How TCM Improves Fertility

Alison Larmee Born become a Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM) in 2016. She is the first acupuncturist in southeastern North Carolina to become board certified in this field, and one of only 12 practitioners with this designation in the state. 

ABORM was formed by leading professionals in Oriental Reproductive Medicine and is devoted to teaching, research, and the practice of Oriental Medicine as it relates to the treatment of reproductive disorders. Born’s new designation signifies her extensive study and knowledge of treating various infertility issues through Oriental reproductive medical techniques. 

Alison and her husband also struggled with this diagnosis personally, and therefore can relate to how trying it can be, both physically and emotionally. We are honored to help more patients and couples in the area to achieve their dream of having a family.

After a thorough history and intake, including diagnostic test review when available, we will assess if a patient needs to go for lab testing first, if the partner needs treatment too, or if they can proceed with acupuncture/herbal treatment right away. Regardless of at what stage a woman or couple begins treatment the end goal is always the same: not just a positive pregnancy test, but a healthy, full-term baby. 

How can Oriental Medicine contribute to a successful outcome in a  superovulation, IUI or IVF cycle?

  • Increase ovarian response
  • Increase estrogen levels if low
  • Enhance follicle/egg quality
  • Increase follicle/egg quantity
  • Improve sperm vitality, reduce fragmentation
  • Relieve side effects of medications
  • Increase endometrial thickness when it is too thin
  • Increase implantation rates
  • Support patient through a healthy full-term delivery, not just a positive HCG test

Summary of Oriental Medicine’s Influences on Sperm Quality, Follicular Microenvironment and Egg Quality 

  • Increase blood supply (oxygen and nutrients) to the testicles with acupuncture
  • Increase blood supply to the follicles with acupuncture
  • Improve ovarian function by regulating hormone levels with acupuncture
  • Reduce stress hormones associated with reduced IVF success with acupuncture
  • Increase oocyte mitochondrial ATP output with certain Chinese herbs
  • Enhance follicle antioxidant defenses with certain Chinese herbs
  • Improve follicle environment by reducing inflammatory cytokines with Chinese herbs
  • Increase post-implantation success rates with acupuncture and/or herbs

Article written by Alison:

Struggling with Fertility Issues? Your “Healthy Diet” may be Missing the Mark (Natural Awakenings, May 2018)