Fertility guru helped a thousand women get pregnant using Chinese herbs and Acupuncture


Fertility guru helped a thousand women get pregnant using Chinese herbs and Acupuncture

Around one in seven couples suffer with infertility and an increasing number are seeking alternative therapies in the hope it will bring them a longed for baby.

Those who can afford it can turn to London's famous private medical haven Harley Street, where Dr Xiao-Ping Zhai has been helping women conceive for decades using only traditional Chinese medicine.

Now she's invited BBC cameras inside The Zhai Clinic, which she opened in 1996, to reveal the secrets of her success.

'I'm a doctor who initially trained in western medicine, then I studied Chinese medicine as I realised lots of problems couldn't be overcome by traditional western medicine,' she explains to Vanessa Engle for the documentary Inside Harley Street, which airs tonight on BBC2.

Dr Zhai's methods include acupuncture and prescribing a bespoke combination of Chinese herbs which must be taken day and night. The herbs may be drunk as a tea or are provided as a vitamin tablet - 12 must be taken in the morning and 12 in the evening.

The vitamins contain natural ingredients such goji berries, Chinese yan and ginger.

Dr Zhai says as a result of her natural remedies: 'I have brought more than one thousand babies into the world.' One of them was advertising director Jane Parker's son Rupert. He was conceived when she was 40.

Jane, from London, previously told the Mail On Sunday how she fell pregnant using Dr Zhai's methods after two failed cycles of IVF. She said: 'I'd read an article about her, and had arranged it even before I'd had the IVF – she had a long waiting list. I was in an emotional state of shock when I saw her in December 2008.

'I was convinced she was going to tell me I was too old. Yet she was incredibly reassuring, giving me confidence without raising my hopes to unrealistic levels. 'She ran a series of checks including blood tests and scans. She only prescribes after she's been through the results.

'In January 2009, alongside regular acupuncture sessions, I started taking specially prepared herbs, following her advice on which supplements to take and made several changes to my lifestyle (including giving up alcohol, taking no vigorous exercise and avoiding cold drinks).

'One month later, I’d just returned from holiday and realised my period was late. I bought a pregnancy test and discovered I was expecting! I carried on with the acupuncture, herbs and supplements throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

'I gave birth to Rupert in November 2009 when I was 41. I genuinely believe that if I hadn’t seen Dr Zhai, I wouldn't have my son.'

The new BBC documentary, which airs this evening follows May Lyang, 36, who hopes to have a success story like Jane's after five years of trying. She turned to Dr Zhai after losing a baby she conceived via IVF treatment on the NHS.

She said: 'I got pregnant and I carried through for 11 weeks but then I miscarried a month ago. 'I think about it every day but you have to move on so that's why I'm here. You have to take positive steps and not think about what is lost.'

May has an initial consultation with Dr Zhai which costs £250 for an hour. During the assessment, Dr Zhai quizzes her on her lifestyle and observes that she doesn't appear to be in the best health because of the appearance of her tongue and her pale complexion. But she tells her she had potential and she's confident she will conceive.

May pays £300 a month for tea made from Chinese herbs. Further check-ups with Dr Zhai will cost her £130, while three sessions of acupuncture at the clinic cost £350. After a period taking the Chinese herbal tea, she is then prescribed a mixture of Chinese herbs in a pill form which must be taken 24 times a day (12 in the morning and 12 in the evening) for two weeks, costing around £150.

The BBC documentary catches up with May months on from her first appointment with Dr Zhai and while she still hasn't become pregnant, she remains hopeful.

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