats or dry mouth, add Kidney Tonic (Yin).
* With dampness accumulation where the patient
shows overweight tendency or phlegm accumulation with thick tongue coating,
heaviness sensation, add Herbal DRX.
* With uterine fibroids, polycystic ovaries,
endometriosis, fallopian tube blockage, tuberculosis of the fallopian tube,
post-surgical adhesions or other stagnations, add Resolve (Lower).
* With generalized tiredness and fatigue due
to qi and blood deficiencies, add Imperial Tonic.
* With high levels of stress and Liver qi
stagnation, add Calm.
* With chronic pelvic inflammatory disease,
add Herbal ABX and Resolve (Lower).
* For Liver qi stagnation causing infertility
in patients who have had abortions or miscarriages, add Calm.
* For infertility with coldness and blood
stagnation, add Menatrol.
* With anemia or blood deficiency, add Schisandra ZZZ.
* For painful menstruation, add Mense-Ease.
* For male infertility, use Vital Essence instead.
* With post-abortion, post-surgical, or
chronic infection/inflammation causing infertility, add Herbal ABX.
* For women with past history of
miscarriage, herbal formulas may be used to stabilize pregnancy, such as with Bao
Chan Wu You Fang (Preserve Pregnancy and Care-Free Decoction).
that are cold (sushi, uncooked vegetables, salad, tomatoes, watermelon,
cucumbers, winter melon, strawberries, tofu, crabs, bananas, pear, soybean milk,
kiwi, ice cream, cold beverages) or sour (all citrus) in nature should be
avoided one week before and during menstruation. Cold and sour foods create
stagnation and cause pain.
more nuts, seeds, lamb, and seafood, especially clams.
* Avoid overly spicy and pungent food as they
may cause excessive bleeding.
* Decrease the intake of processed food and
increase the consumption of organic food.
* Avoid alcohol, coffee, and cigarette
Always eat breakfast! According
to the TCM clock, the most optimal time for the digestive system is in the
morning from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.
to Dr. Richard Tanís mirror concept, a diet high in small eggs such as fish
eggs may be beneficial to women who suffer from infertility due to ovulatory or
Eliminate things that are
potentially toxic or unhealthy (e.g., alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined
sugars, saturated fats, and chemical-based household cleaners and personal
Sleep by 10:00 p.m. In TCM, 11:00
p.m. to 1:00 a.m. is when the yin shifts to yang. It is crucial for the body to
be at rest during this time for optimal health.
sports that may expose the body to cold environments, such as skiing and all
is important to understand that the body is like a garden. No seed can properly
sprout and grow without fertilized soil, water and sunshine. Taking these herbs
to regulate the menses and fortify the body with these nutrients and jing
(essence) are steps one must take to ensure a
healthy pregnancy. Because there is only one window of opportunity to become
pregnant each month, it is important to be patient and to give herbs enough
time to regulate and bring the body back to balance. Advise the patient to not
feel so anxious, nervous, depressed, or worried. Encourage her to engage in
yoga, meditation, tai chi chuan * tai
ji chuan] or other activities that help her relax and focus on
something else other than constantly thinking about trying to become pregnant.
positive attitude and low stress level can contribute greatly to a successful
pregnancy. If taking a vacation will help, they should be advised to do so.
27-year-old female, presented with a difficulty in conceiving for three years.
The patient had a history of kidney stones and a high fasting blood sugar,
which resulted in her taking Glucophage (metformin), a Western drug. Objective
findings were warm body temperature and RLQ pain that would come and go, with a
desire for heat and pressure. Urgent stools with watery consistency were also
present. Blood pressure was 108/66 mmHg and her heart rate was 84 beats per
minute. Lab testing showed blood sugar levels of 108 without the Glucophage
(metformin), and her basal body temperature showed luteal phase on day ten with
ovulation on days 13-15. The practitioner diagnosed the condition as Kidney yin
and yang deficiencies with blood stagnation and Spleen qi deficiency with
dampness. Her Western diagnosis was infertility due to luteal phase defect. The
patient was given Blossom (Phases 1-4) corresponding with the four phases of the
cycle. With the Blossom (Phases 1-4) the patient conceived a baby within five
months of initiating the herbal intake. She had a healthy pregnancy free of complications
compared to her first pregnancy where she experienced pre-eclampsia and a low
birth weight baby. The patient did not take any herbs during pregnancy but
continued with acupuncture treatment. Submitted by L.M., Lafayette, Colorado.
a 43-year-old female, presented with a past history of three miscarriages
within the past year. Her records showed that her FSH was high and she hadnít
had a menstrual period in three months. Since her last miscarriage she has had
hot flashes, insomnia, and night sweats. The patient was looking for a way to
get pregnant. The practitioner diagnosed this condition as Liver qi stagnation,
Liver and Kidney deficiencies. Blossom (Phases 1-4) were prescribed
at 4 capsules three times a day. Her period returned within two months of
taking the herbs. After acupuncture treatments and dietary changes, the patient
was now six months pregnant. Her HCG was increasing and heart beat was present
on the ultrasounds. None of her past pregnancies lasted longer than six weeks
before ending in miscarriages. Submitted by M.R., Santa Cruz, California.
a 43-year-old female, presented with infertility. It was noted that the patient
had other health concerns of weight gain, irritability due to high stress, and
undergoing IVF cycles. She had been experiencing high risk pregnancy,
consisting of nine failed IUIs, and was currently taking DHEA hormonal drugs. The
TCM diagnosis was Heart qi and blood deficiencies, blood stagnation, Liver and Kidney
yin deficiencies, and Spleen deficiency. Her Western diagnosis was undefined
infertility, possibly due to old age. For treatment, Blossom (Phases 1-4) was
prescribed with the addition of Schisandra ZZZ. After six weeks of
taking the herbs, she had successful conception implantation. The patient reported
she was able to sleep more, moods were more stabilized, she was less fatigued,
and her weight became more stable. As a result, she gave birth to a healthy
baby girl. Submitted by N.T., Bethesda,
a 29-year-old female, presented with PCOS, consisting of multiple sacs, no
ripening of the eggs, irregular cycles, and fatigue. It was also mentioned that
she had two unsuccessful IUIs due to two chemical pregnancies. Additional
symptoms included cystic ovaries, acne, increase facial and body hair,
deficiencies of both vitamin D and DHEA, and short temperatured luteal phase. The
TCM diagnosis was blood deficiency, phlegm and damp accumulation, Spleen and Kidney
deficiencies, and ren (conception) and
chong (thoroughfare) channels
dysregulation. Her Western diagnosis was cystic ovaries infertility, low
follicular and luteal temperatured irregular menstruation, and elevated
prolactin. Blossom (Phases 1-4) was prescribed to her for the entire month,
with Imperial Tonic to replenish the jing (essence), and Nourish to tonify the
blood and Kidney yin. The six-month protocol was used to clear heat, tonify the
qi/blood/jing (essence), and regulate
the cycle. As a result, her temperatures had re-established to create normal
cycles again. Secondly, after three months of balanced cycles, her cystic
ovaries had reduced; she also had nourished her qi/blood/jing (essence), and her other deficiencies, which were also restored.
As a result, she had a successful IUI and was now two months pregnant. The Blossom
(Phases 1-4) and Nourish were very helpful. Submitted
by N.T., Bethesda, Maryland.
a 36-year-old female, presented with infertility which had been occurring for
five years. It was also noted that she had an unstable luteal phase in addition
to a slightly high TSH level of 2.81. Tongue was puffy with red tip; pulse was
wiry. The practitioner diagnosed this condition as Liver and Heart qi
stagnation along with Kidney yang deficiency. Blossom (Phases 1-4) were
prescribed at three capsules three times per day. After taking the herbs for
one month, her premenstrual symptoms had dissipated, followed by an increase of
her progesterone level after two months. She had continued to take the herbs to
achieve a pregnancy with a full term birth. The herbs were very helpful.
Submitted by M.R., Santa Cruz,
a 35-year-old female, presented with symptoms including unstable hormones, PMS
with mood swings, swelling and sharp cramping. Her blood pressure was 106/68
mmHg and her heart rate was 62 beats per minute. Her menstruation consisted of
dark blood, clots and was considered an irregular cycle varying between 26 to 36
days. Occasional breakthrough bleeding and spotting also occurred. In addition,
she had a desire to become pregnant within one year. The TCM diagnosis was
Liver qi and blood stasis. Blossom (Phase 1) was prescribed,
starting with her menstruation at 4 capsules three times daily taken until the
bleeding had ceased. The remaining Blossom (Phases 2-4) were taken to
continue the treatment. After two months of taking the Blossom formulas, the
patientís cycle returned to 28 days with minimal mood swings and pre-menstrual
cramps. Three months after taking the herbs, she noticed the color of her blood
became bright red and no clots were present. She is now starting to attempt
getting pregnant after five months into the treatment. Submitted by A.G., Solana Beach, California.
Infertility is a common disorder
that may be due to a wide variety of causes. Before treatment, both partners should
be examined, evaluated, and treated if necessary. Each course of treatment is
three months, and efficacy can usually be seen within one to three courses.
Continuous and persistent use of these four fertility formulas will regulate
menstruation, balance hormones, and strengthen the underlying condition. Not
only will they significantly improve the possibility of successful
fertilization, they will also increase the probability of a smooth pregnancy
with minimal complications.
††††††† Female infertility
is a complicated disorder that has numerous causes. In Western medicine, those
with physiological disorders, such as irregular or absence of ovulation, are
usually treated with Clomid (clomiphene). Though it induces ovulation, it
causes side effects such as hot flashes, abdominal swelling, breast tenderness,
nausea, vision disturbance, and headaches. Furthermore, those with physical
disorders, such as problems with the fallopian tubes or cervix, are treated
with physical intervention, such as surgery, intrauterine insemination, and in
vitro fertilization. Though these methods are effective, they are more
invasive, more expensive, and have more risks.
TCM, female infertility is very complicated, and requires multiple treatment
plans to ensure optimal success. Therefore, four formulas are used to address
all possible causes of infertility. Together, they regulate menstruation,
promote ovulation, nourish the body, and ensure optimal conditions for
fertilization. This comprehensive method has been used with tremendous success
throughout the history of traditional Chinese medicine.
††††††† Western and traditional Chinese medicine
are both effective for female infertility. In general, herbal therapy is an
excellent option for mild to severe cases of infertility, as it is very
effective and has few or no side effects. However, if the women do not respond
to herbal therapy, physical intervention may be considered as the last