WESTERN MEDICINE: Infertility means the inability to fertilize the ovum. As many as 10% of married couples may experience relative or absolute infertility. Male infertility may be associated with impotence.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS: In Chinese medicine, the definition of primary infertility means that there is no conception after the couple has sexual continence for three or more years without using any birth control; secondary infertility means that a couple had conception, then none after three or more years without using any birth control. Structural abnormalities of the external genitalia or other places are excluded from the treatment of Chinese medicine. Only those caused by certain pathogenic factors are possibly treated by Chinese medicine.
ETIOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY: The mechanism of conception in Chinese medicine is supposed to depend on the kidney Qi, the Chong and Ren channels. Once kidney Qi developed into certain level (14 of female and 16 of male), Chong and Ren channels are full of blood and essence, which will be transported into the reproductive organs, hence conception will occur. Any factors which cause the deficiency of kidney, or the obstructions of Chong and Ren channels, such as liver stagnation, or damp- phlegm factors, will cause difficulty of conception.
1. Infertility due to Kidney Deficiency:
Indications: No conception after marriage, in female part, delayed and pale colored menstruation with scanty amount; in male part, impotence, or premature ejaculation, with no or less desire for sexual activity. Bbth show sore or weak sensation of lumbar region, scanty urination, loose stool, poor appetite. Pale tongue, white coating, deep and tready, or deep and slow pulses.
Treatment & Formulas: Warm the kidney and tonify the essence, harmonize the Chong and Ren channels so as to promote circulation.
- Huan Sao Dan (Lycium Formula, Item No. 2264): This is a typical kidney tonic formula with a reputation of rejuvenation.
- Jia Wei Chang Chun (Ginseng & Condonopsis Combination, or Youth, Item No. D3041 ): This is also a typical kidney tonic formula for both the Yin and Yang of kidney.
- Wen Jing Tang (Tang- kuei and Evodia Combination, Item No. 2227): This is very often used to treat irregular menstruation and infertility due to the coldness of Chong and Ren channels.
2. Infertility due to the Liver Stagnation:
Indications: No conception, irregular menstrual period, lower abdominal pain during menstruation time, scanty bleeding with dark purplish color, or clots, breast fullness or extended feeling before menstruation, depression, irritability, normal tongue, or dark red tongue, white and thin coating, wiry pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Regulate liver and harmonize the relation between liver and spleen, tonify the blood so as to help the circulation of Chong and Ren channels.
- Xiao Yao San (Tang - kuei and Bupleurum Formula, Item No. 2195): This is a typical formula for liver regulating and harmonizing.
- Jia Wei Xiao Yao San (Bupleurum and Paeonia Formula, Item No. 2068): The functions are similar as the above formula but with two more herbs to clear the interior heat at the same time.
3. Infertility due to the Damp - Phlegm:
Indications: No conception after marriage, overweight body type, delayed menstrual period, or amenorrhea, profuse vaginal discharge, sticky and white, pale complexion, dizziness, palpitation, nausea or fullness at chest, white and greasy tongue coating, slippery pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Dry the dampness and eliminate the phlegm thereby helping the circulation of Chong and Ren channels.
- Er Chen Tang (Citrus & Pine!lia Combination, Item No. 2003): This is a typical formula for damp phlegm symptoms. The following herbs can be added to strengthen its functions:
- Chuan Xiong (Cnidii Rhizoma, Item No. 1007)
- Cang Zhu (Atractylodes Lancea Rizoma, Item No. 1218)
- Xiang Fu (Cyperus Rhizoma, Item No. 1117)
- Shi Chang Pu (Acorus Rhizoma, Item No. 1067)
- Hai Dai (Laminaria Thallus, or Kelp, Item No. 1157)
- Yin Chen Wu Lin San (Capillaris and Hoelen Five Formula, Item No. 2143): This is a good formula to eliminate the damp factor at lower burner because of its diuretic function.
- Fang Feng Tong Sheng San or Jia Wei Fang Feng Tong Sheng San (Siler & Platycodon Formula, or plus, Item No. B3052, B3015): This is a very good formula to loss weight or prevent weight gaining by its functions of clearing and detoxification. Therefore it can be used for infertility with the overweight body type.
4. Infertility due to the Blood Stagnation:
Indications: No conception after marriage for more than three years, lower abdominal pain before or during menstrual period with dark purplish bleeding or with clots, pain refused to press, dark purplish tongue, or with petechiae, thin coating, uneven pulse.
Treatment & Formulas: Remove the stagnated blood and promote the circulation of Chong and Ren channels.
- Sheng Hua Tang (Tang -kuei and Ginger Combination, Item No. 2077): This is for the infertility due to the blood stagnation. It is very often used for the symptoms after birth, such as abdominal pain, or bleeding due to the blood stagnation.
- Xiong Gui Jiao Ai Tang (Tang - kuei and Gelatin Combination, Item No. 2100): This formula is very popularly used for blood tonic and for women's regulating. It is also very often used for the uterine and hemorrhoidal bleeding, or habitual abortion prevention and treatment.
- Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan (Cinnamon and Hoelen Formula, Item No. 2157, B3020): This is a strong formula to promote the blood circulation by removing the stagnated blood.
- Si Wu Tang (Tang-kuei Four Combination, Item No. 2060): This is a blood tonic formula. It can be combined with other formulas to promote the blood circulation.