Complimentary medicines and therapies are widely used by patients with infertility says study published in current issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Health care practitioners and fertility specialists need to be proactive in acquiring and documenting the use of these practices. There is a need to provide further information to patients on the use of complimentary medicines and therapies.
Many infertile man have an increased proportion of genetically abnormal sperm. Normally this is not an issue, because the sperm number is so small, that it fails to fertilise an egg. But in case of ICSI, the potentially genetically abnormal sperm is injected directly in to an egg. This increases the risk risk for ICSI failure as well as the risk of transmitting diseases such as Klinefelter’s syndrome, Down’s syndrome, congenital heart defects, etc.
Scientists from university of Kent conducted research on six men who had very high levels of chromosome abnormalities in their sperm. After a course of traditional Chinese medicine each of the six men participating in the study showed a significant reduction in the proportion of sperm genetic abnormalities.
This research offers promise to male infertility patients. However more research is needed to convince the skeptics.
Ref: “Significant reduction of sperm disomy in six men: effect of traditional Chinese medicine?” Darren Griffin, Helen Tempest, Sheryl Homa and Xiao-Ping Zhai “Asian Journal of Andrology”
Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility.
Pei J, Strehler E, Noss U, Abt M, Piomboni P, Baccetti B, Sterzik K.
Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. email@example.com
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the ultramorphologic sperm features of idiopathic infertile men after acupuncture therapy. DESIGN: Prospective controlled study. SETTING: Christian-Lauritzen-Institut, Ulm, IVF center Munich, Germany, and Department of General Biology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.
PATIENT(S): Forty men with idiopathic oligospermia, asthenospermia, or teratozoospermia. INTERVENTION(S): Twenty eight of the patients received acupuncture twice a week over a period of 5 weeks. The samples from the treatment group were randomized with semen samples from the 12 men in the untreated control group.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Quantitative analysis by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to evaluate the samples, using the mathematical formula based on submicroscopic characteristics.
RESULT(S): Statistical evaluation of the TEM data showed a statistically significant increase after acupuncture in the percentage and number of sperm without ultrastructural defects in the total ejaculates. A statistically significant improvement was detected in acrosome position and shape, nuclear shape, axonemal pattern and shape, and accessory fibers of sperm organelles. However, specific sperm pathologies in the form of apoptosis, immaturity, and necrosis showed no statistically significant changes between the control and treatment groups before and after treatment.
CONCLUSION(S): The treatment of idiopathic male infertility could benefit from employing acupuncture. A general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, was seen after acupuncture, although we did not identify specific sperm pathologies that could be particularly sensitive to this therapy.
Acupuncture: A Cure for Infertility? Monday, April 25, 2005 By Catherine Donaldson-Evans
NEW YORK — At 36, Lucy Appert has suffered through two miscarriages, a stillbirth at 8 1/2 months and, because of a rare pregnancy-related liver dysfunction, intensive illness and surgery.
Yet after enduring five painful years of trying to have their own baby, Appert and her husband Edward finally saw their dream come true last month when their son Henry was born — premature, but healthy.
For all the fertility treatments, technologies and prenatal care available to women today, Appert credits the success of her pregnancy to an ancient Chinese secret.
“I recommend acupuncture (search) to everyone,” Appert said. “It does work. I did everything possible for years to have a baby. I almost lost hope.” Read more →
Dr. R. Ian Hardy, an M.D. with Ph.D. Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist at Fertility Centers of New England said he recommends acupuncture in conjunction with in vitro fertilization to his patients all the time.
“Hard to Conceive Unable to Get Pregnant, She Turned East in Quest of Fertility ”
And why not? Six months on fertility drugs, two inseminations and one $13,000 attempt at vitro fertilization (IVF) had all failed me — or I them. I felt I had to try something else. In February, minutes after I realized the IVF hadn’t worked, and knowing my husband and I would have a rough time financing a second round of treatment, I hit the Internet looking for an alternative.
I quickly stumbled on Lewis’s book “The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies” (Little, Brown, 2004). Unlike lots of other books that champion this or that single regimen, this one combined a slew of alternative therapies: herbs, acupuncture, diet changes and mind/body work.