Acupuncture May Help Improve Sperm Quality
If you are struggling to conceive, this can be a stressful and overwhelming time for you
You’re not alone with these struggles, as infertility is more common than you think. It is estimated that around 40% of the infertility issues in couples is male infertility.
In the past, women were to blame for fertility issues. However, it’s important to know that knowing the core of your fertility issues isn’t about assigning blame; it’s about finding the problem to find the solution.
Male infertility is now receiving far more attention than in the past and they have found some solutions that can help men improve sperm quality including using acupuncture and by changing your lifestyle.
Why the quality of sperm seems to be changing
Research confirms that sperm quality is changing due to environmental toxins and our lifestyle choices like:
- Being overweight
- Heat around testicles from Laptops, phone in pockets
- Hot baths, saunas, hot tubs
- Tight shorts
- Undetected infections
- Local trauma
- Recreational drugs, overuse of painkillers
- Poor quality of food like Fast foods
- Foods lacking in nutrients
- Environmental pollution
- Plastic, pesticides
Will an IVF clinic help with my sperm?
In my experience IVF clinics will provide you with standard sperm tests like motility, count, morphology, but they do not provide male patients with any plan to help improve sperm quality.
My best advice would be to go and see urologist. Urologist can provide hormonal test, ultrasound scan, physical examination to rule out varicocele, test for hidden infection and check for DNA fragmentation.
Apart from more test, urologist can provide men with solution on how to fix, improve sperm (where possible). Healthier sperm will give you higher chance of conception either naturally or through IVF.
In my clinic I look at men and female results and very often I refer my male patients to one of the best urologists in Reading area.
How Acupuncture Can Positively Impact Male Fertility
Acupuncture works by re-balancing the body, improving how well your body functions. Acupuncture will make sure that Qi (energy) is flowing as it should without being blocked while also balancing the Yin and Yang.
When it comes to male infertility, traditional Chinese medicine is focused on finding this balance within the kidneys. There are 3 main categories that one can be diagnosed in. These categories include:
Deficiency Kidney Yin
A deficiency in kidney yin is often associated with a low sperm numbers, poor viscosity, insufficient seminal fluid, and abnormal morphology. Men who suffer from this often feel very hot at night and will have high libido, as well as overuse things like drugs, alcohol, and caffeine. Acupuncture can reinvigorate the Yin energy in the kidneys.
Deficiency Kidney Yang
Sperm tests in this case will show a low sperm count, poor endurance, and poor motility. Men who suffer from a deficiency of kidney yang will have a low libido, lethargic, and low motivation. This could be as a result of too much working out/intensive workouts, working/commuting long hours, or spending too much time in the cold.
The sperm test may show things like low count, low motility, and high numbers of abnormalities. Men who suffer from this may notice abnormal discharge, painful urination, and other heat or discomfort in the penis. This issue could be the result of prostatitis (prostate gland inflammation) or an undiagnosed urinogenital infection.
Other Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Male Fertility/Sperm Quality
In addition to acupuncture, there are various lifestyle changes that you can make that can improve your sperm quality and your fertility issues. Good nutrition plays huge part in sperm production, quality and according to some studies it can even improve motility.
Lifestyle changes include:
1) Stop drinking, smoking, and recreational drug use.
2) Look into taking good supplements like Proxeed for Men, as have good combination of Zinc and selenium, B12 which are shown to improve sperm production and quality. Sperm DNA fragmentation has been receiving much more attention recently. There are several causes for sperm becoming stressed and it is important to discover the cause if possible. Because oxidative stress is known to be a problem it is thought that a diet rich in antioxidants will help in some cases. Research has highlighted the importance of antioxidants Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium, Co-enzyme Q10 and the amino acid L-Carnitine
3) Start eating foods high in antioxidants, vitamin C and E to boost your nutrients level.
4) Limit the consumption of soy and estrogen-rich foods. Some foods, especially soy products, contain plant oestrogen. Beer contains high level of phytoestrogen= a plant oestrogen (so avoiding beer would be best while trying to conceive). This can reduce testosterone bonding and sperm production. Many canned and plastic products are also high in synthetic forms of oestrogen. Bisphenol A is a compound that binds to oestrogen receptors in the body and may also impact male fertility.
5) Eat a healthier diet, including eating lean protein – from poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, low fat dairy, beans, include more Fruit and vegetables – organic where reasonable, healthy fats – from olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, oily fish. According to some studies, Mediterranean diet is associated with higher sperm motility and higher sperm count and morphology.
6) Optimize your BMI since too high or too low BMI can impact sperm quality.
7) Check for infections that can reduce sperm quality.
8) Keep your testicles cool and wear looser pants, stop taking hot baths
9) If you are cycling a lot, it is worth considering reducing or stopping completely, while you are trying to have a baby. During cycling testicles are being squeezed and this is not healthy for your testicles nor for sperm production.
In terms of nutrition, there is a lot of research out there and it can be all very overwhelming, best diet is when it is tailored to your needs so it may be worth speaking to fertility trained acupuncturist like myself but also having consultation with nutritionist that specializes in fertility.
For more information or to book consultation please call on 07766735714 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am based in Caversham, Reading.