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 almost 15 years. The consultation will begin with Naava taking a detailed medical history, as well as discussing wider issues such as nutrition and stress levels. 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.
From the medical history, symptoms and test results Naava will make a diagnosis using Traditional Chinese Medicine. She will then prescribe, as appropriate, a treatment of acupuncture and herbal medicine. Treatment is tailored to each individual but in most cases acupuncture is given initially once a week for six weeks. Thereafter acupuncture is given once or twice per month. Herbal medicine is prescribed on a monthly basis and modified as the treatment progresses. As the body takes around three months to completely replenish the supply of sperm, this is usually the minimum period of time over which treatment will be recommended.
When treating symptoms connected to sperm count or quality, Naava will often refer patients to an independent laboratory which analyses the sperm within 45 minutes of collection for a baseline test. The time elapsed between collection and analysis is important for an accurate reading and unfortunately NHS laboratories are not always able to processes samples until hours after collection. At the end of the initial treatment period (usually three month) Naava will suggest a re-test to ascertain what changes and improvements there have been.
If the second test shows a sufficient improvement in sperm quality, then it may be possible to avoid the need for ICSI or indeed to conceive naturally.