It is estimated that 30% of men suffer from some form of impairment to their fertility (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, 2005). The first stop for most men diagnosed with a poor sperm count, poor sperm motility (movement) or poor morphology (shape) is a conventional doctor, who is likely to offer treatment in the form of invasive procedures or drug regimes. As a last resort, they may suggest that a couple wishing to conceive should attempt Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) which is the injection of a single sperm into a single egg during the course of an IVF cycle.

In contrast, Traditional Chinese Medicine always takes into account the underlying cause of the presenting problem, as well as the resulting symptoms. This approach means that the patient’s health is considered in a holistic way rather than as a collection of unrelated problems.

At the Fertility Support Company all patients start with a consultation with Naava Carman. As an acupuncturist and herbal medicine practitioner, Naava has been using Traditional Chinese Medicine to support patients with fertility issues for over 10 years. The consultation will begin with Naava taking a detailed medical history, as well as discussing wider issues such as nutrition and stress levels. If appropriate or necessary Naava refers to Nutritionist Kate Cook or Mind/Body Specialist Kristin Hayward.

Naava’s BSc thesis was on the subject of poor sperm quality and helping couples to avoid the need for IVF by improving sperm quality is a specialist interest of hers. It takes 100 days for a man’s sperm reserves to be replaced, therefore treating conditions such as poor motility or morphology is generally done in a three-month programme.

In many cases Naava will use her experience of working with men and women who have faced the full range of fertility issues to recommend Western medical diagnostic tests that may assist in identifying the underlying cause of a fertility issue. Naava may also recommend that a patient sees another one of The Fertility Support Company practitioners for Western medical treatments, nutritional support or emotional/psychological support.