What is infertility?
Most experts define infertility as not being able to get pregnant after at least one year of trying. Women who are able to get pregnant but then have repeat miscarriages are also said to be infertile.
Pregnancy is the result of a complex chain of events. In order to get pregnant:
Infertility can result from problems that interfere with any of these steps.
How long has Chinese medicine been used to treat Infertility?
For thousands of years, Chinese medicine ( acupuncture and herbs) has been used to treat infertility and pregnancy related problems.
Who can be helped the most with Chinese medicine?
Those who have tried different methods of treatments and failed to get pregnant. Especially men with low sperm count and/or motility rate and women with no positive clinical findings can be helped the most. Chinese medicine is to regulate and adjust the system so to optimize the internal conditions for fertilization. Couples who have normal sperm parameters and regular ovulation can expect to get pregnant after a few courses of treatments since you are BASICALLY normal. The problem is incompatibility or disharmony between the two, that is also called Yin Yang disharmony.
Is infertility just a woman's problem?
No, infertility is not always a woman's problem. In only about one-third of cases is infertility due to the woman (female factors). In another one third of cases, infertility is due to the man (male factors). The remaining cases are caused by a mixture of male and female factors or by unknown factors.
What causes infertility in men?
Infertility in men is most often caused by:
Sometimes a man is born with the problems that affect his sperm. Other times problems start later in life due to illness or injury. For example, cystic fibrosis often causes infertility in men.
What increases a man's risk of infertility?
The number and quality of a man's sperm can be affected by his overall health and lifestyle. Some things that may reduce sperm number and/or quality include:
What causes infertility in women?
Problems with ovulation account for most cases of infertility in women. Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Some signs that a woman is not ovulating normally include irregular or absent menstrual periods.
Less common causes of fertility problems in women include:
What things increase a woman's risk of infertility?
Many things can affect a woman's ability to have a baby. These include:
What medicines are used to treat infertility in women?
Some common medicines used to treat infertility in women include:
Many fertility drugs increase a woman's chance of having twins, triplets or other multiples. Women who are pregnant with multiple fetuses have more problems during pregnancy. Multiple fetuses have a high risk of being born too early (prematurely). Premature babies are at a higher risk of health and developmental problems.
What are the different types of assisted reproductive technology (ART)?
Common methods of ART include:
How often is assisted reproductive technology (ART) successful?
Success rates vary and depend on many factors. Some things that affect the success rate of ART include:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) collects success rates on ART for some fertility clinics. According to the 2003 CDC report on ART, the average percentage of ART cycles that led to a healthy baby were as follows:
ART can be expensive and time-consuming. But it has allowed many couples to have children that otherwise would not have been conceived. The most common complication of ART is multiple fetuses. But this is a problem that can be prevented or minimized in several different ways.
ART procedures sometimes involve the use of donor eggs (eggs from another woman), donor sperm, or previously frozen embryos. Donor eggs are sometimes used for women who can not produce eggs. Also, donor eggs or donor sperm is sometimes used when the woman or man has a genetic disease that can be passed on to the baby.