Chinese Herbs & Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) By Teri Calandra and Kristine Ward
Posted May 03 2010 1:00am
China has been using herbs to treat diseases for thousands of years. While there are many current studies that show the benefits of using Chinese herbs and acupuncture, it is hard to argue with millennia of trial and error. Gynecology and women's health are two of the oldest branches of Chinese Medicine. Consequently, formulas geared toward fertility and women's health have been finely-tuned and modified for modern times. The use of multiple herbs comprise a formula. The formulas are developed to treat diseases by treating the whole pattern. It is very rare that a single herb is recommended by itself. The reason for this is to prevent any single herb from "over doing it". For example: if you have a thin light period of shortened duration, a healthy period can be accomplished by taking a formula geared toward nourishing and moving blood. There may be three herbs in a formula that focus on nourishing but one or two that are going to keep your cycle regular.
Chinese herbs are all natural and are essentially berries, roots, twigs, nuts, and seeds. The herbs help to enhance the effects of the acupuncture treatment. They also treat the presentation on a deeper level, and often help a person to obtain gynecological health and increase the chances of pregnancy faster. Herbs/ formulas can be taken in the form of raw (which have to be cooked then the strained liquid drank), granules (powdered herbs dissolved in warm water and drank), pills, or tinctures (herbs steeped in wine or alcohol). For more information regarding different types of formulas and dosage please see http://southloopacu.blogspot.com/.
That can Herbs do for ART?
A common question is, "Are herbs safe to be taking with my already prescribed medications?" Chinese herbs have been around for a long time. When a well trained practitioner of Chinese Medicine and Herbs recommends a formula to someone we generally know what kind of reaction to look for. We are taught to recognize the possible reactions associated with each individual formula, as well as education in conventional medications and hormone therapy (ex. Clomid). You should not have adverse reactions on any formula. If you do, it means that it is not the right formula for you, or that it has to be adjusted to your needs. Unfortunately, there are not many studies out there that show herb vs. drug interactions. However, because we know what our formulas do, and because we are treating underlying conditions, we can take into account what your medications do and build a formula around your current medications. Generally speaking, being treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs, before starting your conventional fertility treatments, menstrual cycles are often regulated within three to six months. Once your cycle is regulated your chances of getting pregnant will increase in conjunction with your conventional fertility treatments.
All dose changes of drugs are decided by you and your primary physician. NOT YOUR ACUPUNCTURIST. For those on multiple prescriptions, we will work with you and your medical practitioner to ensure the highest quality of health care.
For more information please contact South Loop Acupuncture