Tuesday, February 17, 2009
My husband and I wanted to start a family right away so we tried getting pregnant one month after we married. We have now been married three years and we still don't have a child. My husband's sperm checks out fine. I've been to seven doctors and no one can seem to find anything wrong with me. I even underwent a laparoscopy and was told I look good inside and have no signs of endometriosis. My current doctor says he wants to do a test to see if I am allergic to my husband's sperm.
Doctors all say that getting pregnant is on my mind too much, that by thinking about it I'm making myself a nervous wreck and it's harder for me to conceive because I'm "obsessed”. About a year ago I miscarried during my first trimester and I haven't been able to get pregnant since. I'm twenty-eight and getting older all the time. Yes, I am worried. I keep hearing that everything is fine, but I still don't have a baby. Everyone says, "relax." Relax, relax—easy to say but not so easy to do. I need help.
A postcoital test is usually done as part of a normal infertility workup. A couple has sexual intercourse during the woman's ovulation and within hours thereafter, the woman visits the doctor so that he may analyze samples of her cervical mucus. Using a microscope, the physician will be able to determine whether or not the sperm are surviving in the mucus. If a high number of the sperm en route to the uterus have died in the mucus, the odds for conception are certainly decreased. The woman's mucus and her partner's sperm are in-compatible, and this may be an allergy case.
A woman's sperm allergy, as bizarre as it may seem, is a possible cause of infertility. Studies on the immune systems of women with infertility show that the women often have antibodies against her husbands’ sperm, called sperm-antibodies. This means that sperm allergy has been clearly associated with decreased egg fertilization, decreased success rates for in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Jane Liu felt it appropriate to combine acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to treat her infertility with sperm-antibodies: acupuncture to relax and reduce her stress; herbal treatment to normalize the immune system.
Shirley took the herbs in a powdered form. She came weekly for about eight weeks, receiving acupuncture treatment each time, and I adjusted her herbal prescription every two weeks. She soon felt much better and was now to sleep more deeply. After eight weeks, acupuncture was discontinued and Shirley proceeded with herbal therapy only. She returned for a follow-up visit every three weeks. Eight months after her initial visit, Shirley generally felt much more healthy and got pregnant. She did continue to receive the herbal supplement for 12 weeks and finally had a full-term pregnancy.