Male fertility and acupuncture
It takes two to tango
Reproductive medicine has been focusing on women in the past decades. In fact, the role of urologists – male reproductive health specialist -has been declining.
Chances are your sperm test was administered by a gynaecologist. Nonetheless, male factor infertility affects 30% of couples.
Male infertility can be due to a number of factors. And the most common cause is poor sperm quality.
An increasing number of men are expressing interest in restoring their fertility with acupuncture and lifestyle changes.
Addressing both male and female factors simultaneously is a sensible strategy.
Sperm quality is important for fertilisation rates in IVF/ICSI cycles.
A team of researchers led by Dr Zhang investigated how acupuncture can help men with poor sperm quality.
Men received acupuncture twice a week over eight weeks period. As a result, IVF/ICSI fertilisation rates after acupuncture increased by almost 61%.
Acupuncture can be helpful for testicular sperm extraction (TESE) candidates. Studies show, that you can avoid TESE half of the time if you have acupuncture done correctly.
Azoospermic patients awaiting IVF, especially with a history of genital tract inflammation, are good candidates for this treatment.
In a large study from Sweden, IVF-ICSI using surgically retrieved sperm was associated with a 4.6-fold increase in autism disorders and a 2.3-fold increase risk of intellectual disabilities relative to IVF without ICSI.
IVF-ICSI using ejaculated sperm also was associated with increased risk. A 47% increased risk of intellectual disabilities relative to IVF without ICSI using ejaculated sperm.
If you’re planning IVF, you should consider acupuncture and herbal medicines, lifestyle and diet changes, everything possible to improve the sperm to minimise the potential male fertility impact on your child.