What Is Infertility?
What Causes Infertility?
How Is Infertility Treated?
Infertility refers to an inability to conceive after having regular
unprotected sex. Infertility can also refer to the biological inability
of an individual to contribute to conception, or to a female who cannot
carry a pregnancy to full term.
Causes of female infertility
Causes of female infertility may include:
Ovulation disorders, which hinder or prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. Examples include hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that might relate to your ovaries producing too much of the male hormone testosterone, and hyperprolactinemia, when you have too much prolactin - the hormone that stimulates breast milk production. Other underlying causes may include excessive exercise, eating disorders, injury or tumors.
Uterine or cervical abnormalities, including problems with the opening of the cervix or cervical mucus, or abnormalities in the shape or cavity of the uterus. Benign tumors in the wall of the uterus that are common in women (uterine fibroids) may rarely cause infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes. More often, fibroids may distort the uterine cavity interfering with implantation of the fertilized egg.
Fallopian tube damage or blockage, which usually results from inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis). This can result from pelvic inflammatory disease, usually caused by sexually transmitted infection, endometriosis or adhesions.\
Endometriosis, which occurs when endometrial tissue implants and grows outside of the uterus - often affecting the function of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes.
Primary ovarian insufficiency, also called early menopause, when the ovaries stop working and menstruation ends before age 40. Although the cause is often unknown, certain conditions are associated with early menopause, including immune system diseases, radiation or chemotherapy treatment, and smoking.
Pelvic adhesions, bands of scar tissue that bind organs after pelvic infection, appendicitis, or abdominal or pelvic surgery.
Other causes in women include:
Thyroid problems. Disorders of the thyroid gland, either too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism), can interrupt the menstrual cycle or cause infertility.
Cancer and its treatment. Certain cancers - particularly female reproductive cancers - often severely impair female fertility. Both radiation and chemotherapy may affect a woman's ability to reproduce.
Other conditions. Medical conditions associated with delayed puberty or the absence of menstruation (amenorrhea), such as celiac disease, Cushing's disease, sickle cell disease, kidney disease or diabetes, can affect a woman's fertility. Also genetic abnormalities can make conception and pregnancy less likely.
Certain medications. Temporary infertility may occur with the use of certain medications. In most cases, fertility is restored when the medication is stopped.
Causes of male infertility
Causes of male infertility may include:
Abnormal sperm production or function due to various problems, such as undescended testicles, genetic defects, health problems such as diabetes, or infections such as mumps. Enlarged veins in the testes (varicocele) can increase blood flow and heat, affecting the number and shape of sperm.
Problems with the delivery of sperm due to sexual problems, such as premature ejaculation; semen entering the bladder instead of emerging through the penis during orgasm (retrograde ejaculation); certain genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis; structural problems, such as blockage of the part of the testicle that contains sperm (epididymis); or damage or injury to the reproductive organs.
Overexposure to certain environmental factors, such as pesticides and other chemicals, radiation, or to certain medications, such as anabolic steroids, or marijuana. In addition, frequent exposure to heat, such as in saunas or hot tubs, can elevate core body temperature, impairing sperm production.
Damage related to cancer and its treatment, including radiation or chemotherapy. Treatment for cancer can impair sperm production, sometimes severely. Removal of one testicle due to cancer also may affect male fertility.
ACUPUNCTURE AND FERTILITY
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been used effectively for female and male infertility for thousands of years. Today acupuncture is making its way into the mainstream as an effective, scientifically justified fertility treatment.
The World Health Organisation on the use of acupuncture for infertility:
"Acupuncture was reported to be effective in the treatment of female anovular infertility " "Acupuncture is also worth trying in the treatment of female infertility due to inflammatory obstruction of the fallopian tubes, where it seems to be superior to conventional therapy with intrauterine injection of gentamicin, chymotrypsin and dexamethasone."
The above excerpt is from a book published in 2002. There has been plentiful new research on acupuncture and infertility published since then. And use of acupuncture in the treatment of infertility is expanding study by study.
What fertility conditions have we helped with acupuncture and herbs?
Advanced Maternal Age, Premature ovarian failure (low AMH, high FSH)
Polycystic ovaries (PCOS)
Stress and Infertility
Poor Egg Quality
Luteal Phase Defect
Recurrent Miscarriage and reducing the risk of miscarriage
Male factor fertility
TCM to Treat Infertility
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) suggests that there are three main causes of infertility: deficiency syndrome, stagnancy syndrome and heat syndrome. The deficiency syndrome prevents the hormonal system from properly influencing the sexual and reproductive functions.
The stagnancy syndrome prevents the sexual and reproductive organs from functioning despite normal hormone levels and a normal ability to respond to hormones. This has the impact of restricting circulation to tissues.
The heat syndrome may be associated with an infection or inflammatory process. It can produce abnormal semen quality leading to male infertility, while gynecologic infections can maintain female infertility by blocking the passages, altering the mucous membrane conditions or influencing the local temperature.
All three syndromes can be treated with Chinese herbs, acupuncture or a combination of both. These traditional Chinese approaches can also, and are often, combined with Western medicine in treating infertility.
Evidence of using herbs to treat infertility dates back to around 2,000 years ago. With the cultural importance of family, it is no wonder that TCM has been used to treat infertility for thousands of years.
TCM practitioners treat infertility by getting to the deeper, underlying root of the problem, instead of treating the most apparent problem. Like an architect, TCM practitioners believe that the foundation is most important in a "home" or body. Therefore, they strive to balance the "foundation" of the body. Once the foundation of the body is healthy and qi (life energy) flows freely throughout the body, the body should be able to correct the problem of infertility on its own.
In China, the use of herbs have generally taken three to six months to restore fertility, according to Chinese clinical studies. Japan's treatment times tend to be longer on average, six to 15 months, due to doctors giving lower dosages of herbs and because they are restricted to using a smaller variety of herbs. The U.S. is generally in between at about six to 12 months; it has nearly the full range of Chinese materials, but it generally gives smaller doses. India's treatment time is between 7 to 12 months in female and 2 to 5 months for males.
Acupuncture is another effective way of restoring fertility. It can be used as a complementary treatment with Chinese herbs, Western medicine or both.
Acupuncture helps qi flow through the body along pathways, also known as meridians. It aims to balance this flow by stimulating points along the meridians with thin needles. Acupuncture aids in blood flow to the reproductive organs and stabilizes hormone levels. This will increase ovarian function in women and sperm production in men.
A German study published in 2002 showed that acupuncture may be helpful to couples undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Of 80 women in the study who underwent IVF and received acupuncture, 34 women got pregnant. Of another 80 women who only received IVF without acupuncture treatment, only 21 women became pregnant. A later American study revealed similar results, showing that 51 percent of the women who had both acupuncture and IVF treatments became pregnant, while only 36 percent of the women who only received IVF treatment without acupuncture became pregnant.
Acupuncture also helps with men's sperm count and sperm quality. In a study published in Fertility and Sterility in 2005, men who received acupuncture had fewer structural defects in sperm and an increase in the number of normal sperm than men who received no acupuncture.
If the herbal and acupuncture treatments succeed, not only will there be restored fertility in the patient, but he or she should feel better as a whole, because the TCM practitioner would have created balance throughout the entire body.
At our centre a unique combination of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine has been prepared for the first time in India, to solve the infertility in males and females, totally safe and free from any side effects.
Any type of infertility associated with
a) Blockage of fallopian tubes
b) Irregular Menstrual cycle
c) Fibroid Uterus
d) Small size of egg
e) Small size of ovary and uterus
f) Ovarian cyst
For all these problems patient has to take these medicines for 7 to 12 months.
The medicine consists of two capsules a day with milk, one in the morning and one in the evening.
Some patients have got relief between 2 - 3 months while some patients recovered dramatically within one month only. So the results vary from patient to patient.
During this course of medication patient has to reduce intake of tea, coffee, spices and fried foods.
Raw mangoes and tamarind have to be avoided. No other precaution is required and medicine can be started any day, but should be continued even during the menstrual cycle. The success rate is about 80% depending upon the type of disorder.
The patient can come for examination on any day. There is no restriction of menstrual cycle.
Infertility associated with Azoospermia (nill sperms), oligospermia (low sperm count) and/or impotency For these problems patient has to take the medicine according to their problem.
In Azoospermia patient has to take the medicine for 2 to 4 months for low sperm count medicine can go from 3 to 5 months and in impotency for 3 months.
Four capsules per day are required
During the medication the patient should avoid alcohol, smoking, cannabis, tobacco chewing and any other medicine which may induce sedation. Intake of tea, coffee, fried and spicy food should be reduced while raw mangoes and tamarind should be avoided. Success rate is approximately 90%.