Treating infertility in women with HBOT
HBOT can treat female infertility especially when the cause of infertility lies with the endometrium layer. Endometrium layer is a mucous membrane that lines the inner walls of the uterus and holds the fertilized egg and helps it grow. The endometrium layer should be optimally thick (not too thin or not too thick) and receptive to accept the fertilized egg and let it implant into it. If the endometrial layer is not optimally thick or receptive to the fertilized egg, it can lead to infertility in a woman.
Usually, when there isn’t enough oxygen supply to the endometrial layer, it can lead to the development of thicker endometrial layer. Thicker endometrium will not only able to hold the fertilized egg but can also cause a lot of pain and bleeding during menstruation. When performing IVF or ICSI (in case of assisted reproduction), optimal thickness of endometrium is necessary for a successful procedure, failing which can lead to miscarriage.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps in multiple ways:
- The excess oxygen to the endometrium layer just works as supplying excess oxygen to a wound on the body. It supplies more oxygen and also helps in generation of blood vessels. Consequently, the endometrium will not grow beyond the required thickness and also makes it more receptive to the zygote.
- HBOT also helps in flushing the toxins from the body. Excess toxins in the body can lead to thickening of the endometrium layer.
“Similar to how a wound is healed with HBOT, the scarring of uterine tissues and improper thickening of endometrium layer can be addressed with HBOT sessions” says Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran, MD at Chennai Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. “When excess oxygen is supplied under pressure (through HBOT) to a woman suffering with formation of endometrium layer of right thickness, the chances of IVF or ICSI procedure improves greatly and reduce the chances of miscarriage” adds Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran.
“For women suffering from infertility due to problems with endometrium layer, HBOT should be the preferred treatment of choice and we have seen greatly improved success rates” says Dr. Manu Lakshmi, Chennai’s leading female gynecologist at Gunasekaran Hospitals, T Nagar, Chennai.
Treating male infertility with HBOT
Erectile Dysfunction is one of the most common causes of male infertility. Not having enough levels of testosterone levels can lead to low libido but when there isn’t enough blood supply to the penis shaft (penile perforation), having an erect penis strong enough to perform sexual intercourse becomes a tough task. HBOT also addresses the quality of sperms produced along with the quantity of sperms produced in men.
Supplying excess oxygen under pressure results in angiogenesis in the penile shaft. As new blood vessels are formed, more oxygen is supplied to the penis shaft that can help in achieving an erection. It has been shown that 88% of the men who underwent 40 HBOT sessions saw tremendous improvement in achieving erections. (Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29773856)
Similarly, when more oxygen is supplied to the testicles, more quality and mature sperms are produced with improved motility. Sperm count, sperm shape and sperm motility are important factors analysed in sperm analysis when a man presents himself with infertility issue. “When the sperms of men who underwent enough HBOT sessions were used for IVF, the success rates improved significantly.” says Dr. Manu Lakshmi, an IVF specialist in Chennai.
HBOT can help treat infertility in women suffering from issues with endometrium layer and men suffering from erectile dysfunction and with poor sperm quality parameters. HBOT optimizes the endometrial layer by supplying enough oxygen and formation of new blood vessels in the uterus lining that is required and also helps in flushing toxins that affect the thickness of endometrial layer. In men, HBOT helps by forming new blood vessels in the penile shaft. Supplying more oxygen helps in improving the quantity and quality of sperms produced.