The paradigm of modern medical science is very different to that of acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Modern medical science adopts a reductionist approach. This involves the examination and intervention on very specific areas of the body and specific bodily processes. It is essentially a physical modality of medicine, which is based on anatomy and physiology (the body structures and mechanics). Contrary to this, acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine are both modalities of energetic medicine. They take a more holistic approach and consider the whole person. The aim is to create an energetic balance and harmony within the body. As a consequence, modern medical science accounts for infertility very differently from the theory of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
Using principals of physiology, modern medicine categorises the causes of female infertility into four major categories:
1. problems with egg reproduction;
2. physical abnormalities causing blockages of sperm, egg, and/or embryo through the reproductive tract;
3. problems with embryo implantation;
4. numerous other factors which cause unexplained infertility (such as psychological/emotional factors, age, body weight, borderline hormonal imbalances, smoking/alcohol/caffeine, immunity problems).
Medical treatment for infertility is largely conducted under the supervision of a gynaecologist or IVF specialist. Their treatment intervention will involve the prescription of drugs (including hormones), surgery and IVF procedures. If you are under the care of one of these doctors, you may consider using acupuncture as an adjunct therapy. Since it is by nature non-pharmacological, most medical doctors are happy for their patients to use acupuncture to support their treatment. Being non-pharmacological, it eliminates any possible co-interaction with the medication being prescribe.