Hormones, Bao Mai and Infertility – an Integrative Chinese Medicine Approach to IVF

In my 14 years of clinical experience, I have treated hundreds of women undergoing ART. In Israel, a country that funds IVF treatments until the age of 45, there are ample occasions to see the short and long-term effects of hormonal treatments on the female body and psyche. In my clinic, I rarely have the luxury of treating patients without some sort of hormonal stimulation, be it a long, short or minimal dose induction protocol. This has led me to very interesting insights on the integration of Chinese Medicine within the IVF framework, what herbs work best and when, interesting acupuncture protocols and more. These insights I would like to share during the lecture.

Topics to be discussed:

1. The Chinese pharmacodynamics of gonadotropins: what are the main patterns of disharmony seen when stimulated by hormones? 

2. Bao Mai Stagnation: why is the concept of invigorating blood and transforming phlegm nodules in the lower jiao so important during and after hormonal stimulation. We will discuss the importance of Shao Fu Zhu Yu Tang and Cang Fu Dao Tan Tang and their modifications. Also discussed will be Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang and Bai Zi Ren Tang as basic herbal formulas to address the emotional stagnation of the Bao Mai together with relevant point combinations.

3. The poor responder: what is the Chinese explanation for poor ovarian response seen with increased ovarian stimulation? How can formulas such as Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan and the MACH formulation (a Japanese patent shown to benefit embryo quality) come in handy?

4. Acupuncture during ovarian stimulation: I will present a few protocols based on my positive results in the clinic. These include a “draining xi cleft” combination during menstruation, the importance of the Dai Mai during stimulation and the clinical use of He Sea points after embryo pickup.

5. Useful tips from the clinic: how frequently should we treat, when are the most important times for treatment and more.

IFS Lecture from May 24, 2015

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