Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatments focus on strengthening, nourishing, warming, reinforcing, or transforming the body’s energies to help restore healthy functioning so that conception and birth can occur naturally.
When treating recurrent miscarriage, a TCM practitioner will first try to identify the underlying causes of miscarriage. Treatment will begin with an examination of the body, which may include looking at the color of the tongue and taking the pulse. Once the practitioner understands the pattern of symptoms, he or she will create an individualized regimen of acupuncture and herbs based on each woman’s needs.
Kidney Qi Deficiency
In TCM, the energy of the kidney is closely tied to the reproductive organs and kidney qi deficiency is equivalent to western reproductive hormone imbalance or immune function imbalance. If a woman has a weak constitution or is older, is overworked, or has been excessively sexually active, it can deplete her kidney energy. Women with kidney deficiency tend to miscarry early.
Fatigue, very cold limbs or slightly swollen limbs, soreness and weakness of the lower back, urinary frequency, and clear urine are symptoms of kidney deficiency.
TCM treatments can help stabilize the kidney Qi in a woman’s body and nourish the organs of gestation.
Spleen Qi and Blood Deficiency
In TCM, spleen qi and blood deficiency is equivalent to anemia, immune function imbalance, or thyroid dysfunction. Weak spleen qi is often responsible for uterine prolapse, when the womb falls into the vaginal area, and for cervical incompetency, when the cervix (the bottom part of the uterus that connects to the vagina), opens and thins too early in the pregnancy. Strengthening the spleen prior to conception may prevent miscarriage due to cervical incompetency.
The spleen is also associated with immunological responses, which can play a role in recurrent miscarriages. Symptoms of weak spleen Qi may include scanty period, pale blood flow, loose stool, fatigue, loss of appetite, pale face, and anemia.
TCM treatments seek to strengthen spleen, benefit Qi and nourish blood, strengthen yin (the female energy) and strengthen blood.
Blood Heat With Kidney Yin Deficiency
Blood heat with kidney yin deficiency is equivalent to immune function imbalance. Often women with this condition have endured long-term stress and may be easily angered and irritable. They often have hot flashes, night sweats, thirst, restlessness, skin rashes, and heavy periods. Some experience dry eyes, blurring of vision, or dizziness. For women with this pattern, treatment is intended to clear heat, cool blood, nourish yin, and reinforce the kidney.
Blood stasis in TCM is equivalent to blood clotting and the main symptoms of blood stasis include abdominal pain with menstrual flow and blood clots. The treatment principle is to invigorate the blood and transform stasis to restore the flow of energy.
Treatment of Recurrent Miscarriages
TCM has been widely used for the treatment of recurrent miscarriage in Asian countries for centuries. It can be very effective, although it may require several months for the treatments to rebalance the body and prepare it for pregnancy and childbirth.
While some doctors may advocate trying to conceive shortly after a miscarriage, the body will likely not be prepared after having undergone such a draining experience. It may be better not to attempt conception for several months while the body is reestablishing equilibrium.
Prevention of Recurrent Miscarriages
To decrease the risk of a miscarriage and prepare for a healthy pregnancy, eat a healthy diet supplemented with folic acid, prenatal vitamins, fish oil, and CoQ10, stop smoking, avoid alcohol, reduce caffeine, exercise regularly, and manage stress.
Your body has tremendous innate wisdom and healing capacity. With the proper nourishment and treatment, you can restore your natural, joyful ability to birth a healthy baby.
Xiu Juan Yang, Ph.D., M.D. (China), is a licensed acupuncturist based in Manhattan and Long Island. With 11 years of full-time training in Western and Eastern medicine and over 30 years of experience, she specializes in infertility and recurrent miscarriage, IVF support, pain management, depression, and vertigo. Dr-Yang-Acupuncture.com