Conception is a complex process.
- The woman’s hormone balance must be correct so that the egg develops normally.
- She must be ovulating so that the egg can be released.
- She must have sex with her partner at the right time in her cycle.
- Her partner must have a good sperm count and possess healthy sperm, which are capable of penetrating the cervical mucus to reach the egg.
- the egg has to be captured by the fallopian tube and be fertilized.
- Once the egg has been fertilized the embryo has to implant securely in the lining of the womb.
The potential for things to go wrong at one or more stages in this complex process makes the process of diagnosing and treating sub-fertile couples extremely challenging.
Mr. Gerry Gajadharsingh at The Health Equation’s London Fertility Clinic, offers a unique programme to develop individual holistic treatment strategies for couples with medically unexplained sub-fertility (about 30% of all couples who have difficulty conceiving).
Sub-fertility (infertility), defined as the inability to conceive and carry a baby to term, affects 1 in 7 couples in the UK (RCOG, 2004).
The couple should have been having unprotected regular intercourse for a minimum of 18 months for primary sub-fertility (never conceived) and 12 months for secondary sub-fertility (previously conceived). In addition 1 in 4 women miscarry and some experience repeated miscarriages, whilst not strictly within the definition of sub-fertility nevertheless this causes the same outcome, an unsuccessful pregnancy.
There is increasing awareness that both male and female factors seem to be equally involved.
When there is no adequate medical explanation for sub-fertility it is described as being idiopathic. About 30% of sub-fertile couples will receive this diagnosis (RCOG, 2004). Non-pathological factors, such as functional disturbance in biomechanics, neuromuscular function, visceral function, psycho/social/emotional factors and nutrition, may also contribute to this cohort of patients.
Both partners (male and female) will be sent lifestyle/medical history questionnaires to complete and then be invited to attend The Health Equation Fertility Clinic, London, for a Diagnostic Consultation with Mr. Gerry Gajadharsingh, 60 minutes for each partner (these can be taken separately and the female partner needs to attend on day 3-6 of her cycle if possible).
During this consultation a full case history will be taken, clinical examinations performed, blood samples arranged for a haematology and biochemical screen and specialised hormonal and nutritional markers, for both partners. Both partners will be also be investigated for cortisol and dehydroepiandosterone (DHEA) levels, adrenal cortex hormones, that are altered by stress.
The male partner will also be referred to the laboratory TDL for a Comprehensive Semen Analysis.
If the female partner has not already a trans vaginal pelvic ultrasound, this can be arranged at a local scanning centre.
Depending on the results of the semen analysis, appropriate patients may be offered an additional specialised sperm analysis, Sperm DNA Fragmentation, which can be carried out on the sample already given for the Comprehensive Semen Analysis.
After analysis of all the information including test results, a comprehensive written report including a functional blood analysis will be sent to the couple with the results of the tests and a 30 minute follow up consultation offered and recommendation to either –
1 The Sub-fertility Treatment Protocol at The Health Equation or
2 Referral for assisted conception at a private fertility centre
If the couple is confirmed to have medically unexplained subfertility, they will be offered a place on The Health Equation treatment programme for subfertility.
The treatment strategies may include:
- osteopathic manual techniques
- nutritional advice with nutritional supplements
- stress management strategies
- breathing re-education
- exercise programmes
Couples (females aged 25-45 years and males aged 25-50 years) who have been having regular sexual intercourse for the previous 18 months without conception for primary subfertility (never conceived) and 12 months for secondary subfertility (has previously conceived).
Those wishing to take part in the programme will need to complete the application form or call +44 (0)20 7631 1414 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Please feel free to download the attached Handout which give some useful practical information about conception and describes the protocol in more detail