#Infertility #Prevention #Treatment
It seems that infertility is on the rise year after year, or at least more couples are diagnosed with infertility while the infertility business skyrockets worldwide.
According to the CDC USA data:
Amongst alternative therapies there are various claims about potential causes for infertility ranging from dietary to behavioral, social and psychological factors. Men are said to suffer infertility due to elevated body temperature from hot baths and wearing silk underwear, vitamin deficiencies, cellphone radiation, work hazards, stress, alcohol consumption, heavy metals, smoking, old age, elevated cortisol levels and emotional oppression. Women are said to suffer infertility due to factors such as low calcium, hormone imbalances, STDs, poor diet, high cholesterol, lack of good fats, thyroid deficiency, synthetic vitamins, soy consumption, excessive use of pain medications and birth control pills, excessive loss of blood during menses and anxiety .
The modern business of medicine revolves diagnosing a problem after it has formed and then offering a possible solution or a “procedure.” But does such a medical strategy conform to the wish of ordinary men and women? A deeper look into the root of health and medicine is due.
In today’s world, men and women increasingly wake up to the ancient Chinese medicine notion that prevention is better than treatment. It is better to find ways maintaining one’s health, fertility and longevity than become infertile or sick and seek treatment for it. “But,” one may ask, “if I can’t get pregnant already, how does ‘prevention’ work?” In reality, ‘prevention’ does not stand opposite to ‘treatment’, it is not ‘either or’. Prevention means that we investigate the reason why a problem occurs (the cause) and we alter it to restore harmony, thus we prevent the problem from taking place. Treatment means to develop a technique or an action that stops the body from reacting to the cause. By analogy, think of it in the following way: When a child throws a ball and it hits a glass then the glass breaks. The root cause for the glass breaking is the child throwing the ball. Prevention means teaching the child not to throw the ball at the window, whereas treatment means patching the glass back together. One will use prevention before it happens and treatment after it happened. This is how we normally perceive prevention and treatment. However, stopping the ball before it hits the glass or moving the glass before or even as the ball hits it is called an active prevention. It is a prevention performed after the problem has begun, but it does not involve patching a broken glass.
There is active prevention for infertility after this seemingly problematic situation has started. The reason that infertility numbers are consistently rising and have now reached an epidemic proportion is because the “treatment” oriented infertility industry needs more broken glass to deliver more procedures.
In reality, many INFERTILE Couples are at the stage where the glass has not yet broken and the ball did not hit. Active prevention will serve best at this point (stop the ball or move the glass). Couples should know that when they walk into a modern infertility clinic the first thing they hear is “your glass is broken!” and “you need a treatment!” This happens by default as the entire modern medicine institution is geared toward ‘disease and treatment’. There is no ‘preventing the problem’, they assume, since the couple can’t get pregnant and the glass is “already” broken.
You may ask “if a woman can’t get pregnant, how is the glass not broken?” The answer lies with one’s belief and conviction. A couple, after unsuccessfully trying to conceive for 6 months to a year, will visit an IVF clinic. Up to this point they don’t believe that they are infertile (that the glass is broken), but as soon as they leave the IVF clinic they now are convinced that they are; a doctor confirmed it. This has nothing to do with the glass being truly broken or not. It may be that before seeing the doctor there was one small obstacle preventing pregnancy, using our analogy, a ball flying toward the glass, but the glass is not broken. Even though unable to conceive yet there is only a small disharmony. One can catch the ball or move the glass and this entire problem resolves and natural conception takes place on its own, the way it should be. Off course, there are times when the glass indeed is broken and natural conception is not possible. IVF, for such cases, may be the best course of action.
To recap, many couples categorized today as ‘infertile and requiring treatment’ are actually not infertile. They are categorized like this because it is a standard procedure; “if you can’t get pregnant on your own within 6-12 months then you are infertile.” Many “infertile” couples are able to conceive on their own without treatment, and if intervention is needed they only require active prevention and not treatment.
Highlighting this case is the following example. Assuming a person cannot get pregnant for 12 months, but then they decide to add coconut oil to their diet, and three months later they conceive successfully. This person is and was not infertile. They fixed the problem with a minor modification. Changing one’s diet does not constitute a treatment. It is prevention and not an intervention. So why would this person be diagnosed as infertile to start with? The answer, one already knows, because it is a standard procedure. When a woman cannot conceive for 12 months the doctor diagnoses it as ‘infertility’ even if the glass is not really broken. Take for example the ‘unexplained infertility’ diagnosis for nearly half of all infertility patients. There is no broken glass, the doctor doesn’t know why the person cannot conceive and still there is an infertility diagnosis requiring treatment.
In the Hunyuan centers there are many couples who are not infertile (glass is not broken) and yet were diagnosed as infertile. They were told that they had to undergo procedures, many of which failed multiple times and even so they drank Hunyuan herbal teas, composed mostly of food grade organic herbs such as cinnamon, licorice and ginger and then they conceived on their own, naturally, without retrieving eggs, fertilizing, manipulating and freezing them. Herbs and acupuncture do not constitute ‘patching-glass treatment’ and just like coconut oil they belong to active prevention (stopping the ball before it hits or moving the glass). They adjust the body to recover its own harmony.
The problem’s scope is neither small nor limited to infertility. People are told all their lives that they are or will get sick, their body will get broken and there will be no other recourse other than treatment. When a person receives an “infertility” diagnosis at the IVF clinic, it feels normal like all the other diseases we were told we will be inflicted with all our lives. This is why most people accept it without doubting it. Don’t accept it! Your body’s self-healing powers are tremendous. Most of the time the body is even not really broken, small adjustments can fix it. Why must a person “fix” the glass before it is broken?
So how should a couple navigate the best course of action to actively prevent infertility? First, keep believing in yourself that you can do it. Do not let yourself fall into the automatic post-12-month diagnosis of infertility. Aim to adjust your life style, diet, emotional and psychological state for the better. These measures often help with prevention. At the end seek the help of Hunyuan practitioners to assist you with active prevention and natural conception. Hunyuan herbal teas and acupuncture move the ball and glass to their optimal position. Natural conception can then take place.
Heartfelt thanks to Harvard University for your support over the years and contribution to our research of Hunyuan medicine.
Hi Dr Seidman,
I have good news!! I've waited a week to email you to be sure and now I am 7 days past my period with a positive pregnancy test! I have not taken herbs due to the move for about two weeks I thought I would start after the period but it looks like it has worked out. I wondered what your thoughts were on next steps️.
I am very grateful to you. Timing is everything I guess.
I look forward to hearing from you
Wow, that was fast!
Female patient, 38, Western medicine failed to help, started herbs early August, then first reported that she can't drink the herbs (which is uncommon for Hunyuan style herbs with cinnamon and other delicious falvors), then after a week got used to the flavor and then was looking forward to the daily tea.
Email received today:
"Hi Dr. Seidman,
I was 5 days late on my period so I decided to take an at home pregnancy test. It was positive! I can't believe it. I plan to go get a blood test before we leave for vacation Tuesday. Should I still be drinking the herbs and sake? Thank you!!! Woo hoo!!!!"
By Yaron Seidman D.A.O.M.
#Empowering #Women #Fertility #Choices
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) saw its first commercialization in the early 1980s, but it was not until the mid/late 1990s that it gained popularity. In 2015, as of writing this blog, IVF cycles performed around the world are at epic numbers. Some estimates go as high as 1.5 million cycles per year worldwide. European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in 2014 showed the following statistics of IVF cycles: “In 2011, the latest year for which figures are available, 588,629 treatment cycles were reported from 33 European countries. This compares globally (in 2011) with 151,923 cycles from the US and 66,347 cycles from Australia and New Zealand. The number of cycles performed in many developed countries has grown by 5-10% per annum over the last few years.”
According to a leading IVF specialist, Dr. Paul Magarelli M.D. reporting in the IFSymposium in May 2015 “in the past 10 years, and despite many advanced technological developments and acupuncture, the IVF success rate did not increase. In addition, all IVF clinics that use similar technologies have similar success rate.”
The CDC latest 2013 report states that 1.5% of all babies born in the USA are conceived using ART.
The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART) provides the following statistics from their member IVF clinics in the USA (467 clinics in 2013):
In 2003 Total IVF Cycles:112,988 (including fresh, frozen and donor cycles)
In 2013 Total IVF Cycles: 174,962 (55% increase from 2003)
The numbers reveal that not only the overall average success rate for IVF in the USA did not increase over a 10-year period, despite many technological advancements and costly new procedures and even acupuncture support in some cycles, but in addition, the demographics have changed. Note that acupuncture is performed on a small portion of IVF cycles compared to the overall number - statistics are not available to demonstrate the percentage of IVF cycles with acupuncture versus without. The stagnating IVF success rate of the 10-year span cannot reflect on acupuncture per-se, since more inclusive studies are needed. Anecdotal studies show some acupuncture benefit for IVF. In Hunyuan medicine we explain that acupuncture during IVF can mitigate the negative side effects of IVF drugs, hence the positive effect evidenced in small scale studies. Acupuncture itself cannot increase egg quality and therefore benefit is limited. Even though, for women struggling with infertility, every little help counts.
So what is the changing demographics of IVF cycles? The following data explains:
Over 10-year span, success rate did not change significantly in each age group, however, the number of patients did. Women older than 42 saw a staggering 80% increase in IVF from 3213 cycles in 2003 to 5744 cycles in 2013, despite a consistent and unchanged low success rate of 4.5%.
What was the reason for this enormous increase in the >42 age group? The following table suggests a clue.
In early 2000s IVF clinics were serving predominantly infertility patients younger than 40, but as the number of clinics increased there was a need for more patients. In addition, alternative fertility options such as Hunyuan fertility medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine produced more fertility specialists in late 2000s and early 2010s, and many younger couples opted for these natural fertility options. In early 2000s the author was one of a handful of Chinese medicine Fertility Specialists, but today, in 2015, there are hundreds of Hunyuan Medicine Fertility Specialists and Traditional Chinese medicine Fertility Specialists such as ABORM.
Hunyuan Fertility medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment of infertility is on the rise. IVF cycles for Women <40 piqued in 2008 and then declined, while for women >40 it is still on the rise. From personal experience with thousands of IVF patients, the author speculates here that younger women, in recent years, allow themselves more fertility options and disagree with the pressing logic of ‘you are out of time’. It is also evidenced that the IVF industry is targeting now more than ever the >40 group, such as the following donor-egg statistic suggests.
The IVF industry as a whole increased focus on patients >40. In response to the low success rate in this group, donor-egg cycles have increased in an accelerated pace to compensate the shortcoming. From 2003 to 2013 there is a 47% increase in donor egg cycles. According to 2012 CDC report within the donor-egg cycles most recipients are >41. This suggests that the increase in patients’ number over the 10-year span in the >40 group is even larger than the +36% reported above (which excludes donor cycles). In addition, according to CDC 2013 statement ART cycles performed for banking non-donor eggs or embryos has gone up from ca. 1,000 in 2003 to a staggering 27,564 in 2013. This further sets the stage and strategy to increase the pool of women >40 in the future for IVF treatments.
Acupuncture was not introduced to IVF because the IVF clinics wanted it. For example, in 2005 the author participated in a TV segment with an IVF doctor, who, in the back room, exclaimed that he will never allow acupuncture in his clinic. But since 2010 his clinic is using acupuncture regularly to supplement IVF cycles. Women demanded it and the IVF clinic consented.
The future of infertility treatment is at the hands of the patient and especially at the hands of women who need it. To change the landscape of infertility treatment women need to be empowered with more fertility options. Women should not be “told” what to do, but rather they should be informed of more choices and then they can help alleviate the status quo of IVF success rate.
In sum, the following suggestions and observations are made:
Hunyuan Certification online course 2016 is now open to pre-enrollment.
A note from Dr. Seidman
Dear prospective Hunyuan practitioner,
This course is not a regular TCM-school course. Classical concepts, at times, are difficult to master and require considerable review and dedication, yet this dedication is truly rewarded. You don't need to be a master in order to join this course, but rather you should desire to become one. I realized that often going astray is easy, while staying centered on the mark is difficult. I have distilled the Hunyuan style of medicine to avoid this disease. Life is too short to walk in windy roads forever without reaching our destination. I hope that, with many other accomplished practitioners, you too will join our path of Chinese medicine. 2016 course will be special as we add clinical cases every week so we can progress together with the practical application of the medicine.
I am proud to have joined in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 courses with many excellent fellows, each one of which is, in my eyes, a Chinese medicine master.
Dr. Yaron Seidman
In Connecticut, September 2nd 2015.
Dr. Yaron Seidman upcoming seminars/retreats:
Sydney, Australia October 31st - November 3rd, 2015 4-days Retreat
Organizer: Hunyuan Institute of Australia
Teja Jaensch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
London, UK November 26th, 2015 1-day Seminar
Organizer: Hunyuan Institute of Wales
Alex Kolaczynski <email@example.com>
Zurich, Switzerland November 27th-29th, 2015 3-days Seminar
Organizer: Lian China Herbs
Furrer Dieter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Local infertility patients who want to be evaluated by Dr. Seidman during these events, please contact the organizers.
"I have something important to tell you!"
A patient's father left this message yesterday on the answering machine. Hmmm, I wondered, I treated his little girl couple months back for acute stomach aches, after she went to the emergency room 2-3 times over the course of a week, only 2 days on herbs she felt fine again. This girl was conceived with the help of Hunyuan herbs 10 years ago.
On call back, the father said " I just wanted to thank you for helping our daughter. We should have come to you first! Not only did you help her fast, for $200, the hospital bill we just got was $12,000, and they couldn't do anything to help her. My insurance deductible is very high, so I have to pay it all."
Not always but often, Hunyuan herbs can do a lot with a little.
Dr. Yaron Seidman DAOM