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Male Infertility

Women usually do the asking when it comes to fertility…   At the natural health and fertility clinic, our intention is to help men become more aware of their fertility issues.

Approximately 2.5 million men in Britain may be suffering from fertility problems, with high rates of smoking, stress and drinking believed to be contributory factors. However many men are in denial about the risk of infertility and tend to believe that problems in conceiving are more likely to be the “fault” of the woman

Male fertility is measured by sperm quality and count. A semen analysis will examine sperm count, percentage of active sperm (often called motility), sperm shape (usually called morphology) and the presence of elements other than sperm, for example blood cells or white cells which can provide evidence of damage and/or evidence of infection.

Normal Parameters for Male Infertility

The Current World Health Organisation (WHO) standards for assessing male infertility are:
Volume: more than 1 millilitre (ml)
Count: more than 20 million sperm per ml
Motility: more than 50% moving vigorously and purposefully
Morphology: more than 14% normal forms (ie. no deformities of the head, midpiece or tail).

The male partner contributes to almost half of all infertility problems that couples face yet often refuses to think he may be the possible cause of the couples failure to conceive.
10-20% of all men have sperm counts below the WHO cut-off level.
1-2% of all males are completely infertile and produce no sperm at all

Causes of male infertility:

It was previously thought that mumps could cause sterility in men but in fact it is now known to be extremely rare for mumps to lead to sterility. Stress, infection, alcohol and smoking will all impact on fertility.

  • Infected semen may be a cause of infertility.
  • Heat may reduce sperm production. This is why the testicles are outside the body in the scrotum rather than in the abdomen like the ovaries.
  • Very frequent intercourse may lead to a dramatic reduction in sperm count and cause the man to be effectively infertile. If you ejaculate as much as 2-3 times a day you are likely to have a problem. If you want to be at your most fertile you have to wait at least 3 days between each ejaculation!
  • Smoking over 20 cigarettes a day has been shown to reduce both the sperm count and the sperm motility.
  • Excessive alcohol intake may lead to low sperm counts for a variety of reasons.
  • The workaholic man may find that fatigue can have similar effects on his interest in intercourse as well as stimulate a desire for excessive alcohol intake
  • Excessive fluid around the testicle – hydrocele is a known problem
  • Varicocele: Varicocele is an abnormal dilatation of the testicular veins and around 15% of healthy fertile men in the general population have a detectable Varicocele. In the infertile population, up to 40% of men have been found to have a varicocele, so there seems to be an association with infertility. Evidence suggests that varicoceles cause progressive damage so whilst a young man with Varicocele may be fertile it is possible that his fertility will decline with time

Treatment

Obviously no-one wants to have a fertility problem but there is no doubt that taking some time to find out more about the things that control your fertility can help. Not only will the information help you control the powerful emotions that can surface during this time but also the additional knowledge can give you a much better chance of success.

Acupuncture can help low sperm motility, low sperm count, and poor sperm morphology.

Preparation for pregnancy should begin several months prior to conception. If both partners begin a preconception healthcare programme including fertility acupuncture, nutrition and reflexology at least 3-4 months prior to conception, it is possible to have an impact on the health of both the egg and sperm and reproductive outcomes.

Our 3 month male fertility acupuncture and sperm improvement programme is recommended because the continuous process by which stem cells develop into mature spermatozoa takes about three months and is known as “spermatogenesis”,

6 Week Male Fertility and Sperm Improvement Acupuncture

Research shows that even an intensive 6 week male fertility and sperm improvement programme, consisting of 2 male fertility acupuncture appointments per week prior or during IVF or fertility acupuncture treatment is beneficial.

Normal Parameters for Male Infertility

The Current World Health Organisation (WHO) standards for assessing male infertility are:

Volume: more than 1 millilitre (ml)
Count: more than 20 million sperm per ml
Motility: more than 50% moving vigorously and purposefully
Morphology: more than 14% normal forms (ie. no deformities of the head, midpiece or tail).

Acupuncture Research for Male Infertility:

“Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility.” Fertilty Sterility. 2005 Jul;84(1):141-7. Pei J, Strehler E, Noss U, Abt M, Piomboni P, Baccetti B, Sterzik K.

“Influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproduction therapy.” Dr. M. Zhang et al. J Huazhong University SCI Technology Medicine SCI 2002; 22(3):228-30.

“Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility to low sperm quality.” Arch Andrology. 1997 Sep-Oct;39(2): 155-6, Siteman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Lederman H, Bartoov B, Institute of Chinese Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel.

“Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities.” Asian J Androl, 2003 Dec; 5(4): 345-8, Gurfinkel E, Cedenho AP, Yamamura Y, Srougi M., Human Reproduction Division, Discipline of Urology, Sao Paulo Federal University, Paulista School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, Brazil.