Acupuncture has a long track record given its origins. There are many health issues acupuncture is good at treating and male infertility is one.
Acupuncture and Male Infertility
Infertility in males involves the failure to fertilize the female egg with sperm. Three things must take place for successful fertilization. Sperm must be produced in the testes. The sperm must travel through the spermatic ducts. The sperm must find an egg. The Western medicine approach to the treatment of male infertility will naturally focus on those three factors to determine the disorder and the treatment indicated. There are times when it seems almost like a miracle that fertilization ever takes place. A normal ejaculation should produce around 200 million sperm, yet only one or two ever get close to an egg.
The four factors commonly used to assess infertility cases are low sperm counts, the total volume of ejaculate, the mobility of the sperm, and the morphology of the sperm. A rather depressing list of items that could have a negative impact on one or more of those four factors contained 23 items. These items ranged from tight underwear to nicotine. There is even a chance that the male’s own body could produce antibodies that will attack his own sperm. Blockage of the spermatic ducts requires corrective surgery, but outside this the majority of treatments involve lifestyle changes. This includes avoiding what is harmful and supplementation with vitamins, minerals, and herbs.
Acupuncture and male fertility views the entire situation from a completely different perspective. As is typical when comparing the treatment approaches of Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, the first will attempt to treat and correct the symptoms, and the second will treat the cause. Traditional Chinese Medicine sees infertility as a result of a completely different set of circumstances. Such thing as low sperm counts and abnormal shaped sperm are symptoms of these circumstances.
The acupuncturist will see male fertility as having one of five causes. It could be a result of Kidney Yang deficiency, Kidney Yin deficiency, Liver Qi stagnation, Damp/Heat in the low Jiao, or a Qi and Blood deficiency. Each of these possible causative factors will have there own set of symptoms to guide the practitioner in the selection of the proper acupuncture points to use in the treatment. Many of these symptoms will have nothing to do with the sperm or reproductive organs at all.
Acupuncture is a good option for the treatment of male infertility. With the exception of corrective surgery for blocked spermatic ducts, Western Medicine appears to have little ability to improve the production, condition, or shape of male sperm. Their major treatments of lifestyle changes and herbal supplementation would most likely be part of the acupuncture overall treatment approach anyway. In our era, overpopulation is a major problem and more research is going into the prevention of fertility. In earlier times, fertility was a matter of species survival. What this means is that Chinese Medicine has been successfully treating male infertility for thousands of years. It is very possible that they have learned a bit about it in all that time.