Infertility statistics claim that women are unfairly blamed for being responsible for rise in infertility: National Infertility Organization claims that approximately 40% of infertility problems are caused by male infertility factor such as low sperm count, problems with sperm motility and issues that concern sperm size and shape. Additionally, lifestyle of men and women is another factor that can contribute to increased level of fertility related problems.
Several studies was conducted that proved that acupuncture has positive effect on female fertility, when preparing for IVF for an example, but a research about acupuncture treating male infertility was neglected. However, several studies were conducted and they suggested that acupuncture has positive effect on sperm production and its quality. Recently a study was published in journal Fertility and Sterility describing the effectiveness of acupuncture on male fertility. This study suggests once again that acupuncture has positive effects in treating male infertility: it improves a number of normal sperm and reduces sperm defects. Study was conducted on a study group of 28 men, all diagnosed with idiopathic infertility.
Study group received acupuncture twice a week over a period of 5 weeks. Needles were inserted 15 and 25 millimeters, depending on the region treated. Control group did not receive any treatment. Specific acupuncture points were included: Guan yuan (Ren 4), shen shu (UB 23, bilateral), ci liao (UB 32, bilateral), tai cong (Liv 3, bilateral), tai xi (KI 3, bilateral). Secondary points included the following: zhu san li (ST 36, bilateral), xue hai (SP 10, bilateral), san yin jiao (SP 6, bilateral), gui lai (ST 29, bilateral), bai hui (Du 20). In order to achieve the qi, were needles manipulated for approximately 10 minutes, and then they were left in place for another 25 minutes. According to the research, semen samples were collected from both study and control group after a 3-day period of sexual abstinence, one sample before the acupuncture treatment began and one sample after the last treatment.
According to the study results, motility levels increased significantly in semen samples in the men receiving acupuncture. In the control group median motility levels increased from 32% to 37% in the control group, while in the study group that received acupuncture, the median motility levels increased from 44.5% to 50%. Additionally, the number and percentage of healthy sperm also increased. After the 10th acupuncture sessions, the median percentage of healthy sperm had increased more than four-fold. Moreover, significant changes were noted in sperm structure and quality in the group that received acupuncture treatment: the median percentage of normal acrosome shapes increased for 16%. In conclusion, acupuncture appeared to improve the overall quality and structural integrity of sperm, which could, according to researchers lead to acupuncture treating male infertility.