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Acupuncture improves semen quality and fertility

Sperm is essentially made of a tail and a head, which houses DNA for the embryo. It can either have movement problems (motility) or structural problems (morphology) or there aren’t enough of them (sperm count).

Fertility problems in men is a growing problem, as sperm numbers have dropped over the last 70 years by around 40-50%. 1 in 3 men will have low levels of mature sperm.

The testicals are outside of a man’s body to keep them a few degrees cooler for optimal sperm production. If the testicals become too warm, it will harm sperm production with the likelihood of the sperm test showing problems with motility.

Acupuncture has been shown to improve semen quality. A study in 2009 tested 57 infertile men with severe oligoasthenozoospermia, with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) acupuncture and a placebo acupuncture. The TCM acupuncture group had a significantly higher percentage of motile sperm than the placebo acupuncture group.

Another study conducted in 2003 evaluated the effect of acupuncture and moxa treatment on the semen quality in 19 men with semen abnormalities, such as low concentration, abnormal morphology and/or progressive reduced motility without apparent cause. Patients were either given acupuncture and moxa or placebo acupuncture for 10 weeks. Semen analyses were performed before and after the treatment course.


Cakmak, et al. (2008) Point- and frequency-specific response of the testicular artery to abdominal electroacupuncture in humans. Fertil Steril; 90: 1732–8.

Dieterle, et al. (2009) A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia. Fertility and Sterility; 92: 1340-3.

Gurfinkel, et al. (2003) Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities. Asian Journal of Andrology; 5: 345-8.

He, et al. (2015) Acupuncture treatment of male infertility: a systematic review. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue, Jul;21(7):637-45.

Pei, et al. (2005) Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Fertility and Sterility; 84: 141-7.

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.

Sherman et al. (2000) Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study. Andrologia 32, 31-39.

Siterman, et al. (1997) Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from sub fertility related to low sperm quality. Arch Androl, 39(2):155-61, Sep-Oct (ISSN: 0148-5016).

Siterman, et al. (2001) Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study. Andrologia, 32: 31-9.

Siterman, et al. (2009) Success of acupuncture treatment in patients with initially low sperm output is associated with a decrease in scrotal skin temperature. Asian Journal of Andrology; 11: 200-8.


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