An interesting blog from the Acupuncture & Alternative Medicine Clinic looking at the possibilities of using acupuncture to improve male fertility.
Acupuncture Improves Fertility in Men, Too
by Dr. Hui Kang
It’s become rather commonly known that Acupuncture has produced some very positive and even remarkable success stories in solving fertility problems in women. Now, new research shows there’s a very good possibility that Acupuncture might hold some enhancement benefits for their male counterparts as well.
Over the years, women have born all of the children as well as the brunt of criticism when they are unable to do so. In reality, men suffer from infertility issues almost as frequently as women. According to statistics from the National Infertility Association (an organization also known as RESOLVE), between 35% and 40% of infertility problems among couples are actually caused by male conditions.
Male fertility issues commonly fall into the categories of low sperm count, abnormal sperm shape, abnormal sperm size and reduced motility (capability of movement). Additional influencing factors can also fall into the areas of lifestyle, genetics and physiological changes, but these were not really major areas of consideration for this study.
Twenty-eight men who were diagnosed with idiopathic (unknown) infertility issues were chosen for this study. Sperm samples were taken from each man prior to the start of the study with each individual asked to abstain from sexual contact for 3 days prior to sampling.
A portion of the men received Acupuncture twice per week over a 5-week period, while the control group received no such treatment.
Overall, the men in the Acupuncture group showed significant improvements in sperm motility; number and percentage of healthy sperm produced; and showed significant changes in sperm structure and quality.
For instance, while median motility levels increased some in the control group, they increased from 44.5% to 50% in the Acupuncture group. At the start, the percentage of healthy sperm among men in the Acupuncture group and their sperm volume were on the low side. After 10 sessions of treatments, the healthy sperm of the average person in the group had increased four-fold, with the number of sperm per sample increased five-fold. In addition, significant changes in sperm structure and quality were seen in the samples from the Acupuncture group. There was little to no significant changes in the sperm of the control group.
The authors concluded that despite the inability of Acupuncture to significantly reduce some sperm abnormalities, the treatment could be used to improve overall sperm quality, leading to the possibility of increased fertility.