In many cultures, women are unfairly blamed for the inability of a sexually active couple to conceive. In reality, men suffer from infertility issues just as frequently as women. Several factors may be responsible for male infertility, including low sperm count, abnormal sperm shape and size and reduced motility. Lifestyle, genetics and physiological changes can also raise or lower male fertility levels and can significantly affect a man’s ability to produce offspring.
Oligospermia, or low sperm count, is a condition where the number of sperm present in ejaculate is lower than normal because sperm production has become inhibited. This is defined as less than 20 million sperm per cc of semen. When all sperm is absent from the ejaculate, the condition is called azoospermia.
A number of factors can cause low sperm count or a decrease in sperm production, so it’s important to have a very thorough conversation about lifestyle factors with your practitioner. The most common causes of decreased sperm production are being a workaholic (AKA stress), smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, very frequent sexual intercourse or masturbation, being overweight, and wearing tight underwear or sitting for long periods of time. These causes are easily remedied. Other causes may take a little while to resolve, or may even require surgery.
How Acupuncture can help
The goal of an infertility treatment from a Chinese Medicine perspective is not just to get pregnant, but to stay pregnant and to have a healthy baby. It is well documented that acupuncture is one of the safest and most effective ways of improving the overall sperm profile, together with the implementation of a good nutritional programme and healthy diet. It can be used to restore hormonal balance, regulate energy levels, smooth emotions and help manage sleep and menstrual problems. Your acupuncture treatment will focus on balancing the systems of the body that are unbalanced by exerting a strong homeostatic effect utilising the nervous and hormonal systems. You will likely be treated for imbalances in the kidney and liver systems in order to sedate your nervous system and balance endocrine function. The kidney system is in charge of the adrenals, sex hormones, vitality, bone development . As far as low testosterone and other symptoms are concerned they can be the same in both cases but in one it is from the body drawing from its resources too much and from the other it has either already tapped them or there is something more functional happening causing lack of production. Acupuncture treatment then will vary depending on the overall diagnosis of a person and mixed syndromes are somewhat common requiring consultation with a qualified practitioner. Acupuncture can provide better blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, creating a stronger chance for an egg to be nourished and carried to term. I combine acupuncture and dietary therapy with self massage, other lifestyle modifications to treat low sperm count as it relates to infertility. One of the ways acupuncture infertility treatment increases fertility is by reducing stress, which is often a key factor in the fertility of both men and women. When people are under stress, the hormone cortizol is released in the brain. This alters the brain’s neuro chemical balance, thus changing hormone levels and disrupting the pituitary balance that is key to the reproductive cycle.
“Acupuncture can help support a woman through this important time in her life—whether that is emotionally or physically, and do much more than just conception. It can help with morning sicknesses, nausea, aches and pains (say lower back), anxiety preparation for birth, and insomnia, among many others