Hongwei Chinese Medicine Clinic is specialised in Fertility & IFV Support with Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture
Fertility & IVF Support
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treats infertility by getting to the deeper, underlying root of the problem of each person. As a result, treatments are strictly individualized to each patient.
In addition, what makes TCM so unique, is the fact that unlike other approaches that typically focus on just one aspect of one’s health, TCM takes into consideration the overall patient’s physical and emotional state, seeking to improve both body and mind in an effort to optimise fertility. This holistic approach is globally gaining popularity for its efficiency and effectiveness.
According to TCM there are three main causes, called “syndromes” of infertility, deficiency, stagnation, and heat. Therefore, once the Chinese Medicine diagnosis takes place, the appropriate treatment is selected and applied. In addition, from a TCM perspective, infertility is caused by an imbalance of Qi in the body, especially in the three organs responsible for reproduction (Kidney, Liver and Spleen). Therefore, Chinese Medicine is used to restore the balance of Qi in the body and reproductive organs and thus, treat infertility.
In women, special focus is given on regulating the menstrual cycle in four phases for the treatment of reproductive concerns: menses, follicular, ovulation, luteal.
The most important and promising Chinese Medicine modalities towards fertility support are acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Both these modalities are widely used in China to treat fertility issues since the Shang dynasty 1500-100BC, when the first gynaecological records were written.
In addition, Chinese Medicine is used today as an adjuvant IVF treatment as its input is associated with greater odds of live birth (Hullender et al. 2015).
There is a growing popularity of traditional Chinese medicine used alone or in combination with Western medicine for the management of infertility and/or IVF support.
Acupuncture as a treatment for infertility shows great results both in man and women, by improving the sperm quality and ovaries function and balancing the endocrine system and hormones (Zhu et al., 2018).
Researchers conclude that two to three acupuncture sessions performed on or around the day of embryo transfer can provide significant IVF-related stress reduction (Isoyama D et al., 2012, Hullender et al. 2018). In addition, patients have reported significantly less anxiety post-transfer along with feeling more optimistic (Domar et al., 2009).
These effects of acupuncture on stress and anxiety are of great importance as it is well known that stress and anxiety levels tend to be significantly elevated to women across IVF cycles, while low stress and anxiety levels (on the day prior to oocyte retrieval) result to higher pregnancy rates (Turner et al., 2013).
In parallel, numerous studies suggest that more acupuncture treatment sessions tend to be associated with increases in clinical pregnancy and live birth rates (Smith C. et al., 2006, Dieterle S. et al., 2006), while acupuncture performed on the day of in vitro fertilization can be detrimental to the success of the transfer (Craig et al., 2014).
Chinese medicinal herbs have been used for since antiquity to treat gynaecological disorders including infertility.
Today, experimental and clinical studies reveal that the herbal ingredients used in Chinese medicinal recipes can regulate gonadotropin-releasing hormone and ovarian sex hormone levels, inducing ovulation, promoting blood flow to the ovaries, and improving ovarian reserve (Zhang et al., 2016, Teng B. et al., 2017).
Numerous case reports highlight the effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine and recently a case study was published where a 43-year-old woman with infertility due to ovarian insufficiency and multiple fibroids after unsuccessful IVF outcome, was successfully treated by Chinese herbal medicine (Teng B. et al., 2017).
Hullender Rubin LE, Opsahl MS, Wiemer KE, Mist SD, Caughey AB3. (2015). Impact of whole systems traditional Chinese medicine on in-vitro fertilization outcomes. Reprod Biomed Online. 2015 Jun;30(6):602-12. doi: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2015.02.005. Epub 2015 Feb 24.
Zhu, J., Arsovska, B., & Kozovska, K. (2018). Acupuncture Treatment for Fertility. Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences, 6(9), 1685–1687. doi:10.3889/oamjms.2018.379
Isoyama D, Cordts EB, de Souza van Niewegen AM, de Almeida Pereira de Carvalho W, Matsumura ST, Barbosa CP. (2012) Effect of acupuncture on symptoms of anxiety in women undergoing in vitro fertilisation: a prospective randomised controlled study. Acupunct Med. 2012 Jun;30(2):85-8. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2011-010064. Epub 2012 Apr 12.
Hullender Rubin LE, Anderson BJ, Craig LB. (2018). Acupuncture and in vitro fertilisation research: current and future directions. Acupunct Med. 2018 Apr;36(2):117-122. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2016-011352. Epub 2018 Feb 10.
Domar AD, Meshay I, Kelliher J, et al. The impact of acupuncture on in vitro fertilization outcome. Fertil Steril 2009;91:723–6.
Turner K, Reynolds-May MF, Zitek EM, et al. (2013) Stress and anxiety scores in first and repeat IVF cycles: a pilot study. PLoS One 2013;8:e63743.
Smith C, Coyle M, Norman RJ. (2006). Influence of acupuncture stimulation on pregnancy rates for women undergoing embryo transfer. Fertil Steril 2006;85:1352–8
Dieterle S, Ying G, Hatzmann W, Neuer A. (2006). Effect of acupuncture on the outcome of in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized, prospective, controlled clinical study. Fertil Steril 2006;85:1347–51
Craig LB, Rubin LE, Peck JD, Anderson M, Marshall LA, Soules MR. (2014). Acupuncture performed before and after embryo transfer: a randomized controlled trial. J Reprod Med. 2014 May-Jun;59(5-6):313-20.
Zhang C, Xu X. (2016). Advancement in the treatment of diminished ovarian reserve by traditional Chinese and Western medicine. Exp Ther Med. 2016 Apr;11(4):1173-1176. Epub 2016 Jan 26.
Teng, B., Peng, J., Ong, M., & Qu, X. (2017). Successful Pregnancy after Treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine in a 43-Year-Old Woman with Diminished Ovarian Reserve and Multiple Uterus Fibrosis: A Case Report. Medicines (Basel, Switzerland), 4(1), 7. doi:10.3390/medicines4010007
We wanted to write to say a huge thank you for not only fixing my body but also for being someone that I could confide in when feeling low. After trying for a baby for so long and being told we may not fall naturally due to my PCOS and my husband having high levels of abnormal shaped sperm. Holding our baby in our arms seems a long way off.
Unfortunately, this also came with horrid drugs, an operation and lots of expense. Any couple in our situation would do anything to reach their goal but we knew it would be a very long and emotional road. The first thing I needed was to have regular periods that due to my condition they were almost non-existent or I would continually bleed for weeks. After drinking the herbs, taking the tablets and the acupuncture that you prescribed for one month my periods were more regular and other medical problems started to improve.
Six months down the line and just as we were going to start IVF we found out that I was pregnant. We were so amazed that it had happened naturally. We are both convinced that your support and treatment had a real impact on me falling pregnant, without needing IVF. I have recommended your treatment to a lot of people but would recommend this to those trying to fall pregnant as the treatment also treat your emotional state. The herbal drinks are horrid but are stronger than the tablets. I would suggest that others in my place be brave and drink up! I will always seek herbal treatments now when I am ill and hardly ever see the need to visit my GP. Olivia, you are a very special person and our son Caleb will always know that it was you help that made it possible for Mummy and Daddy to bring him into this world.
Thank you! All our love Annelisa, Craig and Caleb
I would like to personally thank you in this card for everything you helped me with in achieving my dream. I always felt amazing after every session of acupuncture. Not only was this because of the acupuncture but also because of the support and encouragement you gave me in what I was trying to achieve your positivity was infectious.
I learnt so much about myself and my body through acupuncture and would really love to re-visit it sometime in the future.
Thanks again, Olivia, you are a very gifted and kind person.
My husband and I had been trying for three years to have a baby and it was in August 2012 that our dreams finally came true. After my first cycle, I was pregnant. Sadly in the November of 2012 I suffered a miscarriage. We were both left devastated; however, we both picked ourselves up and in March 2013 were trying a new cycle of IVF using our one-and-only frozen embryo. This cycle was unsuccessful. It was after this cycle that I started to not feel myself and by the summer of 2013 I was signed off work with acute anxiety and was unable to leave the house or to go into work. I was prescribed antidepressants and it was at this point that I decided to seek help to deal with the pressures that trying for a much-wanted baby had put on both my emotions and my body; it was then that I sought help at Hong Wei Chinese Medical Centre and met Olivia.
I first started to see Olivia in August of 2013 and I never looked back. Initially I discussed with Olivia my anxiety and how I really didn’t want to be taking antidepressants. Within weeks I was off the antidepressants and enjoying a session of acupuncture with Olivia once a week. The benefits I felt from the acupuncture, the herbs I was also taking each week and seeing Olivia far outweighed any benefits I felt from the antidepressants. I felt completed re-energised, relaxed and positive after each session of acupuncture. Olivia’s gentle and friendly approach to each session complimented the acupuncture perfectly.
After getting my life back and returning to work, I started to discuss other health issues with Olivia. These ranged from issues with my periods to issues with digestion and session by session I started to feel the benefits of acupuncture, and the herbs I was using in conjunction with the treatment, in all aspects of my life.
After seeing Olivia every week for eight months I felt stronger, both emotionally and physically, than I had done in years. It was March 2014 that I finally started a new cycle of IVF. Throughout the whole of the treatment I saw Olivia every week. The acupuncture helped initially with all of the side effects felt from the drugs used in IVF. Finally, during the agonising wait between the egg collection and implantation I saw Olivia every day. I felt this not only helped me to relax and remain positive, but helped my body prepare for the implantation of the embryo. I felt I was doing everything I could to make my body ready.
Amazingly nine months later, our dreams finally came true and in February 2015 we were holding our beautiful, miracle baby boy in our arms. He is the most precious thing in the world to us and I cannot thank Olivia enough for helping us with his arrival into our lives. If it wasn’t for Olivia and the amazing feeling and benefits I felt from both acupuncture and the herbs, he might not be here. Our life and our family are now complete. Our journey to get there was tough, but I learnt so many things about myself and my body during this journey that will benefit me for the rest of my life.
Thank you Olivia for everything.
Been meaning to write to you but just been so busy being a mum. I have sent so many of my friends your way I hope they remembered to mention I had sent them.
Just wanted to say thank you so much, firstly for curing me of my nightmare migraines which I had suffered with for so long and that never got better no matter how many different specialists tried different interventions. Within a week of coming to you my migraines were gone and have remained at bay since. Absolute bliss. That is the reason why when we had fertility difficulties, I came to you. Although it was unfortunate that we required IVF in order to conceive, I am glad that I saw you throughout my ICF cycle. I had a very easy and relaxed cycle, with no side effects (which I was really expecting), got great quality eggs and embryos and most important got pregnant on our first ever cycle. We are now blessed and happy parents to a healthy, precious baby girl. Thank you so much. I tell all my friends that you are now my “go to person” for all conditions because I know I am almost assured I will be healed. Thank you so much and keep up the great work.
On deciding that I wanted to have a baby at 30, I stopped the pill and expected my periods to return to normal and everything to happy fairly quickly. It didn’t! So I went to the doctors and had several investigative procedures.
I was diagnosed with PCOS and subsequently had an operation to remove cysts from my ovaries. The operation went wrong and my womb was perforated. Unfortunately the perforation did not heal correctly, making pregnancy very difficult to achieve! I had to have several treatments in hospital, all of which failed to end in pregnancy.
I read online that acupuncture can help so I rang several places in Hornchurch. I contacted Hong Wei and immediately knew that was where I would end up having my treatment.
Olivia was informative, friendly and honest, so I began treatment straight away. I only had one morning off work each week, which meant I needed treatment on that day at the same time. Olivia went out of her way to accommodate me, nothing was too much trouble.
After three courses of acupuncture I became pregnant naturally. I believe that the acupuncture helped me to de-stress and balance the hormones in my body. I went on to have a great pregnancy and gave birth to a very healthy baby girl weighing 7 lbs 10 oz, whom I called “Olivia”. She is now almost seven months and is into everything.
Having acupuncture and meeting Olivia was a truly wonderful experience that I will never forget.
I just wanted to thank you so much for your help with my IVF journey. I came to you before starting my IVF cycle and immediately felt very at ease and relaxed during all my acupuncture treatments. Not only were you exceptionally warm and friendly, but easy to talk to, with very reasonable prices and I cannot recommend you enough. You were always encouraging and hopeful, which helped a great deal (any women who has been through fertility struggles will know it’s hard to be optimistic, but you gave me hope). This was my second round of IVF after the first failed, but the first time I had ever been to you for acupuncture, and now I have two days to go until my boy/girl twins will be delivered!
I’m so happy I found you and would definitely tell anyone else in a similar situation I found myself in about your services. I’ll pop in soon with the babies to meet you.
Thanks again for everything.