Conceive naturally


Michael came to us with a low sperm count (8.9 million/mL) and low morphology (0%). After 5 months, he re-tested his sperm: count stood at 31 million/mL and morphology at 1%. He continued for a few more months, and sent us this message when he was about to retest his sperm. 

“I would like to give you an update on our progress. My wife is now pregnant naturally — approximately 7 weeks. I would like to thank you and Prof Li for all your time and support in making this happen. We have now cancelled the IVF treatment.”

Melani is 46. She came to us with an FSH of 31.3 and oestradiol below 44. She had been trying for 7 years. After treatment, she sent us this email.

“Well, I have some very happy (pregnancy test positive) results 5 days before my period is due!! Thank you so much for your help!!! I can’t believe it!!” 

Elizabeth saw us for 6 months prior to getting pregnant at 42 years old. She had 4 unsuccessful IVFs and 1 miscarriage before coming to us. Her story was reported in Real magazine.

“After about 6 months, he told me that the treatment is finished and I simply had to be patient. Incredibly, just two months later, I was ringing him with the wonderful news that I was pregnant.”

Sylvia had low AMH. After seeing us 4 times, she sent this email.

“I wanted to let you know I had a positive pregnancy test this morning! Very happy.”

Robert saw us to improve his sperm count and quality. He subsequently had a child. He came back to see us 3 years later to help with conceiving a second child. His sperm count at the time was less than 0.5 million/mL and progressive motility was 6%. He said this to us at his fourth consultation.

“I have not been able to go for my retest yet, but I want to tell you that my wife is now pregnant.”

Many of our patients would like to get pregnant naturally for a variety of reasons, from it being drug-free and less invasive, to IVF being a hassle and expensive, to not wanting to use donor eggs. We help couples get pregnant naturally by improving the egg quality for women (increase AMH, decrease FSH) and sperm for men. We treat a range of other issues such as early menopause (POF), PCOS, recurring miscarriages, endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroidssevere period pain. By improving egg quality, achieving hormonal balance, and improving sperm count and quality, natural pregnancy is more likely to occur.

Is there an age limit for natural pregnancy?

AMH, drawn with Chinese calligraphy, TCM Healthcare — London fertility clinic

There is no denying that the older you are, the harder it is for you to get pregnant, whether through IVF or naturally. It is worth noting that in this country that IVF clinics are not allowed to take on female patients over 46 who want to use their own eggs, as IVF success for them is zero (as related to us by IVF clinics). For IVF success rate by age, click here.

Older women (in their late 30s or early 40s) are sometimes told their hormones are no good (such as a low AMH level or high FSH). This is more often the case if they’ve already been through IVF procedures. When IVF is abandoned, women are sometimes told that their only way to have a child is through donor eggs. This news can be devastating. 

Biological age vs natural age

It is important to recognise that while age may be the best predictor for IVF success, it is not as critical in natural pregnancy. Anecdotally, a lot of us know women who get naturally pregnant after the age of 46. More importantly, health is not a hundred percent correlated with age. The former can change while the latter cannot. This is now backed up by the latest scientific research on ageing in the US. On 12 July 2021, Nature Aging published an article to unveil the details of a test that can tell whether someone is biologically younger or older than their natural age. In other words, natural age may not be the same as biological age. The iAge test uses information on immune system chemicals in a person's blood to gauge their biological age. iAge is based on the idea that as a person ages, their body experiences chronic, systemic inflammation because their cells become damaged and emit inflammation-causing molecules. This ultimately leads to wear and tear on their tissues and organs. People who have a healthy immune system will be able to neutralise this inflammation to some extent, whereas others will age faster. The study “is a further reinforcement of the fact that the immune system is critical, not only for predicting unhealthy ageing, but also as a mechanism driving it,” says Vishwa Deep Dixit, an immunobiologist at Yale (University) School of Medicine, who was not involved in the work.

To summarise, the results show that the biological age is a better predictor for health than the natural age. While the natural age cannot be changed, the biological age is influenced by a host of environmental factors such diet, stress and exercise. The research was also briefly reported in The Sunday Times in the UK on 9 January 2022.

As regards reproduction, according to Dr Randine Lewis who is the author of a well-received book called The Infertility Cure, “women should be capable of pregnancy from the onset of menstruation until menopause”. She goes on to say, “rarely have I met a woman of childbearing age with all her reproductive organs intact who isn’t capable of having children. As long as anatomical structures are present, a medical diagnosis of ‘infertility’ is often a fallacy. Many factors can cause a woman to have difficulty conceiving, but once these factors are overcome and a woman’s body is restored to health, conception can occur naturally.”

At TCM Healthcare, we take a similar view. Firstly, natural pregnancy can occur if a woman is ovulating regularly. Secondly, good general and reproductive health are important and can also be improved. Natural age is not important and biological age. For fertility, someone with a younger biological age (than her natural age) is one whose periods are regular, hormones are balanced, has low anxiety and a positive attitude, to name but a few key parameters. This perspective is borne out from our many patients who have seen their FSH, AMH and other key hormones improve, and periods come back after treatment. As far as hormones are concerned, their balance is just as important as their individual levels.

Based on our extensive experience, we believe that regardless of your natural age, natural pregnancy in older women may still be possible if you can achieve the following:

How does the treatment work?

All patients come to us with their recent hormone or semen test results. For women, they should include the AMH test and the Female Fertility Profile test. Men should have done a semen analysis. We will accept results of your tests if they were conducted within the last 3 months. If they were not, we can arrange tests for you very quickly. 

The treatment programme consists of three phases. 

Phase 1

The treatment will last for 3 months with visits on a monthly basis. We will prescribe tailor-made herbs for you to take in your monthly cycle. The herbal remedies will be altered to suit your changing condition.

After 3 months, we ask you to take the hormone tests again to check progress. Most patients see significant improvements and move onto the second phase.

Phase 2

The second phase is also around 3 months, however, you may be asked to come see us every other month or have a rest (for 2–3 months) before you start the second phase.

Phase 3

The third phase runs in the same way as the second.

In general, older women tend to require longer treatment than younger women. For women over 40, patients tend to be treated by us for up to 9 months; younger patients tend to be treated for 2 phases instead of 3 (ie up to 6 months).

What is our success rate?

We have helped women up to the age of 48 to conceive naturally, the majority of whom have tried more than one cycle of IVFs.

Our success rate in improving hormones and sperm is over 80%. For natural pregnancy, the rate is about 45%. 

Natural pregnancy usually occurs during the second or third course of treatment, each course of treatment being 3 months. Sometimes, this is achieved after treatment has stopped because although the patient’s health and reproductive systems are functioning a lot better after treatment, nature still has to take its course.

What are our fees? 

The fees come to about £480 to £530 a month on average. Given our success rate, the fees of our treatment programme compares very favourably with IVF — all 3 courses (9 months) of our treatment comes out to be around £4,500 whereas the minimum all-inclusive fee for one IVF cycle stands at £6,000.

What to expect during a consultation

A traditional Chinese medical consultation involves the following steps.


The practitioner may scrutinise your complexion, eyes, tongue, and movements to gain insight into how your organs are functioning. The tongue is a particularly important source of information, and its colour, body, coating, and moisture will all be taken into account.


The practitioner assesses the patient’s energy and general condition by taking into account your body heat, odour, skin sensitivity, and uses other senses to gain an insight into the your condition.


To gain a full picture, the practitioner will ask detailed questions about your complaint and your medical history. They will want to find out whether your problems vary at all according to the time of year and your diet, feelings or emotions.

Pulse diagnosis

This can provide a highly sensitive and detailed picture of your general health. The practitioner will take a number of different ‘pulses’ using three fingers put on the wrist of each hand of the patient. This enables him to gain further information about the quality and functioning of the five major organs. He will take account of your general health and strength, as well as all your symptoms, and whether they seem to you to be connected or not. This will be the basis for deciding on the best treatment.


Monthly consultations are required to gauge your progress. The prescriptions will be devised accordingly — for treating a changing condition, a fixed single herb or formula is unlikely to be effective over time.

Patients want to know how long they need to see us for. We say after 3 months of treatment, we will review progress, retesting hormones and check subjective experience, such as period cycle regularity and sexual interest. If they are at normal levels, we discharge the patients.

If they are better but still need further improvement, patients may need second course of treatment at the same or less intensity.

Typically, women see us for 3 courses of treatment, ie 9 months total.

The point is that the way we treat patients means they should not rely on our treatment for too long. Their improved health and function should stay with them if they look after their health.

A second opinion service

We have just launched a second opinion service where you can send us your hormone test results, sperm test results and other results. Consultations will be done on the phone and it will not be a face-to-face medical consultation.

Since we work with IUI, IVF, ICSI, egg and sperm freezing specialists, we can explore a full range of options with you prior to your committing to a course of actions that may be best for you. There is no charge for this service.

We offer this service in good faith based on our clinical experience and our work with partner agencies such as IVF specialists. We do not accept any liability and we will urge you to triangulate opinions given with your own doctors before you decide what may be best for your circumstance.

Book an appointment!

Call us any time on 0207 096 0283 or fill out our enquiry form.

We would like to see the following test results (less than 2 months old):

If you have not done them yet, we can arrange them for you. Results come out in 1 to 3 days.

A booking fee of £100 (refunded when you attend) will be processed at booking. 

Late cancellation fee £50

We appreciate that you might not be well or have urgent matters to attend. As a result you may have to postpone the appointment. We would like to have at least 24 hours' advance notice. A late cancellation fee of £50 is payable if advance notice is not given.

Are there patients we cannot help?

Yes. No medical system is foolproof and medical practitioners, however good, are not omnipotent. As great as our success rates are, they are not 100%. There are times patients do not respond to our treatments despite our best efforts.

Delayed improvements are possible when patients rest a little. However, even with rest, patients may still not respond well. Fortunately, these cases are in the minority. We minimise the number of these cases by trying to understand our patients’ conditions as much as possible before taking them on. We minimise time and financial commitments from patients by insisting they have hormone or sperm test results prior to treatment, and that they go for retests after 3 months of treatment — following our evidence-based approach.

At TCM Healthcare, we will always have your best interests in mind and we will do our best.