Acupuncture For Male Infertility–Optimize Your Chances for Success*
Male factor infertility accounts for 40% of all infertility cases, and yet when it comes to treatment, the emphasis is squarely placed on the female. Some men may not realize that there are a number of things that can be done to improve overall health and fertility. Men suffering with low sperm count, poor motility, morphology and liquefaction can all benefit from the wisdom Chinese medicine has to offer. The advent of intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (or ICSI) has greatly assisted IVF success rates, and many men believe ICSI to be the sole solution to their fertility problems. This may be a great mistake, especially for men struggling with other health concerns. We have had tremendous success in using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine–especially effective in improving sex drive and performance–to treat male fertility issues.* Located just 20 minutes from Boston, I am one of three acupuncturists in Massachusetts certified in treating fertility by the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM).
Chinese medicine has a different perspective when treating male fertility issues. In Chinese medicine, we seek to pin point areas of imbalance in the body that may be leading to poor health and as a result, poor fertility. Factors such as gut inflammation, disrupted sleep, elevated blood sugar, and high stress can all negatively impact health and sperm development.
As a specialist in Chinese reproductive medicine, I have treated hundreds of couples with fertility challenges. Over the years of practice, I have found that the greatest success is achieved when both partners invest in optimizing their health and fertility. And this is especially true if male factor infertility has been identified.*
So what can men do to optimize their chances for success? Below are a few things men should be aware of when it comes to optimizing their sperm:
- Get your stress under control. High levels of stress can lead to elevated cortisol (a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands) which will then have a negative impact on androgen-binding protein (the protein that holds testosterone in the testicles) causing it to release testosterone into the blood, and therefore decreasing the amount of testosterone in the testes. Sperm grow in a testosterone rich environment, and anything that degrades this will negatively impact sperm development.
- Get adequate amounts of sleep, at least 7-9 hour per night. The body repairs itself during sleep. If you are not getting adequate sleep, you are not allowing the body to maintain optimum health.
- Get your blood sugar in check. If you find yourself getting sleepy after you eat, it could be due to blood sugar or insulin imbalances. Insulin imbalance will create stress on the body and negatively affect androgen-binding protein and sperm development.
- Get your weight under control. Being overweight can lead to elevated estrogen levels and decreased testosterone levels—a situation that won’t help your sperm numbers.
- Do a gut check. Digestive issues can be due to inflammation in the digestive tract. If the digestive tract is not functioning optimally, then the assimilation of nutrients will be affected and in turn affect sperm development. In my practice, I have seen semen parameters improve significantly after repairing digestive function.
- Eat food rich in antioxidants! Studies have shown that men with sub-optimal semen parameters have higher levels of reactive-oxygen species (ROS). Reactive-oxygen species destabilize chemical bonds in the body and can have damaging effects on normal sperm development.
- Take Chinese herbs for male fertility–I make individualized formulas to address male fertility issues. Among the effects can be increased energy, libido, and stronger erections. Some patients have even likened our formulas to Viagra!*
- Get Fertility Acupuncture- I generally recommend men try and get acupuncture twice a week for at least 6 weeks. A 2005 study published in Fertility and Sterility saw improvements in sperm count, quality and structure after only 10 sessions!*
These are but a few things men can do to optimize their chances of success. The key is to identify and address the areas of imbalance in the body. I understand many men prefer to minimize their visits to medical professionals, but if you’re struggling with male factor fertility issues, you have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain; schedule your complimentary consult today!
*Disclaimer: Specific results are not guaranteed. Results may vary from person to person.
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