ORTHODOX METHODS FOR INFERTILITY

One should always allow a few months for the results of any technique to be conclusive but if the couple remain infertile then one should resort to the orthodox methods with some increased success because all holistic techniques automatically improve the general health of the individual and the area to be treated by drugs or surgery.

Any structural difficulties such as scarred tubes or blockages can sometimes be dealt with opera-tively. As our scientific techniques become more elaborate, so do our techniques for unblocking the microscopic lumens of the Fallopian tubes. Hormonal imbalances can be corrected chemically and fertility drugs such as clomiphene can be administered, usually with side effects but with some success. Most women react unpleasantly to these drugs and I view them as a last resort rather than first line. In any case, complementary methods can be beneficial in reducing the unwanted side effects. • If orthodox drugs are to be used, ensure a visit to a naturopathic physician of any discipline to receive advice on how to avoid side effects.

ARTIFICIAL FERTILIZATION

Once initial treatments have failed and the specialist feels that the individual is suitable for artificial techniques, then the ‘test-tube baby’ concepts come into play. The tried and tested technique of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is one option. This technique requires the removal of mature eggs from the female’s ovaries through a specialized laparoscopic procedure after drug inducement of the ovary to produce eggs. The mature eggs are then fertilized under laboratory conditions by the father’s or donor’s sperm. The fertilized eggs are then replaced in the uterus and hopefully nature takes its course. The uterus is prepared to receive the implant through a programme of administering hormones.

Another successful method is called gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT), which once again entails the removal of an egg from the ovary; the egg is then placed back into the Fallopian tube with an amount of donor sperm. If fertilization occurs, the fertilized egg is then moved down the Fallopian tube naturally into the uterus for implantation.

The success of these techniques varies greatly from one clinic to the next. There is a 15-20 per cent fertilization rate and one in seven pregnancies that result from artificial fertilization end with a live birth. There are always risks with any procedure and the most debilitating (and potentially fatal) is a condition known as ovarian hyperstimulation. This occurs because of the influence of the drugs that stimulate egg production, which causes swelling of the abdomen and vulva, abdominal pain and, a serious sign, vomiting.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Try complementary medical techniques, as discussed above, before considering artificial fertilization.

Please consult with your preferred complementary practitioner whilst going through orthodox fertility treatment to ensure the best level of health possible.

Before any invasive procedure, see Operations and surgery.

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