Acupuncture for sperm count and motility
Male infertility refers to the inability of a man to cause pregnancy in a fertile female partner. This may be due to a variety of factors, including low sperm count, poor sperm motility, abnormal sperm shape, or blockages in the male reproductive tract. Other factors that can contribute to male infertility include hormonal imbalances, genetic disorders, certain medications, and lifestyle factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and exposure to environmental toxins. Male infertility can be diagnosed through a variety of tests, including semen analysis, hormone testing, and imaging studies.
Causes of low sperm count and motility
There can be various factors that can cause low sperm count and motility, including genetics, lifestyle factors, certain medical conditions, and environmental factors. Some of the lifestyle factors that can contribute to low sperm count and motility include poor diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, and stress. Medical conditions such as hormonal imbalances, varicocele, and infections can also lead to low sperm count and motility. Environmental factors such as exposure to toxins and radiation can also impact sperm quality. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause of low sperm count and motility and appropriate treatment options.
Conventional treatments for male infertility include medications, surgery, and assisted reproductive technologies (ART).
Medications: Medications such as clomiphene citrate, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) can be used to stimulate the production of sperm in the testicles.
Surgery: Surgery may be recommended to correct structural problems such as a varicocele, which is a swelling of the veins that drain the testicle, or to repair a blockage in the reproductive tract.
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART): ART includes procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and sperm retrieval techniques like testicular sperm extraction (TESE) or percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA). ART can be used to bypass fertility problems and increase the chances of achieving a pregnancy.
In addition to these treatments, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, and avoiding exposure to environmental toxins may also be recommended to improve male fertility.
Research in acupuncture
There are several studies that have investigated the effects of acupuncture on sperm count and motility. One study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that acupuncture was associated with significant improvements in sperm count, motility, and morphology. Another study published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility found that acupuncture was associated with improved sperm motility in men with infertility.
A meta-analysis of 22 randomized controlled trials published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that acupuncture was associated with improved sperm motility and morphology, as well as increased overall sperm count.
These studies suggest that acupuncture may be a promising treatment option for male infertility and can help improve sperm count and motility. However, further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects and to determine the most effective acupuncture protocols for treating male infertility.
Here are some references to support the effectiveness of acupuncture in improving sperm count and motility:
- Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, et al. Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality. Arch Androl. 1997;39(2):155-161. doi:10.3109/01485019708987922
- Dieterle S, Li C, Greb R, Bartzsch F, Huang D, Weissenbacher E, et al. (2009). “A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia”. Fertility and Sterility. 92 (4): 1340–1343. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.08.080. PMID 18929048.
- Pei J, Strehler E, Noss U, et al. Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Fertil Steril. 2005;84(1):141-147. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2004.11.052
- Zheng Y, Liang H, Li C, et al. Effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of male infertility: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Asian J Androl. 2021;23(2):137-143. doi:10.4103/aja.aja_41_20
How can acupuncture help
From a TCM perspective, acupuncture can help improve sperm count and motility by enhancing blood flow to the reproductive organs and reducing inflammation in the body. Clinical evidence has shown that acupuncture can regulate hormones involved in sperm production and improve overall reproductive health.
Specific acupuncture points that may be used for male infertility include:
- Lower abdomen and lower back: Acupuncture at these points can help to regulate blood flow and improve overall reproductive function.
- Spleen 6 (SP 6): This point is located on the inner ankle and is believed to regulate the reproductive system and improve blood flow to the testicles.
- Stomach 36 (ST 36): This point is located on the lower leg and can help to improve digestion, boost energy, and improve overall reproductive health.
- Kidney 3 (KI 3): This point is located on the inner ankle and is believed to improve overall reproductive health and promote the production of healthy sperm.
In addition to acupuncture, other Traditional Chinese Medicine modalities such as herbal medicine, dietary therapy, and lifestyle modifications may also be recommended to help improve male infertility. These treatments are designed to address the underlying imbalances in the body that may be contributing to infertility.
The duration of acupuncture treatment for male infertility may vary depending on the individual’s condition and the severity of the problem. Generally, a course of acupuncture treatment for male infertility may last from 2 to 6 months, with weekly or bi-weekly sessions. However, the exact treatment plan will be determined by the acupuncturist after a thorough assessment of the patient’s condition.
@ Huatuo Clinic
At Huatuo Clinic, we offer individualized treatment plans for male infertility that may include acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary recommendations, and lifestyle modifications. We also recommend that you speak with your family physician to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment options prior to scheduling an appointment with us.
We strive to provide the highest quality care and support to help our patients achieve their goals of starting a family. Our experienced doctors provide comprehensive assessments and personalized treatment plans for each patient. Contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help with male infertility.