Sperm motility is the movement of sperm and its ability to move efficiently through the female reproductive tract to reach the egg. Sperm motility is a factor in successful conception; if sperm do not move well, they will not reach the egg to fertilize it.
Poor sperm motility means that the sperm do not swim properly which can lead to male infertility. Usually, it is found that when sperm motility is poor, there are other contributing problems found with sperm health such as sperm morphology or low sperm count.
It has been found that Acupuncture can have a positive impact in improving sperm motility. Clinical trials carried out by the British Acupuncture Council suggests that Acupuncture improves sperm quality and has a beneficial effect in male fertility.
As you embark on your journey to becoming a parent you may come across terminology that is left unexplained. Here we explore the term ‘Sperm Morphology’ and if you’re wondering what it is and how it affects fertility in the male reproductive system, read on!
Sperm morphology put simply is the size and shape of sperm and is one factor that is examined as part of a semen sample to evaluate male infertility. When viewed under a microscope the results are reported as a percentage of the sperm that appear normal and healthy; in healthy sperm the head appears oval, in abnormal sperm it can appear as a round shape.
There are many contributing factors that can impair male fertility, and most are fixable; it has been proven that with Acupuncture therapy sperm morphology can be improved. At Gaynor Grozier Acupuncture we will work with you to understand your results and look at how we can help improve your male fertility with supporting nutrition and wellbeing advice alongside your Acupuncture treatment.
Research studies that have been conducted by the British Acupuncture Council show that the benefits of Acupuncture in Male Fertility include increased hormone levels and testicular blood flow in turn promoting increased production of healthy sperm.
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.