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IVF and TCM; Diagnosing your Infertility

Posted on 09/07/2014 by Healthwise Clinic

Natural medicine considers each partner’s health individually throughout the IVF process. We at Healthwise Clinic aim to identify the underlying causes for infertility and rectify balance. Commonly women with recurrent implantation failure (RIF) present with symptoms from one or more of the common patient presentation types below. Recommendations are given for each type but it should be emphasised that your practitioner will tailor your treatment and specific lifestyle advice to you as an individual.

TCM Diagnosis Types:

TYPE: Warm

Cool down, slow down and be nourished with fluids

Symptoms: Poor egg & embryo quality, hot flushes, night sweats, scanty cervical mucus, poor sleep

Acupuncture: Focus on reducing heat, nourishing the blood and body fluids, calming the body and mind

Herbs/Diet: Your herbal formula may include rehmannia, licorice and rhodiola

Eat nourishing cooling foods including yoghurt, mung beans, tofu, most fruit and vegetables. Avoid excessive spices, fried, barbequed, fatty foods and alcohol.

Nutrients/Lifestyle: Omega 3 fatty acids

Get more relaxation, quiet time, meditation, longer sleep time, reduce stresses and emotional strains, avoid overwork, night work and eating late at night.

 TYPE: Cold

Warm up and be energised

Symptoms: Luteal phase disorders (eg. low basal body temperature rise and low level positive hCG result indicating an unviable pregnancy), poor appetite, loose stools, low energy, frequent clear urination, swollen ankles, feeling cold and/or weak.

Acupuncture: Warm the body using heat when appropriate, have a ‘lifting’ effect on the uterus and body

Herbs/Diet: Your herbal formula may include ginseng, cinnamon and ginger.

Warm and sweet foods such as chicken, apricots, walnuts, onions and fresh ginger. Avoid excessive cold, raw and bitter foods such as watermelon, cucumber, celery, ice cream and cold drinks

Nutrients/Lifestyle: Magnesium, zinc, multi vitamin

Keep the body (especially feet and lower back) warm, get morning sun each day, avoid exercising in cold or damp conditions (eg.  swimming) and avoid excessive sweating.

TYPE: Low Energy

Improve digestion, eat nourishing foods and get rest

Symptoms: Thin endometrium, scanty menstruation, low energy, poor appetite, pale skin, poor quality nails and hair.

Acupuncture: Support the digestive organs and encourage formation of well nourished blood (endometrium)

Herbs/Diet: Your herbal formula may include dong quai, withania and nettle leaf

Nourishing and dark coloured foods such as organic liver, eggs, spinach, beetroot and goji berries. Avoid sweat- inducing foods such as garlic, chilli and peppermint.

Nutrients/Lifestyle: Iron, folate

Get balance in work and rest, take low intensity exercise in moderation (eg. walking, tai chi), avoid overstraining the eyes with excessive reading, computer work or TV, avoid excessive sweating

TYPE: ‘Stuck’

‘Chill Out’, keep a flexible mind and get more exercise

Symptoms: Feelings of frustration, irritability and anger, problems with cervical dilation during embryo transfer, painful periods, PMS, tight neck and shoulders.

Acupuncture: Encourage the smooth flow of blood around the uterus and relax muscles, de-stress

Herbs/Diet: Your herbal formula may include bupleurum, dong quai and paeonia

Foods that promote good digestion including barley, ginger, orange coloured vegetables and chrysanthemum tea. Avoid sour and cold foods such as lemon, pickles, ice-cream and cold drinks.

Nutrients/Lifestyle: Magnesium, manganese, zinc

Don’t ‘sweat the small stuff’, avoid wearing constricting clothing, enjoy the outdoors, work up a sweat (exercise or infrared sauna), keep learning and broaden your view of the world, watch comedies, socialise, breathe deeply, take regular intensive exercise such as running, swimming and hiking.

TYPE: Blood Stasis

Improve blood circulation through exercise and diet

Symptoms: Premenstrual pain, period pain, brown discharge prior to or after menstruation, clotted menstrual blood and ‘sticky blood’ syndrome.

Acupuncture: Regulate the flow of blood and dissolve blood stasis in the uterus

Herbs/Diet: Your herbal formula may include dong quai, ginger and capsicum

Invigorating foods such as onion, leek, shiitake mushrooms, eggplant, papaya and rose petal tea. Avoid cold, drying and greasy foods such as lemon, shellfish, cheese and cold drinks.

Nutrients/Lifestyle: Magnesium, fish oil

Get balance in work and rest, avoid late nights and prioritise good sleep. Keep warm in cool environments.

Take regular cardiovascular exercise, rather than heavy weight training

TYPE: Fluid

Lose excess weight and fluid

Symptoms: Poor fluid metabolism predisposing the patient to medication side effects including excessive bloating, fluid retention and ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome. History of pelvic inflammatory disease, candida and thrush, cystitis, overweight or apple-shaped body and mental fogginess.

Acupuncture: Improve fluid metabolism, promote elimination of excessive fluid.

Herbs/Diet: Your herbal formula may include fennel, chen pi and dandelion leaf.

Light foods such as carrots, onions, mild chilli, celery and adzuki beans. Avoid greasy, rich and sweet foods such as chips, cakes, dairy, bananas, avocados and excessive fruit, nuts and meat.

Nutrients/Lifestyle: Zinc, multi vitamin

Don’t overeat, limit alcohol and definitely avoid smoking. Lose excess weight. Get regular, moderate-high intensity exercise, avoid damp environments and wearing damp clothing. 

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