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A lot of men now have fertility issues. Male sperm quality had been decreasing for 70 years. This decrease is largely due to the exposure of men to chemicals, heat and electromagnetic waves. Both motility and morphology have been declining affecting reproductive health of men.
Male partner infertility is a lot simpler when compared to female infertility. There are fewer hormones involved and therefore fewer that need to be harmonised in order for fertility to be optimal. The sperm is essentially a head and a tail. It can either have movement problems (motility) or structural problems (morphology) or there aren't enough of them.
The parameters for a semen sample are set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and are constantly being reviewed. Some countries use the old parameters and some the new. According to the latest report (fifth version), a normal semen sample should be:
- Semen volume: more than 1.5mL
- Sperm count: more than 39 million in total
- Sperm concentration: more than 15 million per ml
- Sperm motility (movement): more than 32 per cent moving
- Sperm morphology (shape): more than 4 per cent of normal shape
- Vitality (live sperm): more than 58 per cent
- White blood cells: less than 1 million per ml
- Anti-sperm antibodies test: should be negative
Clinical studies have confirmed that chronic consumption of alcohol and nicotine causes a decline in testosterone levels, a decreased sperm count and sperm maturation, leading to male infertility.
About half a billion sperm are produced each day. The production of sperm in the testes takes around 70 days in total. Low levels of FSH, LH and testosterone can reduce sperm production. Injections of these hormones can be given to increase sperm production.
The testicles are outside of a man's body to keep them a few degrees cooler for optimal sperm production. If the testicles become too warm, it will harm sperm production with the likelihood of the sperm test showing problems with motility.
Sperm concentration are contained within seminal fluid, which is a liquid; it's therefore affected by temperature. Excessive heat in the testicles is like a platoon of soldiers trying to march through a dessert without any water. They suffer from heat exhaustion and will stumble around in a dehydrated daze.
Exposure to chemicals such as PFCs and electromagnetic waves can decrease sperm count.
Acupuncture for male infertility
In this research, the acupuncture group that received acupuncture had significantly improved semen analysis. Infertile men had improves sperm quality, increases a low sperm count, increase testosterone levels, increase blood flow to the testicles and treat unexplained male infertility.
Chinese herbs for male fertility
Research has shown certain Chinese herbal formulas, such as Yi Jing Tang can improve sperm quality in men with oligozoospermia.
Here are my food tips to improve male fertility:
- Don't eat any chilli
- Reduce alcohol drinking to just a few beers a week
- Eat lots of fish
- Reduce red meat consumption
- Eat organic meat
- Avoid coffee
7. Self-care tips
In order to improve male infertility, you should follow these health tips, which research has shown can significant increase sperm quality:
- Don't smoke
- Go to bed early, around 10pm
- Don't exercise too much
- Don't over work
- Don't put a laptop on your lap
- Don't wear tight fitting underwear
- Don't spend too much time in the sauna or sun bathing
Ren et al. (2016) Effects and mechanisms of acupuncture and moxibustion on reproductive endocrine function in male rats with partial androgen deficiency. Acupunct Med, 34:136-143 doi:10.1136/acupmed-2014-010734.
Mu, Y, et al. 2019. Effect on sperm quality of asthenospermia and oligospermia treated with grain-moxibustion combined with medicine therapy. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu; 12;39(8):843-8. doi: 10.13703/j.0255-2930.2019.08.012.
Allameh F, Razzaghi M, Hosseini S, Barati M, Razzaghi Z, Salehi S, Ghahestani SM, Shahabi V. The Effect of Laser Acupuncture on Semen Parameters in Infertile Men With Oligospermia: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Lasers Med Sci. 2021 Dec 27;12:e84. doi: 10.34172/jlms.2021.84. PMID: 35155169; PMCID: PMC8837838.