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Apr 3, 2012

Infertility Treatment: Chinese Herbal Medicine More Effective Than Conventional Western Drug Therapy


When women and couples are seeking out treatment options for fertility issues, Chinese herbal medicine should not be overlooked.  Study results published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine back in December indicate that women receiving treatment in Chinese herbal medicine doubled their chances of becoming pregnant within four months compared with those undergoing conventional Western drug therapy or in vitro fertilization (IVF). 
In a systematic review including eight (non)-randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 13 cohort studies, 3 case series, and 6 case studies, researchers analyzed data from a total of 1851 women with poor fertility.  Meta-analysis of the RCTs showed that the likelihood of achieving pregnancy with Chinese herbal medicine treatment was 3.5 times higher compared with Western drug therapy over a four-month period.  Pregnancy rates were about 60% for those receiving Chinese herbal medicine compared with 32% receiving drug therapy.  Meta-analysis of selected cohort studies indicated an average clinical pregnancy rate of 50% in those being treated with Chinese herbal medicine versus only 30% in those getting IVF.  

Through their investigation, authors of the study came to recognize the crucial role that the quality of the menstrual cycle plays in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) diagnosis.  They concluded that “Assessment of the quality of the menstrual cycle, integral to TCM diagnosis, appears to be fundamental to successful treatment of female infertility.”
When it comes to treatment of female infertility, TCM takes a holistic approach, aiming to treat the whole person rather than just symptoms or specific parts of the body.  TCM works to re-establish balance and reduce stress while also regulating hormones and menstruation.  As a highly effective form of medicine used widely throughout the world, those seeking help with fertility should consider TCM.  Most people find the fertility techniques used in this form of medicine to be non-invasive and highly affordable, not to mention supportive to overall well-being.   

Dr. Shana McQueen