If your sperm count results have come back less than ‘perfect’ then you are not alone. Male fertility is one of the most common reasons that people explore the route of assisted techniques (LINK) such as IVF with research showing that 40% of infertility cases are due to poor sperm quality. The great news is that research also indicates there are several things you can change to improve sperm morphology, motility, and overall health. Even if your results came back in the satisfactory range, you could still improve your sperm-health even further, giving you the best chance of natural conception (LINK).
Since the 1980’s, there has been a 30% decrease in sperm count in the general male population and about one in twenty men has a fertility issue, even if they live an apparently healthy lifestyle. This could be due to the plethora of environmental pollutants we are all exposed to that are known or suspected to impact sperm health.
Like women, men’s fertility also declines with age. Many men present with borderline sperm count that have previously been deemed ‘acceptable’. There are several considerations we would look at when assessing the values attributed to sperm health.
How is sperm evaluated for quality?
Sperm is evaluated according to four main parameters:
- Volume (i.e. how much semen per ejaculation)
- Density/concentration/count (i.e. how many million/ml)
- Morphology (i.e. % of normal v. abnormal in shape)
- Motility (i.e. % of moving/swimming sperm)
If any of these parameters are abnormal, fertility may be compromised.
Can Acupuncture improve sperm quality?
As documented by the British Acupuncture Council, Acupuncture has been found to improve the motility of sperm by improving its zinc:cadmium ratio. Zinc improves sperm motility whereas cadmium causes thicker semen, thereby slowing down the sperm. SOD, an antioxidant which increases both sperm count, and motility is also positively influenced by acupuncture. Acupuncture therapy around the female’s ovulation may increase the chance of natural conception (LINK).
Where do the needles go?
Acupuncture points for improving sperm quality can be placed on points in the lower back, lower leg, or abdomen. The points chosen for placements of the needles are generally pain free and are used to increase strength and vitality, improve blood flow, digestion, promote good-quality sleep and relieve stress and anxiety. Other health problems are concurrently attended during acupuncture treatment since we consider your whole health and wellbeing as a contributing factor to male fertility.
At Gaynor Grozier Acupuncture we tailor our treatment packages to suit each individuals needs.
What else can help?
Diet and nutrition, lifestyle, weight, exercise, environmental pollutants, and smoking can also play a huge role in the health of your sperm and the male reproductive system. We believe the most powerful approach is to make changes in these areas together with acupuncture therapy to really align and improve your fertility. This is where we see the best results. In fact, acupuncture has also demonstrated it can help with lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking and treatment can be tailored to address this alongside your male fertility journey.