Infertility is said to exist if a couple has been having regular sexual intercourse without the use of contraceptives for more than a year and the woman has not become pregnant. About one in seven couples in the developed world have infertility problems; 30 percent because of the male, 30 percent because of the female, and 40 percent due to both.


• Inability to conceive a child despite having regular sexual intercourse without the use of contraceptives.


Male infertility is usually due to a low sperm count, which may be the result of physiological problems, taking drugs, or environmental factors; malformed sperm; or the inability of sperm to reach the egg. It may also be caused by problems in the testicles or vas deferens, often the result of sexually transmitted disease; or malformation of the testes due to an endocrine (glandular) disorder. Erectile dysfunction or ejaculatory problems may also result in infertility, and this situation may be aggravated by stress, overwork, tiredness, or psychological problems. The most common cause of female infertility is failure to produce eggs. This may be the result of a hormonal disorder, stress, problems with the ovaries such as cysts, damaged fallopian tubes caused by pelvic inflammatory disease, or uterine abnormalities such as fibroids. The cervical mucus may be too stringy for sperm to get through, or it may contain antibodies that kill sperm. Rarely, defective chromosomes are responsible. 

Conventional care

The full medical history of each partner is studied, physical examinations made, and any sexual problems discussed. Semen analysis and a biopsy of the testes can identify a low sperm count. A post-coital semen test can reveal whether the cervical mucus is deterring the sperm. A temperature chart kept by the woman may help to reveal if and when ovulation occurs. Hormone levels will be checked and an ultrasound scan performed. A laparoscopy can explore the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Artificial insemination can solve the problem of defective sperm. Hormone treatment can be given to either sex, and surgery may repair certain damage to the female reproductive organs; in vitro fertilization is also an option. 

Homeopathic medicine

Provided there are no physiological problems, constitutional treatment will try to rectify imbalances in the body systems controlling reproduction. Remedies are determined largely by an individual’s symptoms . In men, Aurum met. is indicated for childhood atrophy of the testes or painful, swollen testicles; and Causticum for infertility associated with testicular pain or blood in the spermatic fluid. In women, Nat. carb. is prescribed for the nonretention of semen; and Sepia when infertility results from a hormonal imbalance and an aversion to sexual intercourse. Although not strictly an infertility problem, Sabina is effective for recurrent miscarriage in early pregnancy. Specific local remedies for men include Agnus castus, for erectile dysfunction and a lack of energy; Conium, for erectile dysfunction, with cramps and cold legs; and Lycopodium, when there is increased sexual desire, but intercourse is spoiled by the anticipation of the failure to conceive. Conium is prescribed for women when infertility is associated with breast tenderness and suppressed sexual desire; and Lycopodium when there is lower abdominal tenderness and vaginal dryness.


It is advisable to reduce intake of alcohol and caffeine, and desirable to eat organic foods and those that are high in zinc, such as whole grains and nuts. Drugs such as anabolic steroids and tobacco should be avoided. Overexertion is inadvisable, while relaxation techniques, meditation, and stress-reduction methods are all beneficial. Men should not wear tight-fitting pants and, if they have a low sperm count, should abstain from sexual intercourse in the week before the woman ovulates. There is some evidence to suggest that adopting the missionary position during
intercourse, with the woman remaining still for 20 minutes afterward, will increase the chances of conception. Women are advised not to use vaginal douches, and to substitute egg white for KY jelly as a lubricant. 

C A S E  H I S T O R Y

Bob and Alice had two children, the first by a difficult forceps delivery and the second delivered normally after some homeopathic treatment. Alice, 35, had then had two miscarriages, since when she had been unable to conceive. Her periods were irregular, and tests showed that she was not ovulating. Bob, 42, had been diagnosed as having a low sperm count and poor mobility of sperm.


The couple had been happily married for 15 years. Alice had been upset by her doctor and hospital staff during the birth of her first child, and she also had problems with her stepmother (her father had remarried after his wife died when Alice was six). Bob was a taciturn, overweight man, who possibly only attended the consultation at his wife’s request.

F O O D  P R E F E R E N C E S

Both had a sweet tooth and ate a lot of refined carbohydrates. Bob drank a lot of coffee. He had a large appetite and felt better for eating. He liked eggs but not fats.


Bob felt the cold easily, but sweated at night. Alice also felt the cold. She was worse for emotional stress and in the evening, but revived after midnight. She felt better for hot baths, eating, and massage.

P R E S C R I P T I O N   &   F O L L O W - U P

Bob and Alice were put on a diet low in refined carbohydrates and caffeine, and given vitamin and mineral supplements. Bob was prescribed Calc. carb., and Alice Staphysagria. Alice was advised to write, but not send, letters to the medical staff and her stepmother expressing her feelings. On her return a month later, she repor ted that Bob had lost 14 lb (6 kg) in weight and felt healthier. Alice felt emotionally relieved but somewhat detached from reality. She stayed on the diet and was given Anacardium. One month later Alice became pregnant and was given Pulsatilla for morning sickness. She was treated homeopathically to stabilize the pregnancy and  relieve symptoms during the next few months before giving birth to a boy. 

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