Men don’t always hear their biological clocks ticking the same way as Women and often believe that they have the power to fertilize right up until their demise. However, research is now showing that this isn’t the case. Men’s power to fertilize begins to fade in their fifties so the importance of men taking care of their reproductive health is as important as women looking after theirs. Men release about 200 million sperm each time they ejaculate but only 40 of them get near the egg which means men need to be producing good quality, motile
sperm to play their role in a successful pregnancy.
Predominately the focus of infertility is on the Woman however statistically speaking, at least, one in every three cases of infertility the responsibility lies with the Man. Men historically can be reluctant to get tested leaving the women feeling the burden of the responsibility. If the problem is physically related surgery can be offered to clear the blockage or if there is a low sperm count a procedure called I.C.SI can be used. This is where one sperm is taken directly from the male and inserted into the female egg to increase chances of fertilization. Issues of quality, motility, and quantity may be addressed through changes in diet, lifestyle and managing stress related. The good news is that male sperm banks replenish every 90-100 days so by checking out the possible causes of your infertility and taking action where possible you can increase your chances of producing healthy, good quality, fertile sperm.
Some Common Causes of Male Infertility include:
- Low Sperm or No Sperm is produced
- Motility issues – Poor movement
- Immunology – Anti-Sperm- Antibodies attack the sperm which they mistake as a threat to the body
- Morphology -Abnormal sperm shape and size
- Problems with Semen – e.g. Fructose level, quantity, P.H balance
- Problems with achieving an erection – Erectile dysfunction
- Obstruction of the sperm – Blocked Sperm Duct, Seminal Vesicle Obstruction, Vasectomy, Infections
- Retrograde Ejaculation – Sperm enters the bladder during ejaculation instead of exiting through the penis during orgasm.
- Hormonal Imbalances – The hypothalamus, pituitary, and testicles are all involved in the production of healthy sperm.
- Celiac Disease – sensitivity to gluten
What Acupuncture comes in?
Acupuncture is part of the tradition of Chinese Medicine that originated in China over 5,000 years ago. Acupuncture involves taking all aspects of the body’s health into consideration. It groups signs and symptoms into different patterns and treats both the root and cause of the disease.
T.C.M Patterns and indicating male symptoms:
- Blood stagnation (Blockages of sperm ducts)
- Kidney Yin and Qi deficiency (Low Sperm, Semen Production, Autoimmune disorders)
- Kidney Yang deficiency (Low Libido, Erectile Dysfunction, Low Sperm Count and Mobility)
- Liver Qi Stagnation (Stress, Hormone imbalances)
- Damp Heat/Phlegm (Infection, damage to sperm)
Small studies have shown that regular acupuncture can improve the quality and health of the sperm. In Fertility and Sterility 2005 a small study concluded that idiopathic make infertility problems such oligospermia, asthenospermia, or teratozoospermia could benefit from acupuncture. ‘A general improvement of sperm quality notably the ultra-structural integrity of the spermatozoa’ It is difficult to undertake large studies due to the underlying differences in pattern discrimination and the fact that acupuncture is based on the individual diagnosis.
Lifestyle Advise to help improve:
- Too much heat in the scrotum
– Change your shorts, wear looser boxers and jeans, avoid spending too much time on the bicycle or in hot tubs.
- Residual infections such as colds, flu’s and the use of prescription medication
– Improve your diet and consider alternative therapies that boost your immune system.
- The regulars lifestyle factors that can impact on Sperm Production including lack of sleep, high-stress levels, high levels of alcohol and cigarette consumption.
1. Reduce or cut out Alcohol, Cigarettes, Sweet food
2. Each more Fruit, Vegetables, and Fish in your diet.
3. Drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day.
4. If over or underweight it is a good idea to address this ahead of time as either can impact on your fertility.
5. Incorporate 3-4 sessions of exercise into your weekly routine
6. Build in relaxation e.g. Yoga, Meditation, Self-Hypnosis, Pilates, Walking in Nature into your routine.
7. Get your 7-8 hours a night and make it a priority
- Good Nutrition if you are lacking in certain Vitamins and Minerals the quality of the sperm can be affected
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Untreated Sexually Transmitted Infections e.g. Chlamydia, Syphilis
– Get tested and treated if you suspect this is the cause. It is advisable even if you are not trying to have a child yet but suspect you have a S.T.I to get treated as it can affect your fertility down the line.
If you want to know more about how acupuncture can help improve sperm quality, quantity and motility contact Holistic Healing Haven 0876226798
http://www.naturalgynae.com/downloads/male_fertility.pdf, Male Infertility Fact Sheet by Trevor Wing
Quantitative Evaluation of Spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic Male Infertility Pei. J et al Fertility and Sterility 2005, Jul 84 141-147 Fertility and Sterility
Post by Pauline Mc Cormack
Disclaimer: Please note that this post is for information purposes only. I am not a medical doctor. This information at no point should be used in place of seeking official advice from a qualified medical doctor.