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Acupuncture and Sperm Quality

If you and your partner are having difficulty getting pregnant, you’re not alone! Many couples and individuals that seek help at Naturna often come in with fertility issues. Infertility is clinically defined as not being able to conceive after having unprotected sex for six months to one year. Since fertility in women declines steadily with age, some healthcare providers use six months as a benchmark to evaluate women of 35 years and older.

However, infertility is not only a woman’s problem. Both men and women can contribute to infertility. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35% of infertility cases involve both male and female factors. Of these cases, 8% involve the male factor only (Infertility FAQs, 2017).

Since there are plenty of articles discussing female fertility, I’d like to focus on how to improve male fertility with consistent acupuncture treatment. Research shows that acupuncture has a positive effect on sperm quality and quantity (Gurfinkel, Cedenho, Yamamura, & Srougi 2003; Pei et al. 2005). Let’s take a quick look at how this actually works.

Sperm Quantity

For fertility purposes, the ideal concentration is at 15 million sperm per milliliter of ejaculate. Studies show an improvement in both the percentage and number of healthy sperm after acupuncture.

Sperm Motility

To reach and fertilize an egg, sperm must be able to move through the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes. The axoneme is the whip-like tail that allows sperm to move effectively in a forward direction. Studies show that the axoneme respond well to acupuncture therapy, which contributes to higher percentage of motile sperm.

Morphology

The majority of sperm is abnormally shaped. However, acupuncture can increase the concentration of normally shaped sperm while decreasing the percentage of abnormal sperm. Specifically, studies show an improvement in the acrosome position and shape, and nuclear shape.

The bottom line is: research supports the use of acupuncture for men (and for women) to improve fertilization rate and pregnancy rate. Whether you and your partner are trying to get pregnant naturally or with the use of assisted reproductive technology, acupuncture can help! Call us today to book your initial consultation.

Works Cited

Gurfinkel, E., Cedenho, A. P., Yamamura, Y., & Srougi, M. (2003). Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities. Asian journal of andrology5(4), 345-348.

Pei, J., Strehler, E., Noss, U., Abt, M., Piomboni, P., Baccetti, B., & Sterzik, K. (2005). Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Fertility and sterility84(1), 141-147.

Infertility FAQs. (2017, March 30). Retrieved August 23, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/infertility/index.htm

Annie Caton-Wong

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