Infertility is a bane that only a few couples can tide over in their lifetime. However, infertility is a comprehensive term and involves both men and women. Men can be infertile if they have a low sperm count or they have erectile dysfunction. However, infertility in women may have a number of dimensions.
There are so many factors at play in pregnancy that an obstacle at any stage can render a woman infertile. She may have lesser eggs in her ovary; she may have a problem with the pathway of the eggs; she may have a problem with the uterus or any other problem. Though there are treatments for infertility, they cannot guarantee a pregnancy. This is why there is a trend towards alternative medicine for infertility. Some of the ancient medicinal practices like Tai chi, Acupuncture, etc., have been found to be beneficial in treating infertility in some cases. Among these practices, acupuncture is found to be a special mention.
Acupuncture involves inserting needles in specific sites of the body to cure ailments by unlocking blocked energy channels. It works by rectifying endocrine abnormalities, reducing stress, and increasing blood flow to different organs. This implies that if infertility arises out of any of these problems, acupuncture may be able to treat it.
Acupuncture Treatment for Infertility-
Treatment of infertility by acupuncture involves de-stressing, removal of hormonal imbalance, and increasing flow of blood to reproductive organs.
De-Stressing to Enhance Chances of Fertility-
Stress may well be one of the factors precipitating infertility. This is true for men as well as women. It has indeed been corroborated by modern medicine. Stress leads to the release of a de-stressing hormone called Cortisol which may contribute to low sperm count in male. In the female reproductive system, stress may play out in different ways. It may contribute to a lack of ovulation of egg follicles, failure of the eggs to move, etc.
Acupuncture has been found to be quite helpful in de-stressing. If needles are inserted at proper places, the body can release endorphins. Endorphins are mood alleviating hormones which combat stress and help men and women de-stress.
Rectifying Hormonal Imbalance-
One of the factors responsible for infertility is the low level of progesterone. It may reduce ovulation of egg follicles and thereby prevent pregnancy. In men too, hormonal imbalance may lead to less sperm production. However, it can be rectified to some extent by acupuncture. Studies have suggested that acupuncture may stimulate different endocrine glands like hypothalamus and pituitary to produce or reduce specific hormones and impact infertility.
Increasing the Flow of Blood-
Lack of flow of blood to female reproductive organs like the uterus, the ovaries, or fallopian tubes can cause infertility. In men too, lack of flow of blood may lead to erectile dysfunction or low sperm count. It has been observed that needles pierced at specific points may aid blood flow. This can rejuvenate the organs suffering from lack of blood and enhance the chances of fertility.
It's said that blocked fallopian tubes are the most common cause of female infertility in about 40% of women who are infertile. Fallopian tubes are channels through which the egg travels to reach the uterus and blockage of these tubes can put a stop to this from taking place. Depending on the different parts of the tubes, this form of blockage is of several types.
What are the different types of fallopian tube blockages?
1. Proximal tubal occlusion
This form of fallopian tube blockage involves the isthmus (an area of about 2 cm long, this part of the fallopian tube connects the infundibulum and ampulla to the uterus). This problem occurs after an illness like complications associated with abortion, cesarean section, PID (pelvic inflammatory disease).
2. Mid-segment tubal obstruction
It occurs in the ampullary section of the fallopian tube and is most frequently a result of tubal ligation damage. The procedure of tubal ligation is performed to put a stop to pregnancy permanently.
3. Distal tubal occlusion
This is a kind of blockage wherein the section of the fallopian tube that is close to the ovary is affected and is commonly associated with a condition known as hydrosalpinx (a condition in which the fallopian tube is filled with fluid). The latter is often brought on by Chlamydia infection, leading to the fallopian tube and pelvic adhesions.
The conditions that may give rise to this problem can include:
1. Genital tuberculosis (the TB infection that occurs in the genital tract)
2. Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in which the embryo places itself outside the uterus)
3. Tubal ligation removal
4. Complications related to surgery of the lower abdomen
5. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
6. Uterine fibroids (benign growths that occur in the uterus)
7. Endometriosis (development of uterine tissue outside of the organ)
These disorders can lead to the development of scar tissue, adhesions, polyps or tumors to form inside the pathway. Additionally, the tubes can also get stuck to other body parts such as the ovaries, bladder, uterus and bowels. Two things can happen to the fallopian tubes, either they can become twisted or the walls of the tubes may stick together, leading to complete blockage. Moreover, even if the fallopian tubes are partially damaged, they can remain open so as to enable pregnancy to occur, while increasing your risk for ectopic pregnancy.
A recent study claims that environmental pollution may be a leading cause of infertility in many couples. In the ‘Environmental Health Perspective’ journal, researchers stated that exposure to environmental pollutants like PCBs (perchlorinated biphenyls), pesticides and toxic industrial compounds can decrease your fertility rate by up to a staggering 29%.
Pollution and Reduced Conception Rate-
What do the latest experiments suggest?
People looking to achieve pregnancy through IVF process need to be aware of the harmful effects that environmental pollution may have on the treatment. Limit exposure to such toxic pollutants if you want your IVF to be a success.
For a married couple, having a child is the next step towards completing the family picture. However, for various reasons, some attributed to the male and some to the female, this picture remains incomplete.
Talking to a doctor is one of the best starting points. There could be deep rooted causes for this issue and homeopathy aims at treating the root cause and not just infertility. A good homeopath will ask you numerous questions to find out associated symptoms, family history, etc. and then arrive at a remedy that would work best for you. This is a highly customised therapy and so self-medication based on a friend or family member’s recommendation is best avoided.
Infertility in females is often caused by the following reasons:
With more and more women coming out in the open to discuss, researchers have started working towards identifying the problem and working towards the treatment. The success rate of homeopathy in treating infertility is also on the rise. As with any medical condition, homeopathy treats not just the problem or symptom at hand, but the person holistically. Read on to know some of the common homeopathic remedies, but make sure you have a detailed discussion with your doctor to identify what would work best for you. Self-medication is best avoided.
These are just some of the common remedies, but there are more, and each patient would require different therapy based on associated symptoms.
Males and females are afflicted by several types of impotence and dysfunctions which can negatively impact their relationship with their partners.
Erectile dysfunction, orgasm/ejaculation disorders or low libido are some examples of male impotence.
1. Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or anxiety about having sex can lead to ED. Other contributing factors to ED are depression, fatigue and stress.
2. Ejaculation Problems: These include ejaculation that occurs early during coitus and the inability to ejaculate at all. Some of the causes for this can be a history of sexual trauma, strict religious beliefs, antidepressants and anxiety about sex.
3. Low Libido: Decreased hormone levels, illness, and medication side effects, and psychological issues like stress, depression and anxiety about having sex can lead to decreased or no sexual desire.
Loss of interest (low libido) in sex, difficulty in reaching orgasm, vaginal dryness and tightness causing pain during sex are some of the sexual problems that affect females.
1. Low Libido: Lower levels of the oestrogen hormone can cause an absence of sexual desire. Certain medications like antidepressants, fatigue, depression and anxiety can also lead to low libido.
2. Difficulty achieving orgasms: Not being able to achieve orgasms or delayed orgasms can affect both men and women. Again, certain medications like antidepressants can cause orgasm disorders.
3. Vaginal dryness: Sex can get painful if the vagina is not properly lubricated which in turn effects libido, arousal and desire. Hormonal changes during menopause and breastfeeding as well as psychological issues like anxiety about sex can cause vaginal dryness.
4. Pain during sex: Vaginal dryness or endometriosis causes pain during sex.
The Homeopathic Approach to Treat Infertility:
The homeopathic approach towards the management of health problems is constitutional. The treatment takes into account the presenting complaints - the symptoms - along with the unique physical, mental and genetic make-up that individualizes a person. Homeopathic medicines act at the roots of all ailments. They can rectify deviations of the hormonal system and get them back to normalcy. The simple homeopathic procedure effectively and efficiently avoids complicated procedures that follow the common treatments of infertility. More specifically, the complete hormonal harmony greatly increases the chances of conception without the harmful and/or painful side effects of medications, devices and invasive procedures. The biggest advantage of homeopathic treatment is that even after the treatment, the high sperm count is maintained. The medicines involved are easy to take since there are only sweet pills and drops.
The homeopath plans the medication separately for every individual, by understanding his or her physical, as well as emotional and mental or spiritual imbalances. That is why this system becomes an excellent option for those seeking help with this issue, as it addresses health on a deep holistic level. The homeopath carefully prescribes the medicine that works on the real cause of infertility, along with other symptoms like any type of pain, stress, etc.
There are no prerequisites to start a homeopathy treatment for infertility. Anyone who just came to know about their infertility problem or those who have tried other infertility treatments without any results can consult a homeopath. Homeopathy medicines can also be used with other treatment methods, but the homeopath should be informed about it to prevent any interfering actions.
Final Tips For Infertility Treatments Using Homeopathy:
Homeopathy therapy works on male and female infertility in following way:
The homeopathic treatment for infertility is strictly individualistic. Whatever the reason that the patient opts for homeopathy, the treatment should be supported by a healthy diet and proper lifestyle, like avoiding alcohol and smoking. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a homeopath and ask a free question.
Infertility is a medical condition in which the patient fails to conceive after one year of having unprotected sex. It is advisable that women who are above 35 years of age and often experience irregular menstrual cycles should consult a doctor on being unable to conceive within six months.
Is infertility a common issue?
Infertility has become a common problem for the new age women. Sedentary lifestyle and stress are believed to hamper the fertility of women nowadays. According to a report, about 6 percent women in US in the age group 15-44 years are infertile.
Infertility: It’s not just a woman’s problem!
Infertility is not an issue with only women. Both, men and women can be infertile or are responsible for the condition. The process of reproduction requires mutual co-operation from both sexes. Therefore, they can together contribute towards infertility as well. It is wrong to blame the woman only. According to the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth data, it has been found that about 7.5 % men in the age group of 18-45 years (who have has sexual exposure) visited infertility clinics at least once in their lifetime. Of these men, about 18% were affected with male-related infertility issues.
Infertility in men: Men can suffer from infertility due to various factors. The infertility can be detected by analysis of the semen. A doctor can evaluate the concentration of the semen or determine the sperm count, the mobility of the sperm and its shape or morphology. These are important for fertility. Semen analysis can be hampered due to the following conditions:
1. Varioceles - The veins on the man’s testicles are unnaturally large and leads to overheating of the sperms
2. Diseases like diabetes, cystic fibrosis, trauma and infection.
3. Unhealthy lifestyle
4. Environmental toxins
Infertility in women: Women must have proper functioning of the reproductive organs to become fertile. The fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus must be physically and physiologically fit for getting pregnant. A woman may get infertile due to following reasons:
1. Irregular periods that suggests the woman is not ovulating properly.
2. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
3. Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA) or excessive physical or emotional stress causing missed periods
4. Diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) or inability of the ovary to produce sufficient eggs
5. Premature ovarian insufficiency: The ovary stops functioning properly before 40 years of age
6. Blocked, swollen or open fallopian tubes
Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease or PCOD is a syndrome wherein more than one cyst is formed in the ovaries of the women who are in the reproductive age. This disease thereby creates problems in hormonal levels which lead to irregular menses in women along with infertility and masculine changes in the body. The main reason for this disease is the hormonal imbalance and also a genetic disease.
Some of the causes of PCOD are listed below:
Symptoms to watch out for-
The following signs may indicate prevalence of PCOS-
How well does Homeopathy work for PCOS?
The answer to this question is ‘miraculously well’! Hard to believe? Take a look at the countless benefits Homeopathy offers and ways in which it helps treat PCOS.
Combining homeopathy remedies with a healthy diet, good lifestyle choices and exercise can help you manage PCOS symptoms.
Infertility is a growing problem, which has forced couples to seek alternative methods of conception. There can be a host of reasons behind infertility in both men and women. Endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes and lack of ovulation are some common causes that most people are aware of. However, here is a look at some lesser-known causes of infertility.
Lastly, ensure that you engage in sexual intercourse throughout the ovulation cycle and not just at the time when a pregnancy is most likely.
The uterine cavity has a tissue base that is known as the endometrium. When this endometrium spills over or spreads to the other parts of the reproductive organ, it begins to punch through the uterine lining. Such a condition creates complications and even infertility, and is known as endometriosis.
Read on to know more about endometriosis and how it can cause infertility.
When the endometrium tissue spreads to areas like the ovaries, and the abdominal cavity, it can lead to numerous complications. Apart from pain, this may also cause infertility. 5 to 10% of the women worldwide suffer from this condition and have trouble conceiving. Additionally, about 30 to 40% of the infertility cases are due to endometriosis, not all cases. These figures are all confirmed by various medical studies.
How does it cause infertility?
Endometriosis can prevent ovulation, which is the process that occurs every month. During the ovulation process, the ovaries release eggs that may be fertilised in order for the woman to conceive. In this condition, the fimbria of the fallopian tubes also has trouble in capturing the egg, which prevents conceptionfrom taking place. This leads to infertility in the long run. Endometriosis also interferes with the proper production of the hormones that are required for normal ovulation and fertilisation of the egg.
Diagnosis: The diagnosis of the condition can be done with the help of lab tests and ultrasounds as well as imaging tests that can create the image of the womb and the endometrium lining. This will help in showing the severity and damage caused by the tissue. A surgical procedure called a laparoscopy may be carried out by the doctor to ascertain whether the patient is suffering from this condition. In this procedure, a small incision will be made and a camera will be inserted to view the insides on a screen, to learn more about the tissue’s spread and the kind of treatment that will be required. The doctor will also diagnose the condition on the basis of various symptoms like irregular and heavy bleeding.
Treatment for endometriosis associated with infertility needs to be individualized for each woman. There are no easy answers, and treatment decisions depend on factors such as the age of the woman, the severity of the disease and its location in the pelvis, the length of infertility, and the presence of pain or other symptoms. Some general issues regarding treatment are discussed below.
Treatment for Mild Endometriosis:
Medical (drug) treatment can suppress endometriosis and relieve the associated pain in many women. Surgical removal of lesions by laparoscopy might also reduce the pain temporarily.
However, several well-controlled studies have shown that neither medical or surgical treatment for mild endometriosis improving the pregnancy rates for infertile women as compared to expectant management (no treatment).
For treatment of infertility associated with mild to moderate endometriosis, controlled ovarian hyperstimulation with intrauterine insemination - IUI is often attempted and has a reasonable chance to result in pregnancy if other infertility factors are not present.
Details about IUI success rates with endometriosis:
IUI and endometriosis
Success rates with IUI for endometriosis have been variable in studies, showing:
Treatment for severe endometriosis:
Several studies have shown that medical treatment for severe endometriosis does not improve pregnancy rates for infertile women.
Unfortunately, infertility in women with severe endometriosis is usually resistant to treatment with ovarian stimulation plus intrauterine insemination. If the pelvic anatomy is very distorted, artificial insemination is unlikely to be successful. These women often require in vitro fertilization in order to conceive.
Although the studies of in vitro fertilization for women with severe endometriosis do not all show similar results, pregnancy success rates are usually good if the woman is relatively young (under 40) and if she produces enough eggs during the ovarian stimulation.
PCOS is a disorder characterized by enlarged ovaries and the formation of tiny cysts on the outer sides of the ovaries. Polycystic Ovary is a hormonal condition that stimulates surplus production of androgen in women. Androgen being a “male hormone,” causes the development of muscle mass and hair in men, and it has similar effects on women as well when present in high amount. They trigger acne and excessive growth of body hair in women accompanied by irregular or lack of ovulation in the form of the absent or erratic menstrual cycle. Hence, owing to troubles in ovulation (discharge of ovules from the ovaries), one may experience difficulties in getting pregnant.
Many women suffering from PCOS are unaffected by the influence of the hormone ‘insulin’, which indicates, that it requires a larger amount of insulin to sustain a normal blood sugar level. High levels of insulin as a result of insulin resistance, in turn drastically boosts androgen production.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
Irregular Menstrual Cycle. Women with PCOS may miss periods or have fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year). Or, their periods may come every 21 days or more often. Some women with PCOS stop having menstrual periods.
Excessive hair. Excessive hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair. This is called "hirsutism." Hirsutism affects up to 70% of women with PCOS.3
Acne. Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
Weight Gain. Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
Skin Darkening. Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts
Skin tags. Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
Treatment for PCOS:
There is apparently no procedure to cure PCOS and improve fertility, but the treatment is tailored as per the symptoms of the condition:
A lack of ovulation and menstrual cycles hinders the secretion of progesterone (a hormone preparing the uterus for pregnancy), thus hampering conception. In this case, the treatment is directed at maintaining a regular ovulation and menstrual cycle which can be fixed by consuming birth control pills. These pills comprise of both progestin and estrogen which aid to bring down androgen production.
PCOS along with insulin resistance warrants the use of certain medications such as metformin which are prescribed to enhance insulin sensitivity.