Inability to conceive can be due to causes that lie either in the man or the woman or both. 30% of infertility cases are due to male problems for example low sperm count. Identification of the underlying causes is the key to successful treatment, but in some cases are unexplained.
Female Infertility Causes
- Endocrine problems. Difficulties of the pituitary, thyroid or adrenal glands, which together regulate the menstrual cycle, may cause a failure of ovulation or irregular menstrual cycles.
- Fallopian Tube problems. They could be blocked, sometimes because of an inherited difficulty, or because of an infection of the womb or other diseases such as salpingitis (inflammation of the fallopian tubes), endometriosis, and TB; these may cause thickening of the tubes which either narrow or completely block the passages, or they can cause the tubes, uterus and ovaries to become matted together by adhesions, or in the case of endometriosis, by growths of tissue from the uterus.
- Prolapse & Fibroids. There could be malposition of the uterus or fibroids which can lead to sterility. The latter can also cause miscarriage early on, or a difficult labor. Cervical problems. The cervix can also be affected adversely and cause sterility. Infection or excess mucus from inflammation can expel the sperm, or polyps may prevent the sperm from entering the uterus.
- Lifestyle, emotional state. History of recreational drug / alcohol use, obesity or very low weight, poor diet leading to lack of essential vitamins ect.
Male Infertility Causes
- Sperm count. The most common cause in men is no sperm or a low sperm count. This may be caused by numerous factors including an infection after puberty which was accompanied by a high fever, undescended testicles, taking certain drugs, trauma to the testicles, or exposure to large amounts of X-ray. For the most part however, a low sperm count tends to be related to more easily reversible conditions. A long illness or a chronic infection may lower general health, as could poor diet, strenuous physical exercise, lack of exercise, too much smoking and drinking, being over-weight, overwork, tension and fatigue. A common reason for a low sperm count is abnormal temperature regulation in the testicles, which function at a temperature slightly lower than the rest of the body.
- Low sperm motility. This makes them unable to travel from the vagina, through the fallopian tubes to fertilize the ovum. This tends to be related to some of the above factors, and may also be due to enlargement of the prostate gland, as well as an imbalance of male hormones in the body. The vessels along which the sperm travel in men could be blocked by an inflammatory or infectious process or by varicosity in the area.
How would a Traditional Oriental Practitioner work with you?
In Traditional Oriental Medicine there are two points strongly emphasised:
1. We do not treat infertility, we treat people with difficulty conceiving or maintaining pregnancy. This means that we look at you holistically and try to find the underlying causes of your health problem, which can be as diverse as fatigue, poor circulation of blood, emotional difficulties or even IBS in order to increase the chances of conception and giving birth. The main objective is to treat you as an individual and create a tailor made treatment programme.
2. The patient and practitioner work in partnership, the practitioner may provide some basic dietary, exercise or lifestyle advice specific to the patients needs but obviously it would be up to the patient to decide whether to comply or not. At this clinic you may be referred to other therapists for certain aspects of your treatment. In some cases herbal medicine could be prescribed in order to support the acupuncture treatment
Could Acupuncture Help Promote IVF success?
The German Medical study, published in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility, found that acupuncture, increases the chance of pregnancy for women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF). 26% of the women who received IVF became pregnant. Of the patients who had received acupuncture treatments, 42 percent of the women became pregnant.
When, How often do I need to attend and for how long?
Timing and consistency of treatment is of primary importance, whether having acupuncture or just taking herbs. Consistency of treatment for men is important in order to raise sperm count and improve sperm motility. The body takes 70 days to generate new sperm. Therefore men would need to have at least 10 weekly treatments prior to giving a sample in case of IVF or trying naturally. Timing and consistency is also important for women as there are specific hormonal adjustments that can be made at each week of the cycle. It takes a minimum of three consecutive cycles (12 treatments) to do the foundation work of regulation of menstrual cycle or reducing any other health complaints. Timing is even more important when IVF is concerned in order to increase the chances of the embryo embedding.
If a woman is nearing forty years old and has had either numerous fertility drugs (over 3 cycles), birth control pills, ART procedures, elevated FSH, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, sperm antibodies, or a history of drug, alcohol, or smoking abuse, then it usually takes longer to balance her reproductive system. Likewise, if a man has a history of STDs, history of drug, alcohol, smoking, urinary tract infections or other urological health issues it takes longer to rejuvenate the reproductive function. The extent of rejuvenation is relative to the effort and inherent constitution of the individual. The couple must expect to focus six to nine months before really expecting to evaluate results. There is no quick path when it comes to conception and full term pregnancy.
If a woman is in a state of high level wellness from a traditional medicine’s point of view (warm hands and feet and no PMS are just several indicators), and has abundant energy and healthy lifestyle, then it is appropriate to evaluate from the sixth month of consistent treatment.
What are the fees?
Initial consultation and treatment: £49
Follow up treatments: £44
Buy a course of 5 treatments get the 6th free, which works out at £36.66 per treatment!