Chinese Herbs to support IVF

Going through IVF treatment can be extremely demanding, both physically and emotionally. Chinese herbal medicine is supportive before, during and after your IVF treatment.

The time before your IVF is an excellent preparation time for both partners.

Before your IVF, herbs can improve the endometrium (lining of your womb). These include Dang Gui Angelica Sinesis and Bai Shao Paeoniae Radix Alba. They nourish your Blood and increase the thickness of your endometrium. Additional herbs improve circulation to your uterus. This creates a warm, vital womb lining to assist implantation.

This is an excellent time for men to take Chinese herbs to improve the quality of their sperm. Male fertility is decreasing worldwide at an alarming rate. It can be responsible for failed IVF or ICSI cycles, and miscarriage. Chinese herbs increase the percentage of normal sperm. They also improve sperm motility and numbers.

Men are less stressed, with improved vitality and libido. Herbs including Tu Si Zi Cuscuta Semen and Wang Bu Liu Xing Vaccaria semen improve energy, libido and sperm quality.

Chinese herbs for IVF

Male Infertility Herbs

Jill Glover has 4 herbal formulas to support male fertility. These are:

Male Essence Warm

Male Essence Warm is an excellent tonic and can be used long-term.

Who it’s for:

Male Essence Warm is for you if you have compromised fertility and are typically chilly.

You will generally have no signs of compromised fertility, but abnormalities within the semen analysis. This includes poor motility and vitality, low sperm numbers, and low morphology.

You may have low libido, watery semen, and erectile dysfunction. Possibly also low testosterone.

You will benefit from Male Essence Warm if you are tired all the time, and feel lethargic. Your willpower and motivation may be at an all time low. You sleep deeply and it’s hard to get going in the morning.

Your tongue will be pale and swollen, your pulse slow and deep.

What’s in Male Essence Warm? What it does:

This formula is based on Zan Yu Dan Special Aid to Fertility Pill and You Gui Wan Restoring the Right Decoction. I have added herbs to further support male fertility.

Rou Gui – warms the Gate of Vitality to support sperm manufacture.

Gui Zhi – warms and circulates energy throughout the testes

Rou Cong Rong – improves sperm manufacture and vitality. It improves mitochondria, supplements Jing, and improves libido.

Ba Ji Tian – in partnership with Rou Cong Rong and Tu Si Zi improve libido and mitochondria.

Huang Qi – promotes sperm motility and vitality. It also improves immune function and reduces ASAB (anti-sperm antibodies) with Dan Shen.

Shan Zhu Yu – improves sperm motility and concentration.

He Shou Wu – moistens and nourishes fluids. It supplements Essence to improve sperm quality.

Gou Qi Zi and Nu Zhen Zi – both are strong Kidney Yin tonics. They provide a substantial base for sperm production. They increase sperm numbers and counteract the heating effect of Rou Gui and Yang tonics.

Dan Shen and Wang Bu Liu Xing – direct the formula to the testicles, where they circulate Qi and Blood.

*Not to used during acute infection

Male Essence Cool

Male Essence Cool is an excellent tonic and can be used long-term.

Who it’s for:

Male Essence Cool is for you if you have compromised fertility and are typically overheated.

You may have no clear symptoms of reduced fertility, but your semen analysis shows otherwise. Often there are high numbers of abnormal forms (morphology) and low vitality.

You may have a high libido, possibly with premature ejaculation.

You will benefit from Male Essence Cool if you live in the fast lane; work hard, play hard. This often goes hand in hand with lots of coffee and alcohol, smoking, and poor restless sleep. You may often be thirsty, possibly constipated.

Your tongue will be red, and your pulse rapid.

What’s in Male Essence Cool? What it does:

This formula incorporates the classic Wu Zi Yan Wan 5 Seed Progeny Pill and Zuo Gui Yin Restore the Left Kidney Decoction. I have added herbs to further support male fertility.

Sheng Di Huang and He Shou Wu –  both ensure there is sufficient cool moisture to nourish the semen. He Shou Wu has the added benefit of increasing Jing.

Shan Yao – strengthening and moistening. It helps conserve Essence.

Shan Zhu Yu – increases sperm motility and concentration. It enhances and protects Kidney and Liver Yin.

Gou Qi Zi, Nu Zhen Zi, and Wu Wei Zi – excellent Yin tonics. They nourish and moisten seminal fluid. Wu Wei Zi is high in antioxidants. It helps improve DNA integrity and reduces fragmentation.

Tu Si Zi – a Yang tonic; it improves sperm motility and vitality. It also improves libido.

I have added Zhi Mu and Huang Bai to clear heat. This prevents drying of seminal fluid, and improves morphology.

Wang Bu Liu Xing – an envoy herb, sending the action of these herbs to the testes.

Dan Shen and Wang Bu Liu Xing – together promote circulation of Qi Blood and fluids in the testes. They also improve morphology.

*Not to used during acute infection

Male Essence Clear

Who it’s for:

Male Essence Clear is designed for men who may have had previous genital infections, or have high numbers of anti-sperm antibodies. Semen analysis will show high numbers of abnormal forms, often with poor motility.

You may well have a diet of rich food, or primarily carbs and dairy. Coffee and alcohol may feature, with insufficient fluids.

You may have testicular pain, swelling or nodules. Other symptoms include burning sensation on urination or ejaculation, or a discharge from the penis may also be present.

Your tongue will be red with a thick yellow tongue coat; your pulse will be rapid and slippery.

What’s in Male Essence Clear? What it does:

This formula is based on Ju He Wan Tangerine Seed Pill with additional herbs to enhance male fertility.

Ju He, Chuan Lian Zi plus Yan Hu Suo – ensure optimal circulation to the testicles. Together they resolve testicular pain or swelling.

Tong Cao and Huo Po – together clear Damp turbidity.

Zhi Shi – clears any obstructions to the seminiferous tubules. It promotes circulation to the scrotum.

Che Qian Zi – clears inflammation and promotes sperm production.

Huang Qi and Dan Shen – function well together to reduce and clear Antisperm antibodies.

Tu Si Zi and Shan Zhu Yu – partner herbs to increase sperm motility and concentration.

Hong Teng and Bai Jiang Cao – clear inflammation and Heat toxins. They function to break areas of stagnation, thereby reducing abnormal forms.

Wang Bu Liu Xing – directs the formula to the testicles, and reduces any stagnation.

*Not to used during acute infection

Male Essence Harmony

Who’s it for:

Male Essence Harmony is for you if you have reduced fertility and a history of varicoceles or any trauma to the testicles.

Your semen analysis will show primarily high numbers of abnormal sperm. There may also be high numbers of anti-sperm antibodies and white blood cells.

You may be experiencing high stress in your life, which affects your fertility.

Your tongue may have dark distended sublingual veins, your pulse choppy.

What’s in Male Essence Harmony? What it does:

Male Essence Harmony takes its base from Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan Cinnamon Twig and Poria Pills. This is a traditional formula to reduce blood stagnation. Research shows it reduces 80% of varicoceles and improves sperm counts and concentration. I have added herbs to further support male fertility.

Gui Zhi – warms and unblocks blood vessels throughout the testes.

Fu Ling – reduces turbidity in seminal fluid.

Chi Shao and Mu Dan Pi – clear inflammation, swelling, and stagnation in the testicles.

Shan Zhu Yu – improves sperm motility and concentration.

Ju He – moves Qi in the testicles. It removes obstruction and clears anti-sperm antibodies.

Hong Teng – invigorates Blood and clears toxins. It reduces Anti sperm antibodies due to inflammation with Dan Shen.

Bai Hua She She Cao – an excellent addition to invigorate Qi in the testicles. It reduces inflammation and DNA fragmentation.

Dan Shen and Wang Bu Liu Xing – direct the formula to the testicles, where they circulate Qi and Blood.

*Not to used during acute infection.

All herbs contain no endangered species or animal products.

Herbs Cost:

£50 for 21 day supply

Contact to order herbs.

Chinese Herbs during IVF treatment

For women, the Womb Welcome formula continues to support your endometrium. It increases circulation, improves vitality of your uterus, and assists implantation. Womb Welcome is taken from your stimulation phase until your pregnancy test.

Once you have your positive pregnancy test, Pregnancy Support formula is recommended. It is based on the ancient formula Shou Tai Wan, designed to support pregnancy and prevent miscarriage. It’s also a wonderful energy tonic, which is so welcome in those early weeks of pregnancy.

Womb Welcome

Womb Welcome – modern formula to support circulation in the womb lining, improve the quality of blood, and improve implantation.

It thickens the lining of the womb and improves circulation by both nourishing and regulating blood, thereby assisting implantation.

What’s in Womb Welcome? What it does:

Shu Di Huang – Rehamannia root (steamed) warms and nourishes blood to support a healthy womb lining.

Dang Gui – Chinese Angelica root This herb nourishes blood to thicken the endometrium and improve its quality. It activates blood to improve circulation in the endometrium and can alleviate pain.

Bai Shao Yao – White Peony root Nourishes blood and preserves our cooling calming Yin energy. It can be used to support a good quality endometrium, alleviate uterine pain and prevent abnormal uterine bleeding.

He Shou Wu – Polygonum root warms and nourishes blood to support a warm supportive uterus.

Gou Qi Zi Chinese wolfberry this sweet replenishing berry supports good quality blood, moistens any dryness and increases our constitutional energy.

Yi Mu Cao Chinese motherwort is excellent at enabling blood to circulate freely in the lining of the womb. It brings nutrient loaded oxygenated blood to the implantation site and removes toxins.

Chuan Xiong – Szechuan lovage warms and activates blood circulation to revitalise the endometrium, ready for an embryo to implant.

Dan Shen Salvia root This calming herb increases blood circulation and dissipates pain.

Ho Po –Amber this is a very calming substance and is included in this formula to dissipate the herbs throughout the uterus.

Gan Cao – Liquorice root This is included in many Chinese herbal prescriptions to harmonise all ingredients.

Pregnancy Support

Carefully chosen herbs to support a healthy pregnancy and assist with miscarriage prevention in the first trimester.

Who it’s for:

It is based on Shou Tai Wan – Foetus Longevity Pill. This is an ancient formula that has been used for hundreds of years to support early pregnancy and prevent miscarriage. These herbs function together synergistically, so should be viewed as a whole, rather than individual herbs.  Rather like a soup or casserole, the whole is very different to the various parts of the recipe.

What’s in Pregnancy Support? What it does:

Huang Qi Astragalus prevents uterine bleeding. It supports the immune system, and raises Qi, hence supporting pregnancy.

Gou Qi Zi Chinese wolfberry nourishes and circulates blood in the uterus, improving the implantation site and quality of blood in the lining of the womb.

Tu Si Zi – Cuscuta Seed strengthens reserves of energy associated with conception, growth and maturation. It has an empirical function of pacifying the foetus ie supporting pregnancy and preventing miscarriage.

Du Zhong – Eucommia Bark has similar functions to Tu Si Zi.  It’s most important function in this formula is to prevent miscarriage. It also strengthens muscles and bones, alleviates low back pain and ameliorates fatigue and weakness.

Xu Duan – Japanese Teasel root has a main function of stopping uterine bleeding in pregnancy and preventing miscarriage. It improves circulation to the Uterus, strengthens reserves of energy and supports the low back.

All herbs prescribed are safe to take during pregnancy. None are animal products or from endangered species.

Herbs Cost:

£50 for 21 day supply

Contact to order herbs.

Helen Fielding and Jill Glover also prescribe individualised Chinese herbs for both male and female fertility during IVF.


Male Herbs

Acupuncture improves ICSI rapid sperm movement, fertilisation rates, and morhology. Zhang M et al J Huazhong
Univ Tech Med Sci 2002;22(3):228-30

Acupuncture improves very low sperm count  Siterman S Andrologia 2000 Jan 32(1):31-9

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine reduce anti sperm antibodies and improves IUI success rates. Lian F et al Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Die He Za Zhi. 2002,22(2):95-7,

Chinese herbs reduce varicoceles and improve sperm count and motility.  Ishikawa H et al Am Jnl Med 24, issue 3-4,1996 pg 327 – 33

Chinese herbs improve motility,  improved sperm motility and quality, increased sperm count and rebalanced inadequate hormone levels, and adjusted immune functions leading to the increased number of fertile sperm. Jiang et al International Review of Neurobiology Volume 135, 2017, Pages 297-311

Female Herbs

Recurrent Pregnancy Loss and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Rubin, Canto & Marx
Med Acupunct. 2013 Jun; 25(3): 232–237. doi: 10.1089/acu.2012.0911

Effects of Chinese herbs combined within Vitro fertilization and embryo transplantation on infertility: a clinical randomized controlled trial. Guo et al. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Volume 34, Issue 3, June 2014, Pages 267-273
“Our findings indicate that Chinese herbs increase endometrial thickness, improve the quality of fertility and embryo, and promote embryonic nidation, thus enhancing the success rate of in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection-embryo transplantation cycle. Using Chinese herbs improves the outcomes and safety of assisted reproductive technologies.”

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