TCM and Fertility / TCM and Men’s Health
In the recent years, the advances in Fertility treatment including In-vitro Fertilization (IVF ) & Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injections (ICSI) had brought new hope to couples facing problems with fertility due to sperm issues.
Over the last few decades, it had been shown that sperm counts & quality had deteriorated globally. Recently, a French study of men’s sperm over last 34 years revealed a significant decrease in total sperm count (from 443.2 million in 1976 to 300.2 million in 2009), motility (from 64% in 1976 to 49% in 2009) and vitality (from 88% to 80%). Moreover, a significant decline in the percentage of normal forms was noted between 1976 and 1997 (from 67% to 26%) with a steady rise in the multiple abnormalities index between 1998 and 2009 (from 1.19 to 1.65).
There had been some studies suggesting that Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine may help to improve sperm quality and quantity. A study from Israel showed that Acupuncture& Herbal medicine in men with low sperm quality (twice weekly for 5 weeks) improves sperm quality. Another study in Germany & Italy revealed similar results.
Causes related to men infertility:
- Lifestyle: lack of sleep, poor diet, excessive or lack of exercise etc.
- Environment toxin and pollutants which affect sperm quality
- High temperature and radiation
The Chinese Medicine understandings of causes leading to male infertility:
- Deficiency condition: Yin deficiency and Blood deficiency; Yang deficiency and Qi deficiency.
- Excessive condition: Qi and Blood stagnation; endoretention of Damp-heat
The use of Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture & Moxibustion can improve the quality & quantity of sperms and plays an important role in improving the success rate of Fertility treatment
(1) Splingart C, Frapsauce C, Veau S, Barthélémy C, Royère D, Guérif F. Semen variation in a population of fertile donors: evaluation in a French centre over a 34-year period. Int J Androl. 2012 Jun;35(3):467-74.
(2) Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Zabludovsky N, Bartoov B. Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality. Arch Androl. 1997 Sep-Oct;39(2):155-61.
(3) Pei J, Strehler E, Noss U, Abt M, Piomboni P, Baccetti B, Sterzik K. Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic maleinfertility. Fertil Steril. 2005 Jul;84(1):141-7.