When the male partner is told he has a low sperm count during the initial stages of infertility investigation, very little attention tends to be given to the matter and the process quickly moves to the next stage of IVF or ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). This can often leave the man feeling very isolated and uninvolved within the whole fertility programme.
Positive male participation
There are several ways to improve sperm health:
- Exercise – Regular and moderate exercise helps maintain a sensible weight and reduce stress. Obesity and/or stress can undermine all healthy bodily functions.
- Body temperature – Avoid vigorous exercise, hot tubs, tight underwear and saunas since they raise the body temperature and may cause reduced sperm count.
- Nutrition – Poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption and nutritional deficiencies negatively influence sperm motility.
- Smoking – This habit adversely impacts upon sperm count and sperm motility.
- Electronics – Keep mobile phones away from the testicles, i.e. do not carry your phone in your trouser pocket. Keep laptops directly off your lap.
Robert improved his sperm count through 5 Element Acupuncture
How Acupuncture can help
It is well documented that acupuncture is one of the safest and most effective ways of improving the overall sperm profile, together with the implementation of a good nutritional programme and healthy diet.
Scientific Evidence on the impact of Acupuncture on Male Infertility
- 22 patients with idiopathic male infertility, who failed in ICSI, were treated with acupuncture twice weekly for 8 weeks followed by a repeat of ICSI treatment. The sperm concentration, motility, morphology, fertilisation rates and consequent embryo quality was observed. Sperm motility after acupuncture improved significantly. The normal sperm ratio was increased after acupuncture. The fertilisation rates (66.2%) were significantly higher and embryo quality improved. J Huangzhong Iniv Sci Technol med Sci 2002;22(3):228-30
- 16 patients with subfertility due to poor sperm motility were treated with acupuncture twice a week for 5 weeks and compared with a control group. The sperm motility and intactness of the axonema was greatly increased in the study group. Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Zabludovsky N, Bartoov B
- In a case of 28 men suffering from low sperm counts, poor motility or poor morphology, each patient was given 10 acupuncture treatments over a period of 3 weeks. The spermiograms and hormone levels were checked before and after receiving acupuncture. Total count, concentration and motility were evaluated and in all cases the researchers observed a statistically significant improvement of sperm quality. Ischl F, Riegler R, Bieglmayer C, Nasr F, Neumark J
- A study was carried out on 54 men with subfertility. They were given 1-3 months of acupuncture treatments and sperm analysis was carried out before and after treatment. 55.5% of patients impregnated their partners during that period of time and 24% showed a significant improvement in their sperm quality. 20% of patients, previously diagnosed with azoospermia and immune disturbance, did not experience improvement. The greatest improvement was seen in patients with abnormal sperm. Journal of Chinese Medicine, 1996 September
I was extremely dubious when my wife suggested trying acupuncture for my low motility and low sperm count. The fertility clinic had made no suggestions on how I could improve the count at all. Three months after I started the acupuncture, Karen suggested we test again and the count had gone from 5 million to 15 million and the motility had gone to normal range. I was astounded. This meant we were able to do IVF instead of ICSI as suggested by the clinic. However, a few months prior to starting the IVF, we discovered we were pregnant naturally obviously as a result of Karen’s treatment!! When Karen asked me how I felt about being told that my count was so low, I felt powerless and isolated. It’s not something you talk to guys about so it was a relief to have someone give me some concrete information and a plan of action.
My wife had been attending Karen for quite a while and we were approaching our sixth IVF attempt (having been successful with three wonderful babies already). My sperm count at every previous cycle had been within the normal range and I had assumed it would be the case this time. But to my shock, the sperm motility was low-ish and the sperm count itself was very low, and this meant the clinic was recommending ICSI rather than IVF. I did three sessions with Karen and made some changes to my eating habits, and 2 weeks later the sperm count had gone from 10 million to 35 million and the motility had gone from 43% to 47%. This meant we could do IVF and this was achieved in three sessions!
Acupuncture is also used to successfully treat stress, insomnia, depression and heart disease – see Acupuncture for Men for more information.