male fertility

Fertility Assistance for Men

Male Fertility & Sperm AnalysisMale Fertility
Reduced male fertility is often asymptomatic and a semen analysis may be required to definitively indicate any problems that may be present. The most common problems involve issues with the number of sperm , their form (morphology) or movement (motility).

Remember that a semen analysis is not just concerned with analysing sperm. The seminal fluid is also analysed and may reveal important information about reproductive health. Some of the most common problems include a low volume of seminal fluid, debris in the seminal fluid and the absence of fructose. Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and nutritional supplements can address these and other less common factors.

What if I have problems with Sperm Count, Form or Motility?

Clinical research shows that acupuncture can be utilised to improve sperm quality and increase the number of sperm without structural defects. Significant results can be achieved in 5 weeks of bi-weekly treatment or 10 weeks of weekly treatment. (References and summaries of clinical research into the effects of acupuncture on sperm morphology and motility are provided below).

>When can Acupuncture help?

  • low sperm count
  • previous abdominal surgery
  • sperm morphology problems
  • varicocele or hydrocele
  • reduced sperm motility
  • suceptibility to fungal infection (e.g. jock itch)
  • TESE candidates
  • history of undescended testes as child / adolescent
  • day of sperm donation (IUI / IVF)
  • history injury to testes (as adult or child)
  • low libido
  • history of STI
  • testicular pain or injury

General Health & Male Fertility

Traditionally, Chinese medicine involves a holistic approach to health and fertility. Whilst acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be used to treat the specific fertility issues revealed by sperm analysis, practitioners are also concerned with your general health and any heath issues that may present alongside reduced fertility. Some of the most common complaints that occur in conjunction with impaired fertility include:

  • chronic tiredness
  • elevated stress levels
  • chronic digestive problems
  • anxiety &/or irritability
  • chronic headaches or migraine
  • poor sleep
  • chronic lower back pain
  • intermittent testicular pain
  • liver tenderness
  • chronic respiratory illness, asthma, allergies

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Clinical Research

Pei J, Strehler E, Noss U et alQuantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultra-structure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility.Fertility and Sterility 2005 Jul;84(1):141-7

A group of infertile men with pathological semen analyses according to WHO criteria, were treated with acupuncture twice a week for 5 weeks. After this time, the acupuncture treatment group demonstrated a statistically significant increase in the percentage and number of sperm with no structural defects compared to the control group of patients who received no treatment. Sperm analyses after acupuncture showed a general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultra-structural integrity of spermatozoa. Conclusion: A general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, was seen after acupuncture.

Siterman S, Wolfson V, et alDoes acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study. Andrologia. 2000 Jan;32(1):31-9.

The study showed a positive effect of acupuncture on sperm count. At the start of the study the sperm analyses of all participants showed very low sperm counts or no sperm. These results would necessitate a testicular biopsy to extract sperm for use in an IVF cycle for conception to occur. After treatment with acupuncture, 7 of the 16 men with no sperm produced sperm detectable by the light microscope (p < 0.01) and enough sperm could be produced for ICSI to be performed without requiring testicular biopsy. The control group with similar semen analysis had no treatment and showed no change after 3 months. Conclusion: that acupuncture may be a useful, non-traumatic treatment for males with very poor sperm density.

Siterman S et al

Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm qualityArchives of Andrology. 1997 Sep-Oct;39(2):155-61

Gurfinkel E et al

Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalitiesAsian Journal of Andrology. 2003 Dec;5(4):345-8.

Zhang M et alInfluence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technologyJournal of Huazhong University.2002;22(3):228-30