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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is there a treatment for infertility or is it permanent?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • VARTA is a statutory authority based in Melbourne, Australia, providing independent, accurate information about fertility, infertility and assisted reproductive treatment (ART). View Profile

    Treatments for infertility vary depending on the underlying cause. Treatments include surgery, hormone treatments, insemination of the woman with donor sperm or her partner’s sperm, and other assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Some people try natural treatments such as herbs, acupuncture and meditation These may improve well-being but are unlikely to improve chance of conception. However, addressing lifestyle factors such as quitting smoking and getting into the healthy weight range can increase the chance of getting pregnant.
    Surgery - In cases of endometriosis, uterine fibroids and polyps, or partially blocked Fallopian tubes, surgery may be recommended. In men surgery can be used to reverse a vasectomy.
    Hormone treatments - First-hand treatment for women with ovulation disorders is hormone treatment to induce ovulation. This can be a course of tablets or a series of injections. Hormone problems affecting fertility in men are rare but for men with this problem, hormone treatment may be needed.
    Insemination – Just before ovulation is expected to occur, a small amount of sperm (from the male partner or a donor) is deposited in the uterus to improve the chance of conception.
    ART – Assisted reproductive technology is the term used for procedures that involve retrieval of eggs from the ovaries  and includes in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) which is used when there is a male cause of infertility. Download the VARTA brochure What is assisted reproductive treatment (ART)?

  • Lyn Craven

    Bowen Therapist, Naturopath, Nutritionist, Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner

    I specialise in gastrointestinal health problems, (leaky gut syndrome, allergies, bloating, candida, IBS, constipation, dysbiosis, reflux), women's health, back/neck pain, RSI, carpel tunnel syndrome, rotating/tilting … View Profile

    Many reasons why someone may experience infertility.  It can be simple/complex.  Either way I would always assess hormone levels and minerals.  This is important.  If you don't have correct nutrition in your cells then how can they function properly?  It is not always permanent - this may apply if surgical proceedures have taken place before and resulted in inability to conceive or if a woman has taken too many “morning after” pills (as 2 cases that presented to me).
    I use Bowen therapy to help with fertility, I address all mineral levels, hormones etc and formulate herbal remedies to encourage hormonal balance.  Giving someone sythnthetic hormones to “balance” them and not addressing the nutritional status of the body is not adequate.  The cells need correct balanced nutrition in order for the body to perform well.
    I also use meditation - this has been proven to be very helpful in many health disorders and allows people to destress and focus on a positive outcome.

  • Women's Health Queensland Wide provides free health information for Queensland women. View Profile

    At Women’s Health Qld. Wide we provide evidenced based Health Information. In our research we have found there is no scientific evidence to suggest that emergency contraception (sometimes referred to as (‘The Morning after Pill’) plays any role in infertility.
    Family Planning has been providing Sexual and Reproductive Health services to Australian women and men for decades. They have both clinical and research arms to their service and a search of their literature brings no such findings.
    In his 5th edition of Contraception John Guillebaud Emeritus Professor of Family Planning and Reproductive Health at University College, London comes to no such conclusions.

    Women’s Health Educator
    Health Information Line, Women’s Health Queensland Wide
    Women living in Queensland can also call our Health Information Line - a free information and referral service for Queensland women - on 3839 9988 or 1800 017 676 (toll free outside Brisbane).
    Please note that all health information provided by Women’s Health Queensland Wide is subject to this disclaimer


  • Nikki Warren


    Nikki Warren is committed to preconception care, natural fertility, and pregnancy through to postnatal care. Nikki is a degree qualified Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Doula and … View Profile

    The Foresight Association in the U.K. have been promoting preconception care for the treatment of infertility for over 30 years.  This involves a hair tissue mineral analysis to assess heavy metal toxicity and mineral status and blood tests to assess hormone levels and nutrient status.   Couples are counselled on diet and lifestyle factors which may compromise fertility.  Couples follow the programme for at least 4 months  and then try to conceive. 

    A survey of their results from 2002-2009 showed the following:

    Group 1 1,568 Couples completed the full Foresight programme. 1,122 Babies were born. 81.9% success rate. There were 52 pairs of twins and 3 sets of triplets. There were 4 miscarriages. At present there are 220 ongoing pregnancies of which 7 are twin pregnancies.

    Group 2 518 Couples did a part of the programme, but did not complete it. They had 358 babies. 63.7% success rate. Of these there were 39 miscarriage, 37 pairs of twins and there are 9 ongoing pregnancies.

    Overall, the average birth weight including the multiple births was 7lb 7½oz.

    Prior to going to Foresight these groups had 2,383 failed IUI (success 162) (1 in 15.7 or 6.3%) 3,004 failed IVF (success 407) (1 in 8.4 or 11.4%) and 1,081 failed ICSI (success 211) (1 in 5 or 16.5%).

    I have used the Foresight programme in my clinic for the last 5 years and I have a success rate of 80%.  There are occasions when I assist a couple in preparation for IVF to increase their chances of success - this could be when a woman has endometriosis or tubal scarring (which incidentally is the reason IVF was invented in the first place). 

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