We underwent the standard series of available medical tests only to learn that the reasons for our infertility were solely male related. More specifically, morphology, motility and overall counts were all well below the established thresholds for successful natural conception. An examination by an urologist (which included an ultrasound to rule out Variocele) failed to identify any treatable factors affecting sperm production etc. Disappointed, we returned to our OB/GYN to learn where to go from there.
We discussed our preliminary research on the Internet and discovered that there were two local groups specializing in advanced fertility treatments. Our OB/GYN gave us a referral to one of the clinics. During our initial consult with the fertility specialist, we were advised that the only viable option for us to consider was ICSI. Disheartened, we decided to think through all the information and took a mental break from all the stress associated with two years of disappointment. During the summer "break," we were close to deciding that ICSI was going to be a step too far for us to take.
While having dinner with friends one night, who were aware that we were having challenges conceiving, they told us about Lorne Brown, an acquaintance of theirs who was helping couples through traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and supplements. As it happened, Lorne was speaking at a fertility group meeting the very next week, which we attended. We found the session quite informative and he made us feel comfortable in making a decision to book a consult with Lorne right away.
Lorne treated both of us for a period of three months, which included acupuncture, tea and supplements. I found the acupuncture sessions to be very relaxing and actually looked forward to each session. Everyone warned me about the tea, I am sure Starbucks will never add it to their fancy tea list, but it was ok. No issues at all.
We made some major lifestyle changes to our lives. Based upon Lorne’s recommendations, we eliminated as many of the "poisons" in our lives, switching to natural cleaning products, organic food, etc. We also made pretty drastic changes to our diets and eating patterns, which, as a real added bonus, ended up helping me drop 30 pounds over a six-month period. Not to say this is the next South Beach Diet, but it was not rocket science. In addition to an improved waistline, I have felt incredibly healthier over the last 11 months. In fact, I have not been sick with a cold or flu during the same period of time. I definitely feel that my immune system has been recharged!
So at the end of the second month of treatment, we tried an IUI to essentially get a more accurate sperm analysis to determine if the treatments were having the desired impact. As it turned out there were incredible improvements across all spectrums. Unfortunately, we mistimed the IUI (more on that later) that time and failed to conceive. Still encouraged by the results, we continued with two more months of TCM treatments and then stopped to focus on IUI. We tried IUI three more months unsuccessfully, and attributed the failure mostly to being unable to accurately time the ovulation.
In August, we had decided that we would try one more IUI and if unsuccessful, we would turn to ICSI as our final option. During our last IUI, we felt that we again had mistimed the ovulation, and advised our fertility specialist that we wanted to try one more IUI, two days later, in the same cycle. We actually had a difficult time persuading the clinic to allow us to try one more time in the same cycle. Thankfully they relented and "allowed" us to try one more time.
Not expecting any miracles, we both went about our daily routines over the following weeks, and after each successive morning learning that my wife’s basal temperature remained elevated, we both became more and more excited. Finally, after 37+ days, a home pregnancy test came back positive!! I cannot tell you how elated we were and still are as we are now entering our 14th week of pregnancy. We have been to back to see our OB/GYN, we heard the heartbeat at week 10 and saw an ultrasound of the fetus waving his/her arms about wildly in week 11!
It has been an incredible experience starting with dealing with the feelings associated with male infertility, the happiness felt for our friends and family having their own babies, and the disappointment of not being able to join "that club". I cannot say which of the treatments or clinical procedures ultimately resulted in our successful conception. I wish I could. I do know that as a result of my treatments with Lorne, the sperm analysis results definitely showed marked improvements. So I do feel his program deserves credit. At the end of the day, we were able to conceive without having to go through an ICSI series. It makes me think back to our first meeting with the fertility specialist who told us that we had 2-5% chance of conceiving naturally and that IUI's were going to be a "waste of time and money." I will refrain from making any comments about the fertility specialists, but do suggest to anyone going through a similar situation to consider TCM as an option worth exploring. In the end, life is about options and each of us has to determine which options to include during that period of exploration/investigation. I do feel that there is an obvious bias against alternative medicine and everyone is entitled to their opinions.
We are now one more happy and excited couple, brimming with pride and anticipation of seeing our baby for the first time. I would recommend Lorne to anyone who is having reproductive challenges. I know he can’t "cure" everyone and every situation, but he is refreshingly honest and straightforward.
Good luck to all of you...
-Name Withheld by Request