What are the causes of Female Infertility ?
‘Why can’t we conceive’ is an all too common question these days – but why? The causes of female infertility can cause such frustration.
Every story is a little different. The complexities of conceiving and fertility are such that the cause can rarely be attributed to just one simple factor when looking at things from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) point of view. We all live different lives and carry different stories in our hearts, bodies and minds – all of these things in TCM play a part.
As a holistic medicine, TCM offers a simpler way to look at a complex web involving the causes of female infertility. At Ginseng Clinic, we look at structural and pathological changes which may be associated with poor fertility ( endometriosis, PCOS ) but more importantly we look at you – the complete emotional and physical picture. Our Fertility Program looks to addresses fertility issues for both men and women.
Female fertility issues
From a Western point of view, there are a number of factors which can contribute and lead to female infertility.
Ovarian issues – a decline in the function of a woman’s ovaries over the age of 40 is a natural part of ageing. In terms of fertility however, this process, which results in lesser quality eggs, represents a hurdle to cross in achieving pregnancy. Follicle Stimulating hormone (FSH) increases in order to induce ovulation. Elevated levels of FSH make pregnancy difficult to achieve. At the same time, oestrogen and progesterone levels within the body begin to decline. This results in a thinner endometrium, further lessening the chance for successful implantation and pregnancy (1,2).
Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine for endometriosis and PCOS have been used to encourage regular menstrual cycles, reduce some pain, and restore healthy ovulation (2-5).
Fallopian Tube issues – blockage due to endometriosis or adhesions caused by infection may interfere with the passage of the sperm in its efforts to fertilise the egg (2).
Uterine issues –fibroids impede the chance of pregnancy by blocking the embryos trajectory from the interstitial parts of the tubes to the uterus (2).
Cervical issues – discharge of mucus resulting from unwanted cervical or vaginal infection may contain unfriendly antibodies which can kill the little swimmers (2)!
Whatever the cause, and regardless of your diagnosis ( or perhaps you are perplexed by unexplained infertility ?), I am only too happy to talk with you about how acupuncture and Chinese medicine may be able to become a part of your healing process and improve your chances of falling pregnant (6).
You can reach me on 3357 3205 to discuss or to make an appointment.
1 Betts D 2006 ‘The Essentail Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth’,
The Journal of Chinese Medicine, England
2 Lyttleton J The Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine Elsevier China 2013 pp 173-229
3 Lim CED et al, Aust J Acupunct Chin Med 2009;4(2):12-17. Australian Journal of
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
4 Pastore L et al, 2011 Jnl Clin Endocrinol Metab Aug online jc.2011-1126 The Journal of
Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
5 Johansson J et al, Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar 12. [Epub ahead of print]
American Journal of Physiology -Endocrinology and Metabolism
6 Ried K, Stuart K. Efficacy of traditional Chinese herbal medicine in the management
of female infertility: a systematic review. Complementary Therapies in Medicine
2011; 19(6): 319-331. PubMed