Saturday, October 24

Poor Sperm Quality Equals Poor Embryo Quality

At the Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness we have been treating male factor infertility for many years based on the knowledge of 3000 years of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture and herbal medicine in conjunction with certain vitamins and amino acids promote significant change in pathologic sperm. We have had excellent results in improving sperm count, improving morphology and motility as well as reducing sperm DNA fragmentation percentages.

The importance of this cannot be overstated. In the typical IVF Center, doctors will note that sperm quality is important in that in its pathological state in may not be able to penetrate the egg and facilitate fertilization. This can be overcome with intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI. While fertilization with ICSI is possible and often occurs, a good embryo quite often is not produced and pregnancy does not ensue.

A ‘good’ embryo is created by combining a ‘good’ egg and a ‘good’ sperm. Embryos created with poor quality sperm are, in my opinion, based on thirteen years of clinical experience, one of the main reasons for failed IVF cycles including those undergoing donor egg transfers even though fertilization with ICSI is facilitated.
Frequently the doctor will report that the embryo is “beautiful”, yet the cycle fails. You can no more judge the quality of an embryo by visualization than one can judge the health of a person by visualization. For example, the healthiest looking man can be HIV positive. Or, the healthiest looking woman can have breast cancer. One cannot judge a book by its cover.

The best and most reliable means of improving fertility outcomes either as a result of intercourse, IUI or IVF is to first improve the quality of the components that are responsible for the creation of the embryo; sperm and egg.

Thursday, October 15

FSH of 21 Now Pregnant!

My patient was told by her doctor that her only option was donor egg or forget it!

N came to The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness seeking support on her journey to family.

She had been become pregnant on her own at thirty-six years of age and unfortunately miscarried during the second trimester. She is now thiry-eight years old and has been trying ever since then to have a baby. Her FSH is 21. Her doctor told her expressly NOT to use herbal medicine but that acupuncture was fine.

At the time N came to the Center she was not doing any assisted reproductive medicine and she decided to use acupuncture and herbal medicine.

A little more history...between the time of N's miscarriage and the time she came to see me she had undergone an attempted IVF cycle which was cancelled due to empty follicle syndrome. Then, N attempted to do another IVF but it was converted to an IUI due to poor ovarian response.

Then she wanted to try another IVF cycle but her doctor then said, that based on her history of empty follicle syndrom and low ovarian response, he would only proceed if N were willing to do a donor egg cycle.

N was extremely upset about this and I helped her find a doctor that would try "one more time" with her own eggs. So, she bought $4000.00 worth of reproductive medicine for the upcoming IVF cycle. By the time the medication arrived at her home her menses was two days late. She tested positive for being pregnant.

The pregnancy occured with acupuncture, herbal medicine and timed intercourse.

High FSH
High FSH is an indicator of poor egg quality and low ovarian reserve. This is true. What is not true is that each and every egg is a bad one. But, sadly, the majority are.

Having an elevated FSH does not mean that one cannot conceive and that one should not try.

One must try. One can achieve a viable pregnancy just as N has.

Yes, I totally believe in and fully support IVF.

My message is this: Don't give up. If you can't afford IVF, try acupuncture and herbs. If you can afford IVF, you'd be mistaken not to include acupuncture and herbs in your protocol.

Acupuncture and herbal medicine practiced by the talented hand of a licensed and board certified practitioner can cause no harm. The combination will help you or it won't (just like IVF) but...they will not hurt you.

Western reproductive medicine has been practiced for approximately forty-years.

Acupuncture and herbal reproductive medicine has been practiced for three thousand years.

One definition of the word 'classic' is: "Serving as the established model or standard". I think that a medicine with a three-thousand-year-old history can be said to be an 'established model.'

I am more than happy to review your case and to prescribe herbs for you to help transform you from patient to parent.

Schedule your consultation by calling 212-685-0985.

You can do it!

Best wishes.
Dr. Berkley