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Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of infertility

  1. INFERTILITY

According to statistics, almost 20% of marriage couples at reproductive age have problems with getting pregnant. The causes of that are frequently difficult to identify. Among the most frequent hormonal causes of infertility it is worth mentioning ovulation disorders and the fact that the womb is “not prepared” for embryo implantation and maintenance. Implantation in the womb occurs only when endometrium is properly supplied with blood and normally developed, that is to say, it reaches proper thickness.  Embryo implantation in the endometrium layer which is too thin usually leads to miscarriage. Another cause of infertility is insufficient quality of male sperm. There are not enough spermatozoa or they are damaged.

2. WHY IS HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY SO EFFECTIVE IN TREATMENT OF INFERTILITY?

  • It improves blood supply to endometrium by increased production of capillaries
  • It improves the ability of endothelial cells to regenerate.
  • It increases the thickness of endometrium in the second half of the cycle – it creates optimal conditions for embryo implantation
  • It increases oxygen concentration in testicle tissues
  • It increases blood supply to seminiferous duct
  • It improves sperm quality

If woman’s problem with getting pregnant is a result of the lack of proper blood supply and oxygenation of endometrium, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a therapy of choice.

3. HOW DOES TREATMENT OF INFERTILITY IN HYPERBARIC CHAMBER LOOK LIKE?

Step1.

Hyperbaric medicine specialist consultation– not every patient can be qualified for hyperbaric therapy!!! – Our experienced specialists, after consulting a medical practitioner specializing in therapy of infertility,  careful collecting of medical history, and medical examination, will decide how many and what treatments you need.

Step 2.

Individual treatment programme  – hyperbaric oxygen treatment, dedicated for your disease. You’ll get the individual programme, which will include: a number and frequency of treatments (compressions), pressure which is adjusted to your health condition, and fertility specialist’s (gynecologist-obstetrician) orders, if you’re not yet ready for hyperbaric chamber.

Step 3.

Before entering the chamber, the doctor will examine you once again, and the nurse will measure your blood pressure. You’ll get special disposable clothes and your own disposable oxygen mask.

Step 4.

Compressions – in therapeutic shared hyperbaric chamber recommended by the National Health Fund, besides patients there will be  the Attendant (doctor, nurse, paramedic), who will supervise you. That person will answer all your questions, will support you during the whole therapy. He/She will notice even the smallest deviations from the norm and will professionally react. Compression lasts for 1.5 hours. The pressure in the chamber increases slowly and is also slowly decreased. You’ll inhale 100% oxygen. Outside the chamber the chamber operator and the doctor will take care of your safety, and they will observe you on the monitors and will be in phone contact with the Attendant.

Step 5.

The end of a cycle of compressions. After you get out of the chamber and after you finish the cycle of compressions you’ll be examined by a hyperbaric medicine specialist.

Step 6.

Do not forget to sign the book of patients cured!!! If our team comes up to your expectations – we hope you’ll write a few words of praise  – We work with passion for these words and for your smile.

Step 7.

Whenever you miss us, you can come back to our Centre in order to lift the spirits of other patients and take advantage of the benefits of oxygen, this time just improving your physical and mental condition and strengthening the effects of treatment.

4. IS TREATMENT OF INFERTILITY IN HYPERBARIC CHAMBER A WELL-KNOWN MEDICAL THERAPY METHOD?

Oxygen under high pressure has a significant role in achieving a better result in implantation, by improving endometrium’s susceptibility and improving quality of egg cells. In numerous cases it might be regarded as a treatment of choice.

There has been conducted clinical research where women with unexplained infertility have been treated in hyperbaric chamber. USG Doppler has indicated that the blood supply to endometrium has been improved and endometrium has reached proper thickness. In University hospital for Gynecology and Obtetrics, Narodni front, School of Medicine, Univerisity of Belgrade, Serbia 32 women with uterus-caused infertility have been examined. After hyperbaric oxygen therapy the thickness of endometrium increased, on average, to 11 mm. After the finished treatment scientists have noticed a significant improval of oxygenation of and blood supply to the  uterus. Moreover, it has been noticed that the quality of egg cells improved, and there has been a better reaction of stimulated ovaries (which cannot be achieved by means of hormonal therapy). Examinations of women who were inseminated after session in hyperbaric chamber (vaginal insemination with partner’s spermatozoa, which are placed near the egg cell), and also those whose egg cells were collected from ovaries, for the purpose of in vitro fertilization, have shown a much better quality of embryos and a higher rate of pregnancies.
In the Neubauer Center (NHNC) there has been regularly conducted research on the thickness of endometrium and the effect of oxybarotherapy on uterus-caused infertility. For the purpose of research there has been selected a group of women whose endometrium was not thick enough, and they were exposed to HBOT cycles. It was noticed endometrium’s thickness had increased up to 11mm.
The other scientists have noticed that the thickness of endometrium during ovulation, after hyperbaric treatment, has tripled, and that effect has been maintained in the following month. Doppler ultrasound of uterine arteries and mapping of blood vessels, after using the hyperbaric oxygen therapy, has shown that new networks of endometrium capillaries have appeared, especially after 4-6 weeks of HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy).
Los Angeles USA (LA Hyperbaric Oxygen Center). Medical practitioners from this hyperbaric oxygen centre in the USA have successfully used the therapy with oxygen under pressure for women with uterus-caused infertility – the lack of conditions for embryo implantation.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has also a positive effect on improval of quality of male sperm. It decreases negative effects of insufficient blood supply to testicles, which results from increased concentration of oxygen in tissues, despite the decrease in blood flow. What also contributes to improving blood supply is creating new vessels in the areas with insufficient blood supply.
The positive effects have been confirmed by animal research, which has shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy carried out on rabbits with artificially created varicose veins in the spermatic cord influenced the increase in mass and volume of their tenticles, and improval of sperm quality.
University hospital for Gynecology and Obtetrics, Narodni front, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Serbia has also conducted research on patients with male infertility. After the therapy where oxygen under pressure had been applied, increased spermatogenesis was noticed two months after treatment. HBOT has a positive effect on longevity and mobility of spermatozoa, which has been show by the analysis of spermogram, conducted 70 and 90 days after completion of treatment.

Infertility treatment is conducted in leading hyperbaric oxygen therapy centres in the whole world, such as:

  • LA Hyperbaric Oxygen Center, USA
  • Cámara Hiperbárica Hospital el Angel, Malaga Espania
  • Vithasxanit International Hospital. Medicina hiperbarica, Malaga, Espania
  • Hyperbaric Medical Center of Estepona, Malaga, Espania
  • ANDI International Hyperbaric NY Freeport. NY USA
  • Pittsburgh HyperbaricInstitute, PA, USA
  • BaroMedical Hyperbaric Oxygen Clinic. Burnaby, BC, Canada
  • Tao of Venus Wellness Center. Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. Los Angeles CA, USA
  • Bird Medical Devices, Mumbai, India. HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY CHAMBER
  • Dr Ramsey Center of Natural Healing. Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
  • For comfort and joy. Hyperbaric therapy. Denver, CO
  • OXYmed Australia.
  • Multidisciplinary Diabetes Center México City. Hyperbaric Chamber. Mexico

Prof. Agnieszka Pedrycz-Wieczorska, MD, PhD

Małgorzata Skiba, MD