Infertility

Infertility is a prevalent condition in Australia, affecting about one in six women and men. The causes of infertility in women can vary. They may include functional issues, such as abnormal hormonal levels, ovulation problems (e.g., Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which accounts for around 70% of female infertility cases), organic reasons like inflammatory pelvic disease (PID) causing infertility in one in five women, or conditions like Endometriosis (responsible for at least 30% of female infertility cases).

Male infertility accounts for over 25% of infertility cases.

A significant portion of cases, about 35% globally, is classified as ‘unexplained infertility’ for both sexes.

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after at least a year of regular sexual intercourse without the use of contraceptives. This can be due to issues in either the man, the woman, or both, and identifying the underlying causes is crucial for effective treatment.

Infertility can also affect women with a history of conceiving but experiencing miscarriages before the fetus reaches a viable stage. Infertility can be temporary or, in a small percentage of cases, permanent.

Western Medicine View:

Conventional medicine offers a range of advanced tests and procedures to investigate and enhance fertility, which has been successful for many couples. However, challenges arise when dealing with individuals who have difficulty conceiving despite their reproductive organs appearing to function correctly.

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    Chinese Medicine View:

    Chinese medicine believes every part and function of the body is inter-related, and assesses the entire individual not isolating fertility issues from the body’s other functions such as digestion and circulation, neither disregard problems relating to diet and lifestyle. Chinese medical theory often gives consideration to small signs and symptoms that Western medicine may regard as irrelevant. In Chinese medicine a reason for a part of the system not functioning may lie elsewhere.

    The most common diagnosis is a combination of Liver Energy stagnation, Kidney Energy deficiency, Blood stagnation, Blood deficiency, Spleen energy deficiency and/or Dampness. In Chinese medicine, the Kidney is the key organ responsible for reproduction..

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    References

    Yu J et al. [Relationship of hand temperature and blood b-endorphin immunoreactive substance with electroacupuncture induction of ovulation.] Acupuncture Research, 1986, 11(2):86-90 [in Chinese].

    Chen BY. Acupuncture normalized dysfunction of hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Acupuncture and Electro-Therapeutics Research, 1997, 22:97-108.

    Ji P et al. [Clinical study on acupuncture treatment of infertility due to inflammatory obstruction of fallopian tube.] Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 1996, 16(9):469-470 [in Chinese].