There are number of factors that can affect women’s fertility other than structural abnormalities or conditions resulting from surgical side-effects. Some of the pathological factors often noticed from the viewpoint of TCM are:
1. Constitutional factors and aging
- Chronic weakness or fatigue, over-weight or under-weight
- Typical menstrual patterns: delayed cycle, scanty pale flow
- TCM diagnosis: more Kidney related
2. Psychological factors
Over-thinking or worrying mindset that leads to: insomnia and digestive problems
- Typical menstrual patterns: early, heavy flow discharges
- TCM diagnosis: more Pancreas and heart related
Emotionally sensitive or easily stressed and depressed mindset:
- Typical menstrual patterns: irregular, heavy or scanty flow and may include cramps
- TCM diagnosis: more Liver related
3. Diet / Toxicity
- Consumption of long-term cold, greasy or instant and processed foods, food supplements or long-term usage of Birth Control Pills or other medications can also affect liver, pancreas and kidneys.
Internal organs involved in TCM diagnosis of fertility and their relation with the western diagnosis can be interpreted as follows:
- Kidney: hormonal factors such as FSH/ LH level, Estrogen/ Progesterone. Early aging of ovary / uterus. Low libido.
- Liver: blood factors such as menstrual flows (heavy, scanty, clots), anaemia, muscle tone, toxicity.
- Pancreas: energy and fluid factors such as chronic fatigue, abnormal discharges (leucorrhea), digestive or metabolism issues.
Other TCM terms used in the diagnosis are: Qi (chi), Blood, Dampness/ phlegm. Excess, deficiency, yin, yang, heat, cold, exterior and interior.
Today’s women and some common factors
Some common characteristics, often found in the clinic, are the similarities in age, history, education level, and types of occupation.
Tendency to get married late, usually after 30’s.
- This aging factor affects levels of Kidney essence that are vital for the functions and quality of hormones, follicles and eggs.
History of long-term Birth Control Pill usage in early age, often used to control menstrual irregularities, bleeding or pains.
- This will affect the quality of blood and Kidney essence.
High education level and mentally-oriented occupations
- The flow and consumption of Qi and Blood is more oriented toward the higher areas of the brain relative to the lower areas of reproduction. Levels of stress are also higher, which can affect the function of the liver.