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When IVF Fails, Other Therapies Can Help

Friday, September 14, 2012

Detoxification: New trend in fertility treatment


One of the major reasons why people marry is
to have children, but according to a World Health Organisation statistics, one
in four married women in most developing countries are childless because of
primary or secondary infertility; while research also shows that male factors
account for between 20 and 30 per cent of infertility. As technology advances,
however, fertility experts say detoxification programme can make couples
fertile. SOLAADE AYO-ADERELE reports
For 17 years, Mr. And Mrs. Olayiwola waited for a
child but none came. Mid last year, they were introduced to a fertility expert
who took them through a simple process of detoxification programme that included
weight reduction and general system cleansing.
In less than 12 months of accessing treatment
which was followed by in-vitro fertilisation, they achieved the hitherto
elusive pregnancy and had a set of quadruplets early February.
Detoxification is the physiological or medicinal
removal of toxic substances from a living organism, including, but not limited
to, the human body.
A professor of reproductive endocrinology,
Oladapo Ashiru, has decried the rising rate of infertility among couples, based
on the number of people seeking medical assistance to conceive.
Ashiru, who heads the Medical Assisted
Reproductive Technology Centre, a fertility clinic based in Maryland, Lagos,
said one in every six couples has difficulty in conceiving, underscoring the
need to seek medical advice.
Studies have shown that male factors account for
between 20 and 30 per cent of infertility; 40-50 per cent with the woman, while
between 30 and 40 per cent are due to problems in both man and woman.
Experts say conception and pregnancy are
complicated processes that comprise the production of healthy sperm by the man,
healthy eggs from the woman, unblocked fallopian tubes that allow the sperm to
reach the egg, and the ability of the fertilised egg to implant in the uterus
and grow in a good environmental and hormonal condition.
“If one of the processes is impaired, infertility
can be the result,” Ashiru says.
He explains that infertility is sometimes as a
result of toxins in the body, which might have been accumulated over a long period
of time.
“It is known that some undigested food products
can remain in the intestine for up to 200 hours — instead of the normal 18
hours — and produce toxins that are stored in the body for months or years.
This causes certain types of infertility,” Ashiru explains.
He notes that in the female, the causes of such
infertility include obesity (associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome and
endocrine disorders), increased maternal age, hormonal imbalance, stress,
infections, toxins from the environment and improper nutrition.
Male factors are said to be due to deficiencies
in semen and semen quality, erectile dysfunction and genetic factors which are
as a result of environmental toxins, as well as toxins produced from diet,
which leads to hormonal imbalance and infertility.
“The accumulation of these toxins from the
environment will begin to manifest by the time a man reaches age 40-55 years.
At this time, men experience an ageing phenomenon similar to the female
menopause called andropause. This is as a result of gradual decline in the
level of testosterone,” the professor explains.
According to him, this decline has effects on
bodily functions, such as mood swings, depression, erectile dysfunction,
fatigue, hair loss, hot flushes, irritable men syndrome, urinary problems and
weight gain.
“These conditions may occur faster as a result of
exposure to environmental toxins, psychological stress, obesity, and
infection,” he says.
Andropausal symptoms and effects can be reduced
by regular general detoxification treatment, body cleansing and in some cases,
bio-identical hormone therapy, experts say.
According to the American Fertility Association,
recent studies suggest that toxins in the environment are not only damaging the
reproductive capacities of men and women, exposure to ubiquitous dioxins such
as cigarette smoke, lead and mercury, and some agricultural pesticides are
known to be direct threats to a couple’s ability to conceive or achieve a
healthy pregnancy.
The association avers that troubling new research
suggests that a broader range of chemicals — including many that are associated
with everyday products such as household cleansers, personal care and beauty
aids, and even plastic water bottles — could have a much more complex and
far-reaching impact on men and women’s fertility.
“With the advent of the chemical and synthetic
toxins such as pesticides and herbicides, plastics and cleaners,
pharmaceuticals, and vaccinations, food additives, and food contaminants, fuel
emissions, insecticides, and fungicides, comes a constant onslaught of chemical
toxins that our bodies are just not equipped to deal with.
“In relation to fertility, this has huge
implications, as the synthetic chemicals modify the hormones that control the
reproductive system, and can alter the sex hormone levels. This is a very
intricate, finely balanced system that involves a multitude of different
hormonal transactions to occur simultaneously. As soon as anything interferes,
as we are finding out, the whole system can be affected,” AFA says.
AFA argues that one of the effects of toxic
overload is that females become more masculine and males become more feminised.
“The toxins enter the sperm and eggs, and effectively poison them, so that if
there is fertilisation, there is an increased risk of miscarriage,” it says.
Indeed, in late February 2005, at the Vallombrosa
Retreat Centre in California, the Fertility/Early Pregnancy Compromise Work
Group of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, and the Stanford
University School of Medicine’s Women’s Health hosted a seminar titled,
Understanding environmental contaminants and human fertility compromise:
science and strategy.
Here, the experts argue that every day, we are
continually exposed to toxins from our environment, preservatives in food,
drugs, cosmetics, stress, poor eating habits and lifestyle which result in
premature ageing, allergies, food intolerance, cancer, hormonal imbalance,
obesity and infertility.
Ashiru notes that over time, these toxins
accumulate in the major organs and tissues; and if not eliminated or
neutralised, will lead to auto-intoxification and organ damage. “This is why
total body cleansing — that is detoxification — is important; it helps to
remove all these toxins,” he says.
A number of fertility centres are now
incorporating detoxification cleansing programme as a diagnostic and
therapeutic measure in the management of infertility as a new trend in assisted
reproduction. There are a few of these clinics all over the world — one in the
United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Austria.
Currently, Nigeria hosts one of such clinics, the
MART-Life Detox Clinic, which is a subsidiary of the MART Clinic, headed by
Ashiru.
“The detox centre is in collaboration with
Viva-Mayr Health Resort in Austria, which was established in line with the
modern Mayr Medicine Therapy — a medical therapy programme that has been in
existence for over 100 years,” Ashiru says.
He explains that the treatment is a combination
of different holistic health concepts whose objective is to rejuvenate the body
functioning system and dynamics to its maximum efficiency, with the overall aim
of achieving a healthy life style, younger look and increased life span.
“The detoxification programme also has the advantage
of weight loss, improved medical conditions and enhanced fertility,” Ashiru
intones.
An accomplished clinician and author, Dr. Jesse
Hanley, says one of the definitions of aging is based on how quickly the body
repairs itself; implying that detoxification can significantly increase the
chances of fertility in women by improving the circulation of blood to the
ovaries, uterus, hypothalamus and the pituitary.
Ashiru says detoxification optimises liver
function to remove and prevent excess accumulation of unwanted hormones, among
others.
Scientific studies suggest that detoxification
programmes normalise the hormone and endocrine system that regulate ovulation,
especially if polycystic ovarian syndrome (an abnormality of unknown origin
whereby the ovary produces cysts instead of follicles that produce eggs) is an
issue.
Again, Ashiru says, “It positively affects the
hypothalamic pituitary ovarian axis that plays a key role in fertility,
regulates menstrual cycle, increases blood flow to the uterus to improve the
chances of embryo implantation and also reduces anxiety and stress that may
significantly decrease fertility.”
Hanley suggests that it helps to remove heavy
metal deposits from the uterus, fallopian tubes and other reproductive organs.
Ashiru says fertility cleansing is not just for
women, but also for men, as sperm quality can be affected by toxicity as well.
“Recent studies are now pointing at hormonal
imbalance and environmental factors leading to low sperm count (oligospermia),
absence of sperm cells (azospermia) and erectile dysfunction,” Ashiru warns;
saying that male infertility can be improved by total body detoxification
through weight reduction, body cleansing, and healthy eating habits.
Enumerating the success stories from
detoxification program, Ashiru says these include the reduction in the dosages
of blood pressure and diabetic medications, in addition to enhanced fertility
among relevant patients.