Successful Pregnancy after Treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine

Resource from National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine ®. 

Case Presentation:

A 43-year-old woman visited our clinic for CHM treatment of infertility. She reached menarche at 13 years of age and at this time her menstrual cycle was regular with a normal menstrual flow. Oral contraceptive pills were taken from age 21–23 and she had no previous pregnancies prior to our treatment. She started trying to conceive at age 40 and her husband, aged 41, had no remarkable health problems and normal semen analysis as defined by the World Health Organization 2010 criteria []. After two years of trying to achieve natural conception, she was referred to a fertility specialist for IVF treatment. Prior to the initiation of treatment, a pelvic ultrasound showed that the right ovary was not visible and the left ovary measured 2.7 mL with only 3 antral follicles and both fallopian tubes were clearly patent. The uterus was bulky measuring at 103 × 125 × 68 mm with multiple fibroids including two larger subserosal fibroids. Serum anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) level of <3 pmol/L was within the <25% percentile for correlated age. Hormone testing on day 5 of her menstrual cycle identified follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels of 1.9 IU/L (normal range 1.5–10), luteinising hormone (LH) levels of 2.8 IU/L (normal range 2.0–12), Oestradiol (E2) levels of 913 pmol/L (normal range <320) and Progesterone (P) levels of <0.5 nmol/L (normal range 0.3–4.0). According to the ESHRE criteria this patient had suspected poor ovarian response []. Therefore, controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) with daily FSH injections from day 3 of her cycle was applied for oocyte retrieval, however, only one mature oocyte was collected, and she failed to conceive after fertilized embryo transferring. The fertility specialist therefore advised her to seek egg donation or cease IVF. The patient consequently sought out treatment at our Chinese Medicine clinic in hope of achieving fertility.

At the time the patient visited the clinic her menstrual cycles ranged between 24 and 42 days. According to the diagnosis, basic formula containing 10 herbs was prescribed, aiming to

  1.  improve diminished ovarian function and regulate the menstrual cycle,
  2.  restrain the growth of uterus fibroids which corresponds to tonifying vital essence and regulating and nourishing blood in TCM.