Mrs T, a 27-year-old trainer, tried and failed to get pregnant for more than five years. She was initially diagnosed with a blockage on her left fallopian tube and cysts on her left ovary. Her husband was found to have some antibodies in his sperm, which meant he was unable to fertilize his wife’s eggs. A laparoscopy was performed to take the cysts away, but during the procedure it emerged that both of her fallopian tubes were blocked.
Both of them accepted TCM treatment and the wife had regular acupuncture and concentrated herbal powders to regulate her menstrual cycle.
Liver qi stagnation and Blood stasis.
To move stagnant Liver qi and Blood stasis.
Moxibustion at Ren 8 shen que.
Needles: Du 20 bai hui, Ren 4 guan yuan, Ren 6 qi hai, M-CA 18 zi gong, TH 5 wai guan, LI 4 he gu, St 36 zu san li, Sp 6 san yin jiao, Ki 3 tai xi, Ki 6 zhao hai, Liv 3 tai chong.
Concentrated herbal powders:
Chaihu (Radix Bupleuri) 10,
Xiangfu (Rhizoma Cyperi Rotundi) 10,
Zhike (Fructus Citri Aurantii) 10,
Chishao (Radix Paeoniae Rubrae) 10,
Chuanxiong (Radix Ligustici Wallichii) 10,
Danggui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis) 10,
Yimucao (Herba Leonuri Heterophylli) 10,
Ezhu (Rhizoma Curcumae Ezhu) 10,
Wangbuliuxing (Semen Vaccariae Segetalis) 10,
Taoren (Semen Pruni Persicae) 10,
Honghua (Flos Carthami Tinctorii) 10.
Variation: Nuzhenzi (Fructus Ligustri Lucidi) 10, Hanliancao (Herba Ecliptae Prostratae) 10 and Heshouwu (Radix Polygoni Multiflori) 10 were added following her period.
YueYueShu sachets were added around ovulation for three days. Baishao (Radix Paeoniae Lactiflorae) 10, Ejiao (Gelatinum Corii Asini) 10 were added after ovulation.
Liver qi stagnation and Blood stasis are the commonest patterns in women with infertility, so acupuncture points and patent herbs followed this treatment principle at first. Chaihu(Radix Bupleuri), Xiangfu(Rhizoma Cyperi Rotundi) and Zhike(Fructus Citri Aurantii) move the Liver qi, Danggui(Radix Angelicae Sinensis), Chishao(Radix Paeoniae Rubrae) and Chuanxiong(Radix Ligustici Wallichii) move Blood stasis, which is a successful combination and capable of opening the fallopian blockage. Er Zhi Wan and Heshouwu (Radix Polygoni Multiflori) nourish Kidney yin in the first week to help the follicle to mature in the ovary, Yue Yue Shu sachets are used around ovulation to propel the egg’s ejaculation and Ejiao (Gelatinum Corii Asini) and Baishao (Radix Paeoniae Lactiflorae) are used in the last week of the cycle to nourish the embryo should she have conceived.
The husband took some patent herbs for improving his sperm condition: Chai Hu Shu Gan Wan was given to remove stress and to release adhesions in the testicles, which may have caused chronic inflammation there. Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan (sang shen zi- Fructus Mori Albae, tu si zi- Semen Cuscutae Chinensis, nu zhen zi- Fructus Ligustri Lucidi, gou qi zi (Fructus Lycii) and she chuang zi (Fructus Cnidii Monnieri) – ‘five seeds passing on the generations’) was used to reinforce Kidney essence and to strengthen his sperm.
After two years of treatment this patient became pregnant during her fourth IVF and gave birth by caesarean to have a triplet of two girls and one boy, who all were in a healthy condition.
This was a case of both fallopian tubes being blocked. Although the ‘promoting menstrual cycle treatment’ was given, it still was insufficient to open her blocked tubes in the short term. So IVF still looked like the best option. But after many failed attempts of IVF, including the hormonal treatment going with the IVF, she still showed symptoms, especially of an emotional nature, so I gave her acupuncture to help her to calm down and to manage, with the help of herbal powders, to regulate her unbalanced hormones. And it was also important for the husband to receive a course of patent herbs to strengthen the quality of his sperm. After the fourth IVF treatment she finally conceived due to being in a good general condition, which she gained with the help of TCM treatment.
Dan Jiang, Tianjun Wang, Chapter 8: TCM’s promotion to Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), Understanding, Managing and Treating Female Infertility with Traditional Chinese Medicine, Edited by Peilin Sun, Weixiang Wang, Shulan Tang, Dec 2018, Publisher: Singing Dragon.