Welcome to Part Four of our Herbal Pharmacy Essentials series where we bring you our top formulas for supporting male and female reproductive health.
In case you missed it, our last article on Frontline Formulas can be found here.
Our Fertility Essentials collection includes nine formulas, and are suitable for:
- Women undergoing IUI or IVF
- Men with low sperm count and/or low sperm motility
- Women with irregular menses, abnormal ovulation or Luteal defect
- Women with low quality and/or low quantity of eggs
- Men or women with low libido
Recommendations, including best times to take specific formulas, are provided with each formula. These recommendations are based on clinical studies, traditional usage, and Dr. Ann Wang’s 40+ years of clinical experience.
Short on time? Download our Fertility Essentials Quick Reference Guide PDF!
Female Fertility Formulas
1. Nourish the Blood and Prepare for Pregnancy with Ba Zheng Tang
Ba Zheng Tang or “Eight Treasures” is used for female pregnancy preparation, specifically when blood deficiency is present. Blood deficiency often presents as menstrual irregularities such as irregular periods or amenorrhea (menstruation ceases for three months or more). Other symptoms of blood deficiency may include pale complexion, dizziness, auditory vertigo, lassitude of the four limbs, shortness of breath, reluctance to speak, palpitations, and lack of appetite.
Recommendations: This formula should be taken 3-6 months ahead of pregnancy.
Treatment actions: Tonify and stabilize Qi, nourish the Blood.
2. Improve Egg Quality & Egg Reserves with Chu Luan Fang
Chu Luan Fang or “Fertile Tonic” supports healthy ovarian blood flow to support the quality and quantity of eggs. This formula is designed to manage Kidney and Liver Deficiency while strengthening Jing and Blood. In addition to infertility, symptoms in these patients may include fatigue, low back pain, dizziness, irregular menstruation and/or ovulation cycles.
Recommendations: This formula should be taken 3-6 months ahead of pregnancy. This formula is safe to take through menstruation. Upon positive pregnancy an appropriate formula should be substituted. Avoid consuming radishes, coix seeds (also known as Yi Yi Ren or Jacob’s Tears), and mung bean sprouts while taking this formula. If Liver and Kidney Yin deficiency patients feel dryness or bitterness in their mouths, they are advised to take the formula with water and honey.
Treatment actions: Tonify the Kidney and Liver, replenish Jing and Blood.
3. Move Blood & Free Tubal Obstruction with Xiao Liu Tang
Xiao Liu Tang (Dang Gui Tail Combination) is designed to promote fertility by relaxing and loosening up tubal blockages. This formula removes blood stagnation and opens the Chong and Ren channels while strengthening Kidney Qi. Patient symptoms may include irregular menstruation, low abdominal discomfort, low back pain, and frequent urination with or without frequent bowel movements.
Recommendations: This formula should be taken 1-3 months prior to conception. If menses are light to normal then this formula can be taken through menstruation. However, if menstruation is heavy the formula should be stopped at the onset of menses, or 1 week prior. Upon positive pregnancy this formula should be substituted with an appropriate formula. Steamed leafy greens should be included in the diet to assist with the actions of this formula.
Treatment actions: Tonify the Kidney Qi, move Blood.
4. Reduce Worry & Enhance Fertility with Xiao Yao Wan
Xiao Yao Wan or “Free & Easy Wanderer” is a versatile formula, and its use in boosting fertility is one such excellent example. Worry, stress and anxiety can impede fertility, and Xiao Yao Wan is a master relaxer – calming the mind and “taking the edge off.” Related symptoms, including irritability, headache, dizziness, PMS, breast distension and fatigue, respond well to this formula, as they are all shared by a common root of stagnant Liver Qi and/or Blood deficiency.
Recommendations: Xiao Yao San should be taken for 1-3 months prior to conception, at the beginning of IUI or IVF, and stopped on the day of embryo transfer. If menses are light to normal, this formula can be taken through menstruation. If menses are heavy, the formula should be stopped one week prior to menstruation.
Treatment actions: Regulate the Liver Qi, strengthen the Spleen, tonify Blood.
5. Lengthen the Luteal Phase with Yu Lin Fang
Yu Lin Fang (Rehmannia & Cuscuta Combination) is designed specifically to support the Luteal phase of ovulation. Patients diagnosed with Luteal defect often have underlying Kidney Yang and Blood deficiency, and this 12-herb formulation works to deeply nourish and support this foundation of female fertility. Symptoms may include irregular menstruation, weakness in the lower back and knees, light colored tongue with white coating and deep pulse.
Recommendations: Yu Lin Fang should be taken 3 months prior to conception using an IUI or IVF cycle. This formula is safe to take through menses. Upon positive pregnancy this formula should be substituted with an appropriate formula.
Treatment actions: Tonifies Kidney Yang, consolidates the Chong and Ren channels, boosts female fertility.
6. Stabilize the Pregnancy with Yu Tai Wan
Yu Tai Wan or “Fertile Maintenance“ is designed to to support patients with low endometrial receptivity or threatened miscarriage. In addition to stabilizing pregnancies, Yu Tai Wan addresses other signs of Kidney and Qi deficiency including low back pain, fatigue, frequent urination, dizziness, loss of appetite, and bowel irregularity.
Recommendations: This formula should be taken 3-6 months prior to conception and throughout the first trimester of pregnancy upon entering the second trimester.
Treatment actions: Tonify Kidney Qi & Yang, nourish Blood, stabilize pregnancy.
Male Fertility Formulas
1. Boost Libido with Huan Shao Dan
Huan Shao Dan or “Youth Return Formula“ assists with every fundamental element of male fertility to support sexual energy. Low libido is commonly seen in these patients, and may be accompanied by fatigue, low back pain, seminal emissions, forgetfulness, and disturbed sleep. Huan Shao Dan contains 16 herbs working together to powerfully assist in male reproductive health, and is commonly used as a maintenance formula for male longevity.
Recommendations: To assist in male fertility preparation, take 3-6 months ahead of pregnancy.
Treatment actions: Tonify Spleen and Kidneys, nourish the Heart, enrich the Yin, nourish the Blood and Yang, augment Qi.
2. Improve Sperm Count & Motility with Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan
Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan (Five Seeds Combination) is a reserve-building formula that assists with increasing sperm count and improving sperm motility. Additional symptoms of Kidney Yang deficiency may be present, including frequent urination, premature ejaculation, low sexual drive, lumbar pain or weakness and depression.
Recommendations: This formula should be taken 3 months prior to conception and throughout the first trimester of pregnancy to support male Jing. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and other stimulants while taking this formula.
Treatment actions: Tonify the Kidneys, nourish and astringe Jing, benefit and tonifiy Kidney Yang and blood, promote male fertility.
3. Improve Sperm Production with Zan Yu Fang
Zan Yu Fang (Male Vital Care) addresses male infertility due to deficiency of Ming Men Fire, cold, and deficiency of essential Qi. Symptoms may include low back pain, tinnitus, low sperm count, lack of reproductive fluid, insomnia, and fatigue.
Recommendations: This formula should be taken 3 months prior to conception and throughout the first trimester of pregnancy to support male essential Qi. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and other stimulants while taking this formula.
Treatment actions: Warm the Kidneys, nourish and astringe Jing, benefit and tonifiy Kidney Yang and blood, promote male fertility.
Be sure to check out Dr. Ann Wang’s in-depth article on Supporting Ovarian Reserve with Chinese Medicine and visit China Herb Company for Dr. Wang's whole line of fertility formulas and much more information.
As with all articles in the Pharmacy Essentials series, Dr. Wang's use of the formulas are provided for educational purposes only. Stay tuned for our next article in the Pharmacy Essentials series!