Here at Thomson Specialists, we are dedicated to exploring treatment modalities within both Western Medicine (WM) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to nurture your body, mind, and spirit on your journey toward parenthood. An integrative approach between TCM and WM seamlessly taps into the strengths of both methodologies, which can not only improve ovulation and expectancy rates but also decrease pregnancy complications that may follow.
Plan Early and Start Young
It is no secret that the probability of genetic abnormalities and pregnancy complications increases as a woman grows older, particularly beyond 35 years old – set yourself up for success by planning earlier and starting younger to reduce risks and improve your chances of conceiving!
For women, we recommend pre-pregnancy check-ups with an O&G doctor as a precursor, particularly a health screening, pap smear, and womb ultrasound, to better understand their bodies and optimise the health conditions necessary for pregnancy.
Additionally, we recommend that parents-to-be opt for pre-pregnancy checks, such as prenatal genetic screening, to provide information on the foetus’ health. These diagnostic tests help identify any genetic abnormalities that may pose issues during pregnancy – for example, congenital conditions like Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13 and Spina Bifida.
Lifestyle and Mental Preparation
There are several lifestyle changes you can make to prepare the body for pregnancy. For starters, we recommend couples stop smoking and cut their alcohol and caffeine intake. Limiting harmful chemicals and stimulants optimises the sperm and womb environment for healthy conception and, at the same time reduces the risk of health complications for both parents and baby.
We also recommend prospective mothers track their menstrual cycle – this provides better insight into their monthly ovulation course, indicative of their fertile periods. In that regard, we suggest further enhancing their menstrual cycle with weekly TCM acupuncture sessions of a minimum of three months.
Mental preparation via emotional readiness and establishing a good social support system are also key as they impact the mother’s stress levels. Foetal development and birth outcomes can be swayed by maternal stress. To combat high cortisol levels, our TCM practice of ear seeds helps release tension and improves Qi flow, restoring balance in the body. Ear seeds offer a non-invasive and accessible way to manage stress, promoting a conducive environment for conception.
What to expect: 5-10 ear seed stickers will be placed in specific areas of your ear. Massage these points with your fingers for a minute or two every day for noticeable results.
Trouble Conceiving? Seek Help
If you are unable to conceive after six months of trying, consider a fertility screening to assess the physiological suitability of you and your partner. Low sperm count and quality, reduced egg reserves, ovulation disorders, low immunity, and endometriosis are some of the many factors that can contribute to infertility.
With varying reasons tacked to fertility struggles, we recommend visiting a fertility specialist to evaluate both partners’ ability to conceive.
East-Meets-West Fertility Programme
As a one-stop integrated medical centre, the doctors and physicians of Thomson Specialists collaborate closely on a complementary WM and TCM medical plan to ensure you and your partner receive a holistic East-Meets-West fertility programme.
After diagnosing the couple’s fertility issues, our O&G doctors may dispense medication and supplements like folic acid, or recommend procedures like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
TCM can combat infertility through nursing the four main organ systems of the Kidney, Liver, Spleen, and Heart to their natural function. To complement your WM course, our TCM physicians can step in to recommend a variety of fertility programme options such as:
The practice of acupuncture regulates hypothalamic, ovarian and uterine functions – it boosts blood flow to reproductive organs, balances hormones, and relieves stress.
Thomson Specialists’ acupuncture services can be a supportive therapy during IVF and IUI cycles, as well as pre & post-embryonic transfer treatments. It improves the effects of the medication, brings more blood to the ovaries and uterus, and improves the rate of implantation. It may also help to modulate your immune system, which can improve fertility outcomes by enhancing your overall health and well-being.
Preparing your baby’s nest is crucial and can be expedited through Moxibustion – a process that warms your meridians (energy Qi highways), dispensing your body’s ‘cold’ or Yin, thereby strengthening the body and eliminating maternal stress.
Thomson Specialists’ Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy that uses mugwort herbs to prepare the womb for conception, creating a warm environment that fosters foetal growth.
What to expect: A burning moxa stick/box will be placed over specific acupuncture points for 10-20 minutes. Individuals are encouraged to incorporate it into their daily routine.
Beyond its physiological effects, cupping therapy promotes stress release, fostering positive feelings, better sleep, reduced anxiety, and enhanced energy levels — all of which are important to individuals persisting in fertility treatments.
What to expect: Glass cups are heated with fire and briefly applied onto the abdomen or back area, creating a suction effect. Cups will be glided or placed stationary for about 15 minutes.
Herbal medicine remains one of the key tenets of TCM – crucial in activating, circulating, invigorating, fortifying, and nourishing your organs based on your unique internal landscape. Our Kidneys, Liver, and Spleen are central to fertility, playing a distinct yet interconnected role in conception for both men and women.
What to expect: Herbal medication in powder or pill form is to be taken 1-2 times a day with warm water.
Where WM adopts a more mechanistic and evidence-based approach, TCM fulfils a holistic, non-invasive, and cumulative view of the body. Both therapies, when worked together in tandem, can increase the success rate of getting pregnant and reduce the adverse reactions caused by only adopting WM.
Congratulations, You’re Expecting!
If you or your partner have missed a period and think you might be expecting, seek an early pregnancy assessment with an OBGYN for guidance on your next steps!
At Thomson Specialists, our O&G doctors and TCM physicians collaboratively seamlessly to support your TTC journey. Through a holistic East-meets-West approach, we integrate the expertise of both disciplines, providing you with personalised and comprehensive fertility care. Book an appointment with us today to find out more.