Male infertility refers to the failure to fertilize the female egg with a sperm. It is not an easy thing. Sperm must be produced in the
testes, and they must travel through spermatic ducts and become matured. Then, they must find their way into the woman's cervix
(the neck of her uterus), swim through a long journey, and finally find the egg at the outer end of the fallopian tube. What a journey!
What's more, although about 20 million sperm are ejaculated, only the luckiest one is successful in getting the egg fertilized. It seems
almost like a miracle.
It is generally accepted that in the Western world sperm counts have decreased over the last 30 years. Sperm production may be
affected by several factors, including any illness that causes a fever, exposure to high temperature, such as sauna, exposure to
substances that are toxic to sperm, such as some industrial chemicals, alcohol, smoking, or recreational drugs.
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 (i.e. no deformities of the head, mid piece or tail).
It is suggested that male subfertility may be a factor in 50% to 70% of couple infertility cases, and that up to 50% of male infertility may
Acupuncture has been proven to be beneficial for boosting male fertility. However, in my practice, I have found that if combined
Chinese herbal medicine, sperm's quality and quantity will be dramatically enhanced, particularly to those who have problems with the
count, morphology or motility of sperm. Cases that a woman gets pregnant while there was no chance for them according to their
specialist aren't rare in my clinic.
When I treat male fertility issues, usually I consider one of the following three factors. Sometimes, more then one factors can be seen
in the same patient.
Yin deficiency, qi deficiency or yang deficiency could be identified. Sperm analysis normally shows low volume, low count, and poor
Obesity can have detrimental effects on the quality and quantity of sperm. Low sperm count, poor morphology, and delayed
liquefaction can be seen. In Chinese medicine's perspective, this type can be explained as phlegm, and possible stasis.
Alcohol, in TCM, is a source of dampness. On one hand, it may lead to heat, which in turn condensate damp, causing phlegm in side.
Delayed liquefaction can be found. On the other hand, damp along with heat consumes fluids, resulting in low sperm volume. This type
normally complicated with the other two types.
Since it takes 100 days for a sperm to mature, 3 month male fertility programme is recommended to see any improvements to the
sperm quality and quantity.
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