Men’s Fertility Issues & Current Research

At Seattle Acupuncture & Fertility Center, we have had great success in treating men’s reproductive health issues with acupuncture and chinese herbs.

 The cause or causes of infertility can involve one or both partners. In general:

  • In about one-third of cases, infertility is due to a cause involving only the male partner.
  • In another one-third of cases, infertility is due to causes involving both the male and female.
  • In the remaining one-third of cases, infertility is due to a cause involving only the female.

Causes of male infertility
A number of things can affect sperm count, ability to move (motility) or ability to fertilize the egg. The most common causes of male infertility include:

  • Abnormal sperm production or function due to various problems, such as undescended testicles, genetic defects or repeated infections.
  • Problems with the delivery of sperm due to sexual problems, such as premature ejaculation or painful intercourse (dyspareunia); health issues, such as retrograde ejaculation; certain genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis; or structural problems, such as blockage of the part of the testicle that contains sperm (epididymis).
  • General health and lifestyle issues, such as poor nutrition, obesity, or use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
  • Overexposure to certain environmental factors, such as pesticides and other chemicals. In addition, frequent exposure to heat, such as in saunas or hot tubs, can elevate your core body temperature. This may impair your sperm production and lower your sperm count.
  • Damage related to cancer and its treatment. Both radiation and chemotherapy treatment for cancer can impair sperm production, sometimes severely. The closer radiation treatment is to the testicles, the higher the risk of infertility. Removal of one or both testicles due to cancer also may affect male fertility.
  • Age. Men older than age 40 may be less fertile than younger men.

 

Current Research

 

Acupuncture and sperm

 

 

Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility.
Pei J et al Fertil Steril. 2005 Jul;84(1):141-7
Fertility and SterilityView Abstract A group of infertile men who had pathological semen analyses according to WHO criteria, were treated with acupuncture twice a week for 5 weeks. A statistically significant increase after acupuncture in the percentage and number of sperm with no structural defects was demonstrated compared to the control group of patients who received no treatment. They concluded that male infertility patients could benefit from having acupuncture. A general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, was seen after acupuncture.

 

 

Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality.
Siterman S et al Arch Androl. 1997 Sep-Oct;39(2):155-61
Archives of AndrologyView Abstract

 

A group of infertile men with abnormal semen analysis were randomly divided into 2 groups; one group was given 10 acupuncture treatments over 5 weeks, and the other group, no treatment. Significant improvements (p < 0.05) were demonstrated in the acupuncture group compared to the control group, in particular improved motility and morphology.

 

 

Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study.
Siterman S et al Andrologia. 2000 Jan;32(1):31-9.
AndrologiaView Abstract

 

This pilot study once again showed a positive effect of acupuncture on sperm count – but this time on men with such low sperm counts (or no sperm) that they would usually require a testicular biopsy to extract sperm for use in an IVF cycle. Seven of the 15 men with no sperm at all produced sperm detectable by the light microscope after a course of 10 acupuncture treatments (p < 0.01) ie enough sperm could be produced for ICSI to be performed without recourse to testicular biopsy. The control group with similar semen analysis had no treatment and showed no change after 3 months.