Yin Deficiency is a pattern of imbalance in Chinese Fertility Medicine that describes depleted fluid levels of the body that usually presents as a form of dryness.

This is not dehydration as such, but a deep and longer term type of fluid deficiency or dryness of the tissues and cells.

Reduced fluid levels in the body interfere with temperature regulation, blood and fluid circulation, and delivery of nutrients and vital substances to your cells (including egg and sperm cells), tissues, and organs.

Yin Deficiency is typically caused by one or several of the following:

  1. Digestive or respiratory issues that reduce the transformation of fluids
  2. Inability to hold or retain fluids properly
  3. Lack of sufficient intake of fluids
  4. Extreme fluid loss (blood or body fluid) through injury or illness
  5. Overuse of the sweating mechanism through: exercise, saunas, or other practices that create heavy sweating

One or more of the above causes is sufficient to create a Yin Deficiency pattern in any person.

The key symptoms of Yin Deficiency are:

  • Lower back ache or knee pain
  • Feelings of heat particularly in the evenings or night
  • A dry mouth
  • Increased thirst, dry mouth, dry skin, cracks on the tongue, constipation
  • Tiredness
  • Slightly dark urination
  • Night urination
  • Leaking or dribbling after urination
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Hyperthyroidism (over-active Thyroid)

Extra Yin Deficiency symptoms unique to women:

  • Light periods
  • Short periods (less than 3 days bleeding)
  • High follicular BBT chart temperatures
  • Early ovulation
  • Reduced, or lack of, cervical mucus at ovulation
  • Low Estradiol levels
  • High FSH, LH
  • Poorer quality of eggs – particularly the fluid balance of the eggs and the outer membrane (which will usually be thicker)
  • Poor ovarian or follicular response during IVF

Extra Yin Deficiency symptoms unique to men:

  • Low semen volume
  • Low sperm count
  • High sperm morphology issues
  • No, or pro-longed, liquefaction time
  • One or more of the following: Uncontrollable erections, premature ejaculation, difficulty sustaining an erection, a struggle to ejaculate, or seminal emission (leaking of semen not connected to ejaculation)

Yin Deficiency often leads to development of a heat pattern too, as the body becomes drier and has less fluid too regulate the internal temperature.

If a Heat pattern develops alongside the existing Yin Deficiency it will cause a faster ‘drying up’ of the already reduced levels of body fluids.

A combined Yin Deficiency and Heat pattern shows extra symptoms such as:

  • Night sweats
  • Feeling hot or agitated at night
  • A feeling of heat in the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or chest
  • Very dry stool
  • Red flushed cheeks

For the earth to sustain life it needs water. When water and earth combine we have a nourishing foundation of nutrients and fluids that can nurture and feed life. The same is true in our body.

When the fluid, heat, and circulation are in harmony we have the right foundation to support fertility health, and to be able to create children.

Disruption in one or several of these creates imbalance, and this impacts our health and fertile foundation. Until this is restored again naturally we may find it difficult to create our own children, and we will typically see the symptoms listed here or in any of the other 7 patterns of imbalance I’ve written about.

Long term effects of Yin Deficiency:

If the Yin is deficient for an extended time it will typically produce either a Heat or a Yang Deficiency pattern. Yin and Yang deficiency are common in men and women past the age of 35, and should always be considered as part of a diagnosis relating to fertility health.

Key disorders related to Yin deficiency:

Estrogen deficiency, Progesterone deficiency, Elevated FSH levels, Poor follicular development, Poor ovarian response to FSH (natural or IVF cycle) – ‘sluggish ovaries’, Premature Ovarian Failure, Low AMH, Lack of Cervical Mucus (in some cases this relates to the Dampness pattern), Irregular cycles, Poor pregnancy development, Poor sperm count and morphology, Thick egg cell membrane/wall (seen in IVF cycles), Reduced size of eggs (seen in IVF cycles), Early pregnancy development issues – often seen as little growth, or a small baby early on, Poor pregnancy development, Poor sperm count and morphology, Thick egg cell membrane/wall (seen in IVF cycles), Reduced size of eggs (seen in IVF cycles), Early pregnancy development issues – often seen as little growth, or a small baby early on.

Some common foods to treat Yin Deficiency are: Sweet potatoes, PorkAsparagus, ArtichokeCrab, Barley, Beef, Duck, Spinach

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