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Treatment of Infertility

Homeopathic Treatment of Infertility


Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year or for at least six months if the woman is age 35 or older.

Infertility may be due to a single cause in either you or your partner, or a combination of factors that may prevent a pregnancy from occurring or continuing. Fortunately, there are many safe and effective therapies for overcoming infertility. These treatments significantly improve your chances of becoming pregnant.

Pregnancy is the result of a process that has many steps. To get pregnant:

  • A woman must release an egg from one of her ovaries (ovulation).
  • The egg must go through a Fallopian tube toward the uterus (womb).
  • A man's sperm must join with (fertilize) the egg along the way.
  • The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus (implantation).

Infertility can happen if there are problems with any of these steps.

Causes:

Causes of male infertility:

A number of things can affect sperm count, ability to move (motility) or ability to fertilize the egg. The most common causes of male infertility include:

  • Age: Men older than age 40 may be less fertile than younger men.
  • Abnormal sperm production or function due to various problems, such as undescended testicles, genetic defects or repeated infections.
  • Problems with the delivery of sperm due to sexual problems, such as premature ejaculation or painful intercourse (dyspareunia); health issues, such as retrograde ejaculation; certain genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis; or structural problems, such as blockage of the part of the testicle that contains sperm (epididymis).
  • General health and lifestyle issues, such as poor nutrition, obesity, or use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
  • Overexposure to certain environmental factors, such as pesticides and other chemicals. In addition, frequent exposure to heat, such as in saunas or hot tubs, can elevate your core body temperature. This may impair your sperm production and lower your sperm count.
  • Damage related to cancer and its treatment. Both radiation and chemotherapy treatment for cancer can impair sperm production, sometimes severely. The closer radiation treatment is to the testicles, the higher the risk of infertility. Removal of one or both testicles due to cancer also may affect male fertility.

Causes of female infertility:

The most common causes of female infertility include:

  • Fallopian tube damage or blockage, which usually results from inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis).
  • Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection, is the most frequent cause.
  • Endometriosis, which occurs when the uterine tissue implants and grows outside of the uterus often affecting the function of the sperm, egg and ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes.
  • Ovulation disorders, which can prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs (anovulation). Underlying causes may include injury, tumors, excessive exercise and starvation. In addition, some medications can be associated with ovulation disorders.
  • Elevated prolactin (hyperprolactinemia), the hormone that stimulates breast milk production. High levels in women who aren't pregnant or nursing may affect ovulation.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which your body produces too much of the hormone androgen causing ovulation problems. PCOS is also associated with insulin resistance and obesity.
  • Early menopause, which is the absence of menstruation and the early depletion of ovarian follicles 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.
  • Uterine fibroids, which are benign tumors in the wall of the uterus and are common in women in their 30s and 40s. Rarely, they may cause infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes. More often, fibroids interfere with proper implantation of the fertilized egg.
  • Pelvic adhesions, bands of scar tissue that bind organs after pelvic infection, appendicitis, or abdominal or pelvic surgery. This scar tissue formation may impair fertility.

Other causes in women:

  • Medications: Temporary infertility may occur with the use of certain medications. In most cases, fertility is restored when the medication is stopped.
  • Thyroid problems: Disorders of the thyroid gland, either too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism), can interrupt the menstrual cycle and 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. Chemotherapy may impair reproductive function and fertility in men and women.
  • Other medical conditions: Medical conditions associated with delayed puberty or amenorrhea, such as Cushing's disease, sickle cell disease, kidney disease and diabetes, can affect a woman's fertility.

Risk Factors which affect both male and female infertility:

  • Age: After about age 30, a woman's fertility potential gradually declines. Infertility in older women may be due to a higher rate of chromosomal abnormalities that occur in the eggs as they age or to health problems that may interfere with fertility. Men older than age 40 may be less fertile than are younger men.
  • Tobacco smoking. A couple’s chance of achieving a pregnancy is reduced if either partner smokes tobacco. Smoking also reduces the possible benefit of fertility treatment. Miscarriages are more frequent in women who smoke.
  • Alcohol use: For women, there's no safe level of alcohol use during conception or pregnancy. Alcohol use increases the risk of birth defects, and it may also — at moderate to heavy levels — make it more difficult to become pregnant. Moderate alcohol use does not appear to decrease male fertility.
  • Being overweight: Among American women, infertility often is due to a sedentary lifestyle and being overweight. In addition, a man's sperm count may be affected if he is overweight.
  • Being underweight: Women at risk include those with eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, and women following a very low calorie or restrictive diet.

Too much exercise. In some studies, exercising more than seven hours a week has been associated with ovulation problems. On the other hand, not enough exercise can contribute to obesity, which also increases infertility.

 

Symptoms:

The main symptom of infertility is not getting pregnant. You may not have or notice any other symptoms.Symptoms can also depend on what is causing the infertility. Many health conditions can make it hard to get pregnant. Sometimes no cause is found.

Infertility Symptoms in Women:

In women, changes in the menstrual cycle and ovulation may be a symptom of a disease related to infertility. Symptoms include:

  • Abnormal periods: Bleeding is heavier or lighter than usual.
  • Irregular periods: The number of days in between each period varies each month.
  • No periods: You have never had a period, or periods suddenly stop.
  • Painful periods: Back pain, pelvic pain, and cramping may happen.

Sometimes, female infertility is related to a hormone problem. In this case, symptoms can also include:

 

  • Skin changes, including more acne
  • Changes in sex drive and desire
  • Dark hair growth on the lips, chest, and chin
  • Loss of hair or thinning hair
  • Weight gain

Other symptoms include:

  • Milky white discharge from nipples unrelated to breastfeeding
  • Pain during sex
  • Many other things can lead to infertility in women, and their symptoms vary.

 

Infertility Symptoms in Men:

Infertility symptoms in men can be vague. They may go unnoticed until a man tries to have a baby.

Symptoms depend on what is causing the infertility. They can include:

  • Changes in hair growth
  • Changes in sexual desire
  • Pain, lump, or swelling in the testicles
  • Problems with erections and ejaculation
  • Small, firm testicles

 

Tests and Diagnosis of Infertility:

Tests for men:

For a man to be fertile, the testicles must produce enough healthy sperm, and the sperm must be ejaculated effectively into the woman's vagina. Tests for male infertility attempt to determine whether any of these processes are impaired.

  • General physical examination:This includes examination of your genitals and questions concerning your medical history, illnesses and disabilities, medications, and sexual habits.
  • Semen analysis: This is a very important test for the male partner. Your doctor may ask for one or more semen specimens. Semen is generally obtained by masturbating or by interrupting intercourse and ejaculating your semen into a clean container. A laboratory analyzes your semen specimen for quantity, color, and presence of infections or blood.
  • Hormone testing: A blood test to determine the level of testosterone and other male hormones is common.
  • Transrectal and scrotal ultrasound: Ultrasound can help your doctor look for evidence of conditions such as retrograde ejaculation and ejaculatory duct obstruction.

Tests for women:

For a woman to be fertile, the ovaries must release healthy eggs regularly, and her reproductive tract must allow the eggs and sperm to pass into her fallopian tubes to become fertilized by a sperm. Her reproductive organs must be healthy and functional.

  • After your doctor asks questions regarding your health history, menstrual cycle and sexual habits, you'll undergo a general physical examination. This includes a regular gynecological examination.

Specific fertility tests may include:

  • Ovulation testing:A blood test is sometimes performed to measure hormone levels to determine whether you are ovulating.
  • Hysterosalpingography:This test evaluates the condition of your uterus and fallopian tubes. Fluid is injected into your uterus, and an X-ray is taken to determine if the cavity is normal and ensure the fluid progresses through your fallopian tubes. Blockage or problems often can be located and may be corrected with surgery.
  • Laparoscopy:Performed under general anesthesia, this procedure involves making a small incision (8 to 10 millimeters) beneath your navel and inserting a thin viewing device to examine your fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus.
  • Hormone testing: Hormone tests may be done to check levels of ovulatory hormones as well as thyroid and pituitary hormones.
  • Ovarian reserve testing:Testing may be done to determine the potential effectiveness of the eggs after ovulation. This approach often begins with hormone testing early in a woman's menstrual cycle.
  • Genetic testing:Genetic testing may be done to determine whether there's a genetic defect causing infertility.
  • Pelvic ultrasound: Pelvic ultrasound may be done to look for uterine or fallopian tube disease.

Not everyone needs to undergo all, or even many, of these tests before the cause of infertility is found. Which tests are used and their sequence depend on discussion and agreement between you and your doctor.

Treatment of Infertility:

Treatment of infertility depends on the cause, how long you've been infertile, your age and your partner’s age, and many personal preferences. Some causes of infertility can't be corrected. However, a woman can still become pregnant with assisted reproductive technology or other procedures to restore fertility.

Treatment for men:

Approaches that involve the male include treatment for:

  • General sexual problems: Addressing impotence or premature ejaculation can improve fertility. Treatment for these problems often is with medication or behavioral approaches.
  • Lack of sperm: If a lack of sperm is suspected as the cause of a man's infertility, surgery or hormones to correct the problem or use of assisted reproductive technology is sometimes possible. In some cases, sperm can be taken directly from the testicles or recovered from the bladder and injected into an egg in the laboratory setting.

Treatment for women:

Fertility drugs are the main treatment for women who are infertile due to ovulation disorders. These medications regulate or induce ovulation. In general, they work like natural hormones — such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) — to trigger ovulation. Commonly used fertility drugs include:

  • Clomiphene citrate (Clomid, Serophene). This drug is taken orally and stimulates ovulation in women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or other ovulatory disorders. It causes the pituitary gland to release more FSH and LH, which stimulate the growth of an ovarian follicle containing an egg.
  • Human menopausal gonadotropin (Repronex, Menopur). This injected medication is for women who don't ovulate on their own due to the failure of the pituitary gland to stimulate ovulation. Unlike clomiphene, which stimulates the pituitary gland, human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) and other gonadotropins directly stimulate the ovaries. This drug contains both FSH and LH.
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (Bravelle). FSH works by stimulating maturation of egg follicles the ovaries.
  • Metformin (Glucophage). This oral drug is taken to boost ovulation. It's used when insulin resistance is a known or suspected cause of infertility. Insulin resistance may play a role in the development of PCOS.
  • Bromocriptine (Parlodel). This medication is for women whose ovulation cycles are irregular due to elevated levels of prolactin, the hormone that stimulates milk production in new mothers. Bromocriptine inhibits prolactin production.

Surgery:

Depending on the cause, surgery may be a treatment option for infertility. Blockages or other problems in the fallopian tubes can often be surgically repaired. Laparoscopic techniques allow delicate operations on the fallopian tubes.

Assisted reproductive technology (ART):

An ART health team includes physicians, psychologists, embryologists, laboratory technicians, nurses and allied health professionals who work together to help infertile couples achieve pregnancy.

The most common forms of ART include:

  • In vitro fertilization (IVF): IVF involves retrieving mature eggs from a woman, fertilizing them with a man's sperm in a dish in a laboratory, and implanting the embryos in the uterus three to five days after fertilization.
  • Electric or vibratory stimulation to achieve ejaculation: Electric or vibratory stimulation brings about ejaculation to obtain semen. This procedure can be used in men with a spinal cord injury who can't otherwise achieve ejaculation.
  • Surgical sperm aspiration: This technique involves removing sperm from part of the male reproductive tract, such as the epididymis, vas deferens or testicle. This allows retrieval of sperm if the ejaculatory duct is blocked.
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): This procedure consists of a microscopic technique (micromanipulation) in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg to achieve fertilization in conjunction with the standard IVF procedure.
  • Assisted hatching: This technique attempts to assist the implantation of the embryo into the lining of the uterus by opening the outer covering of the embryo (hatching).

 

Homeopathic Treatment of Infertility:

Homeopathy has an absolute solution that can augment your probability of conception. Homeopathic treatment of Infertility addresses both physical and emotional imbalances in a person. Homeopathy plays a role in treating Infertility by strengthening the reproductive organs in both men and women, by regulating hormonal balance, menstruation and ovulation in women, by escalating blood flow into the pelvic region, by mounting the thickness of the uterine lining and preventing the uterus from contracting hence abating chances of a miscarriage, and by increasing quality and quantity of sperm count in men. It can also be advantageous in reducing anxiety so that the embryo implantation can take place in a favourable environment. Homoeopathy is a system of medicine directed at assisting the body's own healing process.

The success of Homoeopathy relies strongly upon the individualisation of the treatment. This is particularly the case in infertility as no two cases are the same and treatment has to be tailored to meet the specific requirements of the particular patient.

Role of Hypnotherapy in Infertility:

You can be taught how to achieve a deep state of relaxation using hypnosis which will help to significantly reduce levels of stress.Secondly, hypnosis can be used to ensure that you have access to the skills and inner resources needed to cope better and handle an unsuccessful outcome more easily.

Thirdly, hypnosis can be used to help you to prepare mentally, emotionally and physically for IVF. This preparation can range from positive lifestyle changes, changing limiting beliefs to eliminating a needle phobia. And lastly, hypnosis can help to increase the chances of a successful outcome.Hypnotherapy is exceptionally beneficial for unexplained infertility.

With unexplained infertility, hypnotherapists do the same sort of thing, teaching you to let go of the stress you have been holding on to, using specialised relaxation, and breathing techniques.

Hypnotherapy teaches you to let go of any emotional blocks or worries you may have that can create infertility issues – Hypnotherapy can help you identify and process emotional issues that might be interfering with conception.

In addition to dealing with deep-seated fears, hypnotherapy is effective in stress reduction, and this in turn allows for hormonal rebalancing. This has been seen in cases where there is too much prolactin being produced which can inhibit ovulation.

It is very useful in enabling clients to imagine and create positive outcomes – from being able to see themselves pregnant to being able to visualize embryos embedding while undergoing egg harvesting or implantation in IVF.

 

Self Care Measures:

  • Men should not wear tight under wears or pants as this lessens the number of healthy sperm.
  • Avoid using hot tubs or saunas.
  • Avoid excessive exercise, smoking, alcohol, caffeine.
  • Eat a balanced diet and follow weight management.
  • Practice safe sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Cold sitz bath can lower your body temperature and encourage the production of healthy sperm.
  • Estimate your fertile period by tracking your ovulation at home. The date of ovulation varies in every woman but normally ovulation is 14 days before the next menstrual period starts, and five days before ovulation is the most fertile period in a woman. Have sexual intercourse each day of your fertile period, including ovulation day.
  • Avoid straddling your male partner while making love. Positions where sperm is not likely to leak out are the best. Placing a pillow under your hips during or after making love allows your cervix to rest in the semen allowing sperm some time to travel to the cervix.