Facts about Infertility

  • Impaired fecundity (the inability have a child) affects 6.7 million women in the U.S. — about 11% of the reproductive-age population.
  • Infertility affects men and women equally.
  • In approximately 40 percent of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility.
  • In a survey of married women, the CDC found that 1.5 million women in the US (6%) are infertile.
  • Irregular or abnormal ovulation accounts for approximately 25 percent of all female infertility problems.

Research scope in Infertility

  • With increasing genitourinary cancer survivorship in patients of reproductive age, fertility preservation has become a greater focus in the management of these patients…..more
  • Transfer of cryopreserved-warmed embryos into an appropriately prepared uterus unaffected by controlled ovarian hyperstimulation is common in the practice of in vitro fertilization. There is limited information on the effect of blastocyst vitrification and warming on perinatal outcomes…..more
  • Adequate zinc levels are required for proper cellular functions and for male germ cell development. Zinc transport is accomplished by two families of zinc transporters, the ZIPs and the ZnTs, that increase and decrease cytosolic zinc levels, respectively. However, very little is known about zinc transport in the testis…..more
  • The study showed that the vegetables-based food intake decreased sperm quality compared to non-vegetarian....more
  • The study suggest that Ccdc38 is a testes-specific gene, which may be important for mouse spermatogenesis….more
  • Environmental exposure to Hg, Mn, and Ni may be associated with increased sperm DNA damage….more

Treatment for Infertility

  • The study showed, among patients receiving CoQ10 treatment, a statistically significant increase in: CoQ10 seminal concentration (RR 49.55, 95 % CI 46.44 to 52.66, I(2) = 17 %), sperm concentration (RR 5.33, 95 % CI 4.18 to 6.47, I(2) = 58 %), and sperm motility (RR 4.50, 95 % CI 3.92 to 5.08, I(2) = 0 %)…..more
  • Management of female infertility with Chinese herbal medicine can improve pregnancy rates 2-fold within a 3-6 month period compared with Western medical fertility drug therapy...more
  • Zinc supplementation could significantly increase the sperm quality of infertile males….more
  • It is concluded that cinnamon bark oil (CBO) has improvement effect on testicular oxidant-antioxidant balance and sperm quality, and its consumption may be useful for asthenozoospermic men...more
  • Supplemental with selenium and N-acetyl-cysteine improve semen quality….more
  • The study supports the safety, including immunogenicity, and efficacy of Ovaleap for stimulation of follicular development in infertile women undergoing ART. It also supported continued use of Ovaleap for multiple cycles or a switch to Ovaleap if pregnancy is initially not achieved with Gonal-f...more
  • Psychosocial interventions should be incorporated into routine practice for infertile couples to provide timely support and counselling….more

Prevention of Infertility

  • In men, vitamin D is positively associated with semen quality and androgen status. Moreover, vitamin D treatment might increase testosterone levels….more
  • Consuming fish may have a positive impact on sperm counts and morphology, particularly when consumed instead of processed red meats...more
  • Replacing animal sources of protein with vegetable sources of protein may reduce ovulatory infertility risk...more
  • Low-fat dairy intake, particularly low-fat milk, is related to higher sperm concentration and progressive motility, whereas cheese intake is related to lower sperm concentration among past or current smokers...more
  • For couples with infertility, the use of vaginal lubricants during intercourse is not recommended. In cases where a lubricant is required, careful selection can maximize sperm motility and viability...more

Risk factors for Infertility

  • Behavioral risk factors included alcohol consumption (OR = 1.8; 1.2-2.5), smoking (1.6; 0.9-2.9), passive smoke exposure (1.8; 1.2-2.5), steady weight gain in adult life (3.5; 2.0-6.1), and having a male partner over the age of 40 (4.5; 1.2-16.3)...more
  • Meta-analyses revealed significant associations between polymorphism and male fertility only for AZF gr/gr deletions (OR 1.81, 1.46-2.24 CI, P<0.00001) and MTHFR 677C–>T (OR 1.39, 1.15-2.69 95% CI, P=0.0006) but not for POLG, DAZL, USP26 or FSHR...more
  • Cocaine, marijuana and alcohol use, exercise, caffeine consumption, and ever-use of thyroid medications were possible risk factors for various subtypes of primary infertility...more
  • The study suggests that in military population, having worked as a submariner in a nuclear-powered submarine, and having worked in very hot conditions, should be considered as risk factors for infertility...more
  • Processed meat intake was associated with lower total sperm count….more

Systematic reviews

  • Clomiphene citrate combined with IUI is more effective than timed intercourse in the natural cycle at achieving pregnancy in couples with ovulatory infertility….more
  • Protozoan parasitic infections may be an important cause of infertility….more
  • Chinese herbal medicine for infertility with anovulation: a systematic review…more
  • Is caffeine intake a risk factor leading to infertility?...more
  • The meta-analysis results indicated that U. parvum and M. genitalium are not associated with male infertility....more
  • Acupuncture might improve poor semen quality....more
  • Coenzyme Q10 and male infertility: a meta-analysis…..more
  • The Y-chromosome b2/b3 deletions increase infertility risk; however, it may be significant only in the Mongolian populations and the East Asian region…more
  • Emotional distress caused by fertility problems or other life events co-occurring with treatment does not compromise the chance of becoming pregnant...more
  • The psychological aspects should not be ignored and methods such as yoga and cognitive behavioral therapy may be beneficial....more
  • Cigarette Smoking and Semen Quality: A New Meta-analysis…..more

Treatment with Medicinal Herbs

  • Cowitch, Cowhage, Velvetbean (Mucuna pruriens) – Dose – 0.5 drachm-40 grains for spermatorrhea; 0.6-4 g honey or syrup with stinging hairs for worms, for 2-3 days in the a.m.
  • Crampbark (Viburnum opulus) – Dose – 15 g/bark/750 ml water; 1 tsp tincture/cup water to 3x/day; 2-4 g bark in decoction; 2-8 ml liquid bark extract  
  • Huang QI (Astragalus membranaceus) – Dose – 2-4 tbsp fresh root/day; 9-15 sliced root; 3-5 ml tincture 3x/day; 6 (500 mg) capsules/day; 2-3 tablets or 500 mg capsules/day
  • Yohimbe (Pausinystalia johimbe) – Dose – Don’t take it except under a doctor’s advice; 0.5 g individual, up to 3-10 g bark/day; 5-10 drops bark tincture 3x/day; 10 mg 3x/day/8 weeks

Reference: Handbook of Medicinal Herbs (2006)


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