top of page


Over the last decade there has been a dramatic increase in couples experiencing fertility problems. Recent statistics show that 1 out of 6 couples face difficulties in getting pregnant and 1 out of 37 babies in the Netherlands is born as a result of IVF/ICSI.

The Jin Gui Yao Lüe (Essential Prescriptions of the Golden Cabinet, 206 BC - 220 AD), an important Chinese classic, already mentions the treatment of infertility caused by ‘Cold in the abdomen’. It even names the first herbal formula that -according to modern research-increases Progesterone levels and regulates hormonal balance. 

Because infertility can have many different causes, there is no such thing as a ‘standard’ fertility treatment or formula in Traditional Chinese Medicine. We understand that each patient wishing to conceive has a unique pattern of symptoms that requires an individual approach. You might have been diagnosed with a hormonal disfunction such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) or Luteal Phase Deficiency (LPD), or maybe you’re suffering from tubal pathology, endometriosis, immune-related infertility issues or decreased sperm quality and/or quantity. 

Or perhaps you are part of the 30% of couples that have received the frustrating diagnosis of ‘unexplained infertility’. Through Traditional Chinese Medicine, we look at the underlying pattern of imbalance that presents itself to us through our diagnostic evaluation. From a Chinese medical perspective, there is actually no such thing as "unexplained infertility", and we are able to diagnose and then treat you in a new and effective way which will support, balance and harmonize your body, allowing for an easier path to conception whether naturally or in conjunction with IVF.

Whether you trying to conceive naturally or are preparing for IVF/ICS/IUI/eggdonation, our experienced team is here to support you on your fertility journey!

While biomedical fertilitytreatments mainly focus on hormonal production and your reproductive organs, Traditional Chinese Medicine takes in consideration your entire energetic system of physical, emotional and spiritual aspects that play a role in becoming pregnant. In Chinese medicine, we regard the unobstructed flow of energy to be of major importance as it supplies your body with nourishment. With acupuncture we can improve circulation, it helps to reduce inflammation to aid embryo implantation, it can increase the blood supply to the pelvis and uterus to support a healthy ovarian follicle. Many studies have shown Chinese medicine to positively impact fertility. 


What can Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) do to improve your fertility? 

In Chinese we have a saying: ‘Tiao Jing Zhong Zi’, which translates as ‘regulate the cycle to plant the seed’. The idea is that in order to grow a strong tree, one needs to prepare the ground first, so that it is well-nourished and receptive before you plant a seed. This is a crucial way of thinking in traditional Chinese gynaecology: preparation is everything. Like every architect would carefully think about the foundation before he starts to build a house, TCM considers a healthy cycle the basis for a successful pregnancy. For this reason we suggest at least three months to prepare for pregnancy or IVF/ICSI trajectory. This is the time necessary to develop enough yin and blood to improve the quality of the follicles and endometrium, and to make sure there is enough yang and free flow in the uterus. 

Studying your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) will help us to finetune your TCM-diagnosis and treatment. In Western medicine, a BBT-chart is used solely to determine whether there is ovulation happening, meaning: the chart is biphasic. At Zi Yuan Ting your BBT can give us much more information in terms of energy blockages or deficiencies, and we adjust our treatment accordingly. 

Studies show that there is a significant increase in pregnancy success rates when IVF/ICSI/ECD is used in conjunction with acupuncture. 

Egg quality

Obviously, the basis for a healthy embryo is good quality eggs and sperm. Chinese medicine regards the quality and vitality of the gametes as belonging to Kidney-Energy. This energy naturally decreases with age. Of course Chinese medicine can’t rewind your biological clock, but acupuncture and herbs háve been shown to increase the flow of oxygen, nutrients and blood to the ovaria, as well as improving response to IVF-medication. A more vitalised environment leads to a better egg-development. Acupuncture and herbs can improve the quality and quantity of the eggs, by strengthening the Kidney-Energy and improving blood flow to the reproductive organs. However, improving Kidney-energy takes time, it is therefore important to start treatment at least three months in preparation for your IVF/ICSI. 

Endometrium Receptivity 

A study by the Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine shows the thickness of the cervical mucus to be a decisive factor for implantation. For this reason, careful preparation of the endometrium is of the utmost importance in any fertility journey. The endometrium has to be receptive: not only does it need to be thick enough, adequate microcirculation in the uterine wall is also important. In the preparatory phase, we will mostly use herbs and acupuncture that encourage high quality blood-energy to the uterus, since blood-energy is the basic requirement for building good-quality endometrium. In a later stage stimulating Kidney-yang-energy requires more attention, so the uterine lining is optimally receptive for implantation. 

Sperm improvement

The same ideas about the improvement of eggquality also apply to the improvement of sperm quality. Both are, according to classical Chinese thought, related to the Kidney-energy. Chinese herbs can help improve both the quantity and quality of sperm. 

Prevention of miscarriage

Miscarriage percentage has been shown to be higher in IVF/ICSI-pregnancies than in natural pregnancies. Over the course of two thousand years, Traditional Chinese medicine has developed an enormous expertise in the prevention of miscarriage. With the help of Acupuncture and Chinese herbs we can assist you throughout your pregnancy and lower the risk for miscarriage. TCM can also support healthy growth of the fetus. 

Reduction of stress

When undergoing an IVF/ICSI-trajectory stress can really take its toll. It is not only the daily uncertainty of not knowing whether ‘everything will work out’, it is also trying to combine your fertility treatment with everything else that’s going on in life. Let alone the effect of the hormonal medication that may also cause your stress levels to go up. 
Stress not only reduces blood flow to your reproductive organs, it can interfere with communication between your brain, pituitary and ovaries, creating a hormonal imbalance throughout your endocrine system.
Acupuncture can help to relax your nervous system by releasing endorphins. It can help you keep your balance during your IVF-treatment. Most people experience acupuncture to be very relaxing.
On top of that, by using Acupuncture  we can lessen unwanted side effects of the IVF-meds, such as fatigue, (medication-induced) hot flushes, headaches, moodswings etc. 

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine: 

  • regulates the menstrual cycle

  • increases blood flow to the ovaries, which provides the optimal conditions necessary to improve egg quality and increase follicle count.

  • improves blood circulation within the uterine lining to promote successful implantation.

  • reduces the side effects of medications used in IVF protocols.

  • decreases uterine contractions, which encourages implantation and prevents miscarriage.

  • regulate hormonal balance

  • reduces stress, which positively impacts hormone levels

  • improves the quality of cervical mucus

  • regulates ovulation

  • improves the quality and quantity of sperm 

  • decreases the chances of miscarriage

Traditional Chinese medicine is a safe and effective way to support your ART-trajectory because it:

  • improves the quality and quantity of the egg cells

  • improves the quality and quantity of sperm

  • improves your response to IVF-medication

  • improves the blood supply to the womb and ovaries

  • improves the thickness and quality of the endometrium

  • minimizes the side effects of IVF-medication, as well as minimizing pain and stress during oocyte retrieval

  • decreases the chance of miscarriage

  • supports the growth of the fetus

  • relieves stress

bottom of page