Improving Male Fertility
You’re Not Alone
Resolve, the National Infertility Association, estimates approximately 30% of infertility cases are directly linked to male factor, 30% to female factor, and another 30% result from a combination of female and male issues. A large majority of all cases of infertility have some male factor component. In cases where there are both male and female issues, the treatment of both partners is required to produce the best results.
Small Changes, Big Improvements
We are fortunate to have a rapidly growing number of men seeking our services. Current research demonstrates potential for acupuncture to increase men’s fertility by increasing sperm production, motility, and morphology as well as regulating the hormones associated with male fertility. Additionally, these increases led to positive results for both natural and assisted (IUI/IVF) pregnancy rates. We recommend a standard course of two treatments each week for six weeks, the standards used in research. Acupuncture is strongly recommended for men who had an abnormal semen analysis, or would benefit from stress relief, dietary counseling, or are suffering from fatigue, pain, insomnia, or digestive issues.
Regardless of the fertility status of the male partner, we recommend the following supplements for him:
A men’s daily multivitamin with 1000 IU vitamin D. Studies show that reaching targeted levels of Vitamin D dramatically increases a man’s fertility.
Zinc is critical for testosterone production and selenium helps with motility. A handful of brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds each day is a great, simple way to get a boost in these nutrients.
A fish oil supplement: Research indicates a diet rich in essential fatty acids greatly improves motility of sperm and provides additional antioxidant and cardiovascular benefits.
Vitamin C is a highly potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals which damage maturing sperm (1000mg/day).
L-carnitine is an amino acid shown to benefit sperm motility (1000mg/day).
In addition to supplementation, some simple lifestyle changes can also benefit sperm production:
Eat Healthy: Shoot for a diet that is low in saturated fats and high in veggies and antioxidants. A paleolithic diet such as our Acubalance Fertility Diet will be most beneficial.
Get Moving and Get Fit: Regular exercise helps decrease stress, moderates body weight, improves circulation, and benefits overall reproductive health. Obesity has frequently been linked to decreased fertility. Even a small reduction in body mass can yield and big benefit.
Manage Stress: Stress has been demonstrated to have a negative effect on fertility for both men and women. If you are having trouble finding productive ways to manage stress, acupuncture can be a big help!
Cut the Junk: Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs all have a negative effect on sperm production. If you need help quitting, acupuncture can help there as well.
Keep Cool: Sperm need lower temperatures than the rest of the body. Help keep them cool by wearing loose fitting underwear and clothing, avoiding hot saunas and baths, keeping your laptop off your lap, and making sure you’re taking frequent breaks if sitting or cycling for long periods of time.
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
If you and your partner are having difficulty conceiving and you haven’t had a semen analysis, we highly recommend that you have one done. This analysis is fast, painless, relatively inexpensive, and a sample can usually be collected in the comfort of your own home. The semen analysis is the most important measure of male fertility and provides us with invaluable information for your treatment. There are so many ways to improve sperm quality, but if you don’t know you have a problem, we won’t be able to help. More than 60% of all couples who have difficulty conceiving will be diagnosed with some male factor component. The sooner you know, the sooner you can make a few small changes that may make a big difference in your ability to conceive!