Jo George, our Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs) has expert knowledge of fertility issues, including supporting couples through IUI, IVF and ART techniques and is also able to support women who are pregnant or suffering with a wide range of gynaecological conditions from miscarriage to menopause. Many of Jo’s testimonials give an indication of the wide range of conditions she treats.
Please note that Jo’s diary gets booked around 3-4 weeks in advance. We hope this information will be of help when planning your treatment. Jo is always happy to talk and share her knowledge, please call for a FREE preliminary phone conversation with Jo on 07914 851 995. It’s an ideal opportunity to discuss your particular problem and whether you feel she can help you.
The main difference between traditional Chinese gynaecology and Western gynaecology is that the latter deals in general with ‘organic’ diseases, which are usually detectable by visual or microscopic examination of the tissues and organs involved. Treatment therefore consists of repair, excision, or replacement of the diseased tissue. The disadvantage of this approach is very apparent before the disease reaches a destructive stage, at which time diagnostic tests are often inconclusive. This is where Chinese Gynaecology and Chinese Medicine are most useful, as it can perceive imbalance in the body that may not be picked up by investigative techniques. Endometriosis, for example, does not occur suddenly but over the whole of a woman’s reproductive lifetime. In Chinese Gynaecology, clinical attention is focussed on details such as the regularity, amount, colour and texture of the menstrual flow, and any imbalances are corrected as they arise. Irregular periods, scanty flow and period pain for example are considered pathological in China, and are treated accordingly. That said, we regularly treat patients that are receiving conventional treatment, or who are seeking options where western medicine has been unable to help.
There are certain disorders for which Chinese Herbal Medicine is particularly recommended; Menstrual disorders including shortened or lengthened cycle, irregularity, excessive flow or insufficient flow, amenorrhoea, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, PMT, period pain, infertility, and menopausal symptoms can all be improved by the use of Chinese Gynaecological Herbal Medicine.
Jo George specialises in the use of TCM to treat the full range of problems associated with infertility in both men and women including:
- Hormonal and ovulatory problems
- Polycystic ovaries
- Recurrent miscarriage
- Unexplained infertility
- Male infertility – including low sperm count, low motility, high abnormal form or antisperm antibodies
Using Chinese herbs, acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese healing therapy, Jo takes a holistic approach to reproductive health and offers sympathetic advice, well-researched treatment and a genuine message of hope to infertile couples.
Treating infertility with TCM
Because TCM aims to restore balance to the whole person, it can be used to treat all non-genetic causes of infertility in both men and women – either in conjunction with modern assisted fertility techniques (IVF, IUI) or on its own. In women, TCM can help with hormonal and ovulatory problems, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, partially blocked fallopian tubes, unexplained failure to conceive and repeated miscarriage. In men, it can improve sperm count and/or sperm motility.
- TCM recognises that many ovulatory problems can be resolved if the menstrual cycle is regulated. TCM attempts to balance the body’s yin and yang while regulating qi and blood flows during the menstrual cycle.
- TCM can improve egg quality and strengthen the lining of the womb, so increasing the chances of successful implantation. This is particularly relevant in older women and most of our female patients are aged between 34 and 44.
- TCM can reduce levels of circulating FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). Women with high levels of FSH are often turned away from fertility clinics because they generally respond poorly, if at all, to the drugs used to stimulate their ovaries for IVF treatment. Many fertility specialists regard this condition as untreatable and advise women to consider using donor eggs. However some of these women who follow a course of TCM, may see their FSH levels fall, improving their chances of success in an assisted conception treatment cycle using their own eggs.
Herbs have been shown to significantly improve the production of healthy sperm by balancing and strengthening the functions of the male reproductive organs. In many cases, treatment with TCM has increased the number of sperm produced and improved sperm quality. As a result, patients undergoing assisted conception can opt for less invasive procedures than might otherwise be possible. For example, in severe cases of male infertility, the recommended treatment is ICSI which involves the microinjection of a single sperm into an egg. When more healthy sperm are produced, patients can attempt less invasive and less expensive procedures, such as IUI or IVF.
Jo George offers specialist treatment programmes for couples going though assisted conception programmes. Click on the following link for full information about these programmes.
Chinese Herbal Medicine is also used effectively to treat vaginal discharge, infection, inflammation and itching.
Pregnancy & Post Partum
Whilst Chinese obstetricians have relinquished supervision of delivery to Western medicine, Acupuncture has is extensively used in private practice, and in a unique NHS maternity clinic in Plymouth where nearly three thousand pregnant women have been treated. Antenatal ailments successfully treated with Acupuncture include nausea and hyperemesis, backache and sciatica, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, constipation, headaches/migraine, heartburn, carpal tunnel syndrome, oedema, abdominal pain, skin problems, anxiety, breech presentation, and the side effects of becoming a non-smoker. Post partum difficulties including retention of the afterbirth, vaginal bleeding, fever, abdominal pain, constipation, impeded or uncontrollable urine flow, anaemia, generalised aching of the joints, and deficient and excessive lactation can also be treated, as can abdominal masses (endometriosis), prolapsed uterus, and emotional disturbances.
What can I expect in a consultation?
Diagnosis in Chinese gynaecology does not involve a gynaecological examination as performed in Western gynaecology, although the findings of such examinations are taken into account in determining the nature of the problem. This is because the results of such an examination describes the status of the structure of the tissues while our interest is primarily in the status of the functioning of the body. Diagnosis, therefore, mainly involves attention to the symptoms of the patient such as what kind of pain or tension she feels, where and when she experiences it, the presence or absence of thirst, perspiration, dizziness, tinnitus, emotional upset and stress.
Emphasis is also placed on food intake, functioning of the bowels and urination, the menstrual flow and the patient’s environment at home and at work. These findings are combined with observations of the complexion and build, the tongue, and the palpation of the pulse at both wrists.
What happens during a treatment?
Chinese Medicine has a whole range of therapeutic techniques at its disposal, including herbs, Acupuncture, Moxibustion, diet, massage, and specialised exercises, some of which involve training in breathing. Each of these techniques is a field of a study with its own specialists. However herbs and acupuncture are by far the most common methods of treatment that we use. During Acupuncture, needles are either inserted for a second or two, or left in place for up to 20-30 minutes, depending on the effect required. During this time there may be a heavy sensation in the limbs and a pleasant feeling of relaxation. Herbs can be taken as a decoction (like tea), in powders, pills, plasters, and syrups. The most common form is the decoction.
Following diagnosis, a standard herbal prescription is chosen for the condition, and then sculpted by adding or taking away different but related herbs until the formula matches precisely the needs and state of health of the individual patient. The effect of the prescription upon the patient is determined at the next consultation and the herbs are adjusted accordingly.
How many treatments will I need?
Treatment with Chinese medicine can be as short as one or two weeks in cases of for example, vaginal discharge or may take up to three months for something like dysmenorrhoea, or even up to a year or longer in the treatment of infertility. While the average treatment may be slower than its Western counterpart because of the more conservative methods employed by physicians of Chinese gynaecology, and while no treatment western or Chinese, can ever claim 100% success, it is generally conceded that of all the departments of Chinese Medicine, gynaecology obtains the best results.