Male infertility in Australia is a widespread problem. Research shows that in up to 40% of infertility cases, the male partner is the primary cause, as well as a combination of both partners. Although this is a common occurrence, there are often no obvious signs that point to the male as the cause of an infertility issue. Intercourse, erections and ejaculation will usually happen without any difficulties.
Known causes of male infertility include:
- Sperm production problems
- Blockage of sperm transport
- Sperm antibodies
- Sexual problems
- Hormonal problems
The definition of infertility varies from country to country. In Australia, couples that have been trying to conceive unsuccessfully for more than 12 months fall into this category. As age can affect fertility, the diagnosis of infertility is given after 6 months to women over 35. Age affects men as well. If the male is over 35, there is a 15% chance that conception will take more than a year (compared with an 8% chance for males under 25 years).
Hormone levels affect the effectiveness of a male’s sperm. Changes in hormone levels can affect the shape (morphology) of the sperm, which leads to a decline in quality. Shape is important because it gives an indication of the sperm’s genetic content. A high number of misshapen sperm will increase the chances of abnormalities, in addition to being less likely to fertilise an egg.
Acupuncture has been shown to be promising in helping improve the quality and effectiveness of sperm. Results from a recent study showed that there was a general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, after undergoing acupuncture treatment.
Here’s what men can do to improve their chances of fatherhood:
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs
- Eat a well balanced diet and avoid junk food – getting into shape
- Clean up your living environment (Avoid the use of garden pesticides and herbicides)
- Replace your household cleaning products with safe eco friendly, fertility friendly alternatives like bicarbonate soda, vinegar and lemon juice
- Get your body into balance with regular Chinese medicine treatments
At Sustain Health we have a particular interest in guiding future mothers and fathers into a fertile friendly state of being. Our treatments focus on creating balance in body and mind. Improving sperm quality, energy levels and stress levels. We aim to revive the body and replenish our essence stores, which are depleted through overworking our bodies.
Please feel free to contact us.
Below are a few links to studies on acupuncture in relation to male infertility:
- Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16009169
- Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from sub fertility related to low sperm quality. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9272232
- Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10702864
- Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14695986
- Influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12658811
- A prospective randomised placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19394002