Unexplained Infertility



Unexplained infertility is a diagnosis applied to couples with fertility problems in the absence of any female or male Laboratory reasons for failed conception. (Normal Blood tests, Normal Hormone levels for both parties, Normal Sperm Quality and Normal Oocyte production and maturation)

In Western Medicine, a  doctor making this diagnosis feels that he/she could not find the reason why a couple cannot conceive.

In Chinese Medicine Theory, we believe that there is always a reason why a couple cannot conceive.

From the female perspective, TCM theory may describe some of the following: Extremity Coldness, Kidney and Spleen deficiency and/or Qi and Blood deficiencies and or Liver Qi stagnation underlying the clinical presentation. This does NOT directly match any western medicine concepts. These theories help identify acupoint selection and herbal formula strategies.

From the male perspective, TCM theory may describe some of the following: Extremity Coldness, Lethargy, Insomnia, Gastrointestinal disturbances , Yang deficiency, Yin deficiency underlying the clinical presentation. This does NOT directly match any western medicine concepts. These theories help identify acupoint selection and herbal formula strategies.

It is important for women who are trying to conceive to chart their temperature. When do you need to do this? The answer is every morning when you wake up prior to the first activity that day. The purpose of this temperature charting is to help predict when you are going to ovulate for the next cycle. This temperature assessment method is used in conjunction with diagnostic ultrasound in accurately determining ovulation in the female.

This period of time at or very close to ovulation is the best time for a couple to conceive. During the ovulation time, it is recommended that both partners, male and female receive acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine therapies which complements the process of conception in the following manner:

- deals with the deficiencies or excesses (Chinese Medicine Theory)

-may reduce stress and anxiety in both parties

- may improve general well-being in both parties

- may influence Libido in both parties


There are many physiological and pathological reasons for failed conception in both male and female.

In the female, a detailed Medical History requires consideration. For example, the following needs to be considered in the history and examination:

- anorexia

- amenorrhea

- dysmenorrhea

- STI's (PID)


- Endometriosis

- Physical Overexertion

In the male, a detailed Medical History requires consideration. For example, the following needs to be considered in the history and examination:

- Low testosterone levels

- STI's (Chlamydia)

- Epididymitis

- Sperm Count

- anorexia/ protein deficiency

- physical overexertion

 Female Physiology -Two important hormones

There are two hormones that play a relevant role in women’s body for them to conceive. These include:

1. Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH)

This hormone stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles in the ovary prior to releasing an egg during the ovulation phase. In short, FSH is preparing the maturation of the egg to be released.

2. Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

This hormone will produce oestradiol (female sex hormone) in the first week of the cycle and then will release an egg (mature oocyte) from the ovary in the second half of the cycle. The follicle is known as corpus luteum, which produces oestrogen and progesterone. These two are important in endometrium development and aid the fertilised egg to implant and develop.

These two hormones need to be in their correct ratio/balance in order for a couple to successfully conceive.

Hormone imbalances can also be a component of conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis or pre-menopause, which are all potential causes of infertility in women.

Theoretical effect of Acupuncture during the Ovulatory Cycle

Chinese Medicine Acupuncture Theory explains that treatment may help women balance these two hormones and therefore increasing the chance to conceive. When there is a balance in the hormones, the fluctuating core body temperature of the female (temperature chart) will show two distinct temperature drops. Usually, there is a drop during ovulation time and then a gradual increase from day 14. The core body temperature will stay increased if there is a pregnancy, but it will start to decrease by day 28 if there is no pregnancy.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine For Unexplained Infertility

According to research conducted during March-April 2006, a study of 104 women aged 26 -41, who had unexplained infertility were included in the observations. They were being treated by Chinese herbal medicine as well as acupuncture treatments.

The results were amazing. The pregnancy rate was 60.9% in those women who remained for the entire course of treatment, that is  6 menstruation cycles duration. This means that there may be a 60-61% effective treatment result if a couple is persistent enough for 6 months while undergoing acupuncture as well as herbal medicine. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2918430/)

How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works by inserting the fine needles, which are solid (Not hollow) into specific acupuncture points located in specific anatomical locations and along specific theoretical energy meridians (part of Chinese medicine theory). Correctly inserted needles may affect the peripheral and the central nervous system, producing essential neuro-chemical release into the tissues such as endorphins, norepinephrine, and encephalin, etc. These chemicals help you to feel happier, more relaxed and less anxious. They may also have other local and central effects.

How does Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Work?

Chinese Herbal Medicine includes a wide array of different plant-based herbal leaves, seeds, barks and root products. Note that we do not use or recommend any animal products in our traditional medicine practice in Australia.

Appropriately using these herbal and natural products within a Chinese Medicine Diagnostic Framework is used to assist with making many subtle changes to the human physiology. Some of these effects are well explained and some are not. It is not possible to explain all of these variables within a brief website paragraph.

When dealing with Female infertility risk factors, Chinese herbal medicine has been found to assist with normalisation of a number of fertility indices (measures).

Directly from the research paper cited below is the summary conclusion derived from a meta-analysis of other research conducted on the benefit s of Chinese Herbal Medicine and female fertility.

"Conclusions: Our review suggests that the management of female infertility with Chinese herbal medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 3-6 month period compared with Western medical fertility drug therapy. In addition, fertility indicators such as ovulation rates, cervical mucus score, biphasic basal body temperature, and appropriate thickness of the endometrial lining were positively influenced by CHM therapy, indicating an ameliorating physiological effect conducive for a viable pregnancy." Karin Ried

(Source; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25637159/)

Please note Dr Cui and her associates all recommend TCM (Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine) be used in support with other western medical fertility interventions to promote the optimum well being of persons receiving care.

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