Taiwanese obstetrics and gynecology specialist Lin Yingmei
Pregnancy-hunting is popular in Taiwan: Creating a body that is easy to conceive using Western and Oriental medicine

An increasing number of couples are trying to conceive and are trying to prepare their bodies for the birth of a baby. There may be various reasons and backgrounds, but according to the ``2021 Basic Survey on Social Security and Population Issues'' released by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, 39.2% of Japanese couples have ``worried about infertility.'' This is said to be around 1 in 2.6 couples.

Furthermore, 22.7% of couples have actually undergone (or are currently undergoing) an infertility test or treatment, or approximately 1 in 4.4 couples have taken some kind of action for infertility.

In Japan, when we talk about ``fertility efforts'', the mainstream is a review of diet and lifestyle, and ``onkatsu'' that warms the body, but how are infertility treated overseas and what kind of pregnancy efforts are there?

We spoke to Taiwanese obstetrics and gynecology specialist Lin Yingmei, who works at Cardinal Tien Catholic Hospital and Smile Muse Clinic, about the fertility situation in Taiwan, where the number of people visiting from Japan to try to conceive has increased in recent years.

table of contents

・Taiwan's "infertility treatment" and "pregnancy-hunting" situation

・“Pregnancy hunting” is an extension of daily consciousness

・Supporting pregnancy efforts with daily care

“Infertility treatment” and “conception-hunting” situation in Taiwan

——In Japan, ``infertility'' is defined as ``failure to become pregnant for a certain period of time despite having unprotected sexual intercourse between healthy men and women who wish to become pregnant,'' and the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology generally defines this period as ``infertility.'' It is defined as one year. How about in Taiwan?

The definition of infertility in Taiwan is when a woman over the age of 35 is unable to conceive within six months of marriage, and for women under the age of 35, the period extends to over a year. However, even if they meet the definition, there are cases where they do not necessarily want to become pregnant, such as people who want to enjoy time together for a while after getting married, and only 10-15% of people actually seek infertility treatment, according to the WHO. This is close to the estimated global infertility rate (as of 2022) of 17.5%.

However, as someone who works in an obstetrics and gynecology department, I feel that the number of people undergoing infertility treatment has increased in recent years.

*WHO defines infertility as ``the inability to become pregnant even after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sex.''

——What could be the reason?

In Taiwan, as in Japan, the so-called "golden cross" situation in which the death rate exceeds the birth rate, or the so-called declining birthrate, has become a problem, and the government has announced that starting in 2021, the government will impose a maximum tax of 100,000 yuan (approx. 10,000,000 yen), we have started a system that provides subsidies up to six times. It is conceivable that this system has led to an increase in the number of people who have started infertility treatment.

The 10 to 15% of people who request infertility treatment that I mentioned earlier is the percentage of people who actually visited a medical institution for infertility reasons. This figure is based on the number of people registered as ``infertile'' in the database, as Taiwan's insurance system records the purpose of the visit as data, which can be used for statistics and analysis.

However, in Taiwan, infertility treatment is a self-pay medical treatment, so most medical institutions do not register it as ``infertility'' and instead treat it as treatment for complications such as adenomyosis. Considering this, there is a possibility that there are many more people actually undergoing infertility treatment.
Taiwanese obstetrics and gynecology specialist Lin Yingmei ``Treatment to conceive'' is popular in Taiwan Creating a body that is easy to conceive using Western and Oriental medicine

——In Japan, many women work hard to gather information about infertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization, and self-care efforts to build a body that makes it easier to conceive. What is the awareness of "pregnancy hunting" in Taiwan?

In Taiwan, people are gradually becoming more conscious about trying to conceive, but the common practice is to first visit a medical institution to check for any diseases that could lead to infertility, and to treat any problems that arise. Of course, I try to warm myself up, take Chinese medicine, and receive nutritional guidance, but I'm not really that enthusiastic about it.

A unique way to get pregnant in Taiwan is that private medical practitioners who run private clinics offer free AMH tests (blood tests to determine the number of eggs remaining in the ovaries) as part of their promotional strategy. Is it common practice to do so?

It is normal for doctors to actively promote themselves by appearing on TV or using social media, and as supervisors, they may develop products with food and cosmetics manufacturers and sell them in conjunction with their own promotions. I think there are many people who have become interested in infertility treatment because of lectures on the theme of fertility and promotions that feature free tests.

``Pregnancy efforts'' are an extension of daily consciousness.

——Isn’t it impactful to offer free testing as part of your promotion? In Japan, insurance coverage was expanded in April 2022 to include "general infertility treatment" such as artificial insemination, and "assisted reproductive technology" such as in vitro fertilization and microinsemination, but there are also conditions depending on age. , I have the impression that the hurdles to infertility treatment are still high.

The most common infertility treatment in Taiwan is ``egg cryopreservation'', which takes into account the aging of eggs and preserves them in preparation for future pregnancies at an early stage. In this case, it costs approximately 90,000 yuan (approximately 400,000 yen) to collect and freeze the eggs, and at least 15,000 yuan (approximately 67,000 yen) each year as a storage fee for the frozen eggs. The size of the burden can be said to be an issue.

*The average annual salary in Taiwan in 2022 is estimated to be 677,000 yuan (approximately 3,050,000 yen) (according to a survey by Taiwan's human resources bank "104 Talent Bank")

——So, what are the popular ways to get pregnant?

This is not limited to pregnancy-seeking, but in Taiwan, it is customary to receive counseling from a Chinese herbalist doctor to prescribe herbal medicine to manage your physical condition on a daily basis, and to receive acupuncture treatment to improve menstrual irregularities or sensitivity to cold. It has become. The same goes for taking supplements.

Rather than starting to take care of yourself in preparation for pregnancy, you may have naturally acquired an awareness of taking care of your body on a daily basis.

Since a Chinese herbalist doctor pays for his or her own treatment, one treatment (consulting about 5 times a year and Chinese herbal medicine prescriptions, etc.) for infertility treatment costs about 75,000 yuan (approximately 337,000 yen).

The cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF) is approximately 150,000 yuan (approximately 670,000 yen), so counseling with a Chinese herbalist is expensive in comparison, but in Taiwan, the probability of pregnancy through in vitro fertilization (IVF) is very high. Since there is no such thing, it seems that they take this into consideration and choose the method that suits them.
Taiwanese obstetrics and gynecology specialist Lin Yingmei ``Treatment to conceive'' is popular in Taiwan Creating a body that is easy to conceive using Western and Oriental medicine

Supporting pregnancy efforts with daily care

——It's a fertility strategy that combines Western medicine and Oriental medicine.

I agree. In Taiwan, Chinese herbalists are a familiar presence, so I think they naturally come into consideration when it comes to infertility treatment. It is not uncommon for a doctor to be certified as a herbalist and perform infertility treatment in a hospital that combines Western and Eastern medicine.

——It is said that an increasing number of Japanese people are trying to conceive in Taiwan, perhaps because they are aware of this situation, and are seeking a method of conceiving that is more compatible with their bodies, but what is your experience with it? mosquito.

As for the stories around me, I don't really feel it. In Taiwan, there is an ``artificial reproduction law'' that stipulates that ``egg eggs must not be moved from the country where they were collected.'' Therefore, if you have been stationed in Taiwan for a long time for work, or if your partner is Taiwanese and has submitted a marriage registration. Without this background, it may be difficult to conceive through medical procedures such as egg freezing and in vitro fertilization.

——As a new way to conceive, an increasing number of people in Japan are using vaginal serums to balance the vagina in preparation for pregnancy.

I have not yet seen a product in Taiwan that delivers ingredients into the vagina at the level of care that can be done at home. In terms of administration, treatments include direct injection of hormones, progesterone (progesterone), hyaluronic acid, etc. into the endometrium with the aim of improving the growth of the endometrium.

Close to the human stem cell culture medium included in KNOW YOUR ORIGIN's "Beauty Charge -Femcare-", exosomes (small extracellular microspores secreted from cells) are also used in this treatment, and are attracting attention. is.

Components derived from these stem cells are known to have a positive effect on cells (mucosal membranes), so they are expected to be effective in regulating the state of bacteria in the vagina and improving vaginal flora (normal flora) and PH value. I think you can.

It is also thought to be effective against vaginal candida, which affects about 2 out of 3 people in Taiwan. Vaginal candida is not directly related to infertility, but inflammation in the vagina may make it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus or lead to other infections, so it is important to treat it as soon as possible. .

Mental and physical health is important when trying to get pregnant. Take time to refresh yourself to avoid stress as much as possible, and try to build a foundation for your body with daily care.
Taiwanese obstetrics and gynecology specialist Lin Yingmei ``Treatment to conceive'' is popular in Taiwan Creating a body that is easy to conceive using Western and Oriental medicine


Taiwanese obstetrics and gynecology specialist Lin Yingmei ``Treatment to conceive'' is popular in Taiwan Creating a body that is easy to conceive using Western and Oriental medicine

Ying-Mei [Cynthia] Lin

Taiwanese obstetrics and gynecology specialist. In charge of general gynecology and gynecological plastic surgery at Cardinal Tien Catholic Hospital and Smile Muse Clinic. She is a clinical researcher at the International Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery Association and is well versed in female genital cosmetic surgery. Utilizing her experience as a mother of one child, she helps women with their concerns.

Official Instagram https://www.instagram.com/cynthialin1008/