Enhancing Male Fertility with Acupuncture
The world of infertility has long been dominated by focusing on the woman, but men have a significant role in the ability of a couple to conceive. Sperm counts and sperm quality have decreased by more than 40% in the past half century due to sperm’s sensitivity to heat, environmental toxins, diet and stress. Approximately 40-60% of all fertility problems are related to male factor issues.
How can acupuncture help?
Some clinical trials suggest that acupuncture improves sperm motility (Dieterle 2009), increases sperm count (Siterman 2009, Siterman 2001), improves sperm quality (Pei 2005; Gurfinkel 2003) and has a beneficial effect on psychogenic erectile dysfunction (Engelhardt 2003). The research results are promising but still at a preliminary stage in terms of numbers and quality of studies.
Acupuncture may help in the treatment of male infertility (Stener-Victorin 2010), by:
- lowering scrotal temperature (Siterman 2009);
- enhancing local microcirculation, by increasing the diameter and blood flow velocity of peripheral arterioles (Komori 2009);
- reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Zijlstra 2003)
- by improving sperm maturation in the epididymis, increasing testosterone levels, and reducing liquid peroxidation of sperm (Crimmel 2001)