Male Factor Infertility
Quickly to the good news:
Traditional Chinese medicine has great success in treating issues related to sperm. In fact the treatment is simpler compared to treating the female partner. Men do not have a menstrual cycle to worry about.
With males, the issue is generally a combination of poor sperm count, combined with poor quality and low motility. Once a diagnosis is done that has identified the cause, a treatment can be employed to directly correct this issue. Usually, this is quit direct, and the results are very positive. It generally takes about threemonths for the test samples to improve. That is the cycle of spermatogenesis with the addition of some time to rectify other underlying imbalances, such as inflammation or infections.
What is commonly encountered in my clinic?
Quite often, some basic reasons were unidentifiable, such as a lower testosterone level. Sometimes, an operation was performed to correct a varicocele without any semen improvement or the improvements were limited. It is usually less prevalent to have immunological causes of low sperm count, but it is certainly a consideration in some individuals and should not be overlooked. Unfortunately, many factors can impact sperm negatively, from stress to overwork, poor diet and even genes.Sometimes individuals were told that age is a suspect when nothing else could be found.
A keen reproductive specialist will usually carry out many tests, including a DNA fragmentation test as well as testing for antibodies, especially if the basic reasons are not identified. Usually, couples visiting my TCM clinic will bring with them a one or two page report with all the tests that were done. Modern western medicine is still rather ill-equipped in providing a realistic treatment but to suggest a more advanced ART such as IUI or IVF and ICSI. They might also suggest combining the ART protocol with estrogen lowering drugs to boost Testosterone levels for a limited time to see if the results would be improved. As frustrating as this may be, Chinese medicine can provide an excellent alternative solution.
What can Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture do?
Often, herbal medicine is employed along with acupuncture to revitalize the body and improve the functioning of the reproductive system. In Chinese medicine this is considered as nourishing the essence to allow for the engenderment and transformation [of semen and sperm]. This same approach can also be used when there is a genetic component to explain the lowered sperm count as the treatment boosts the entire reproductive system. It is rather remarkable how well sperm samples improve after a course of treatment.
Other approaches would be to regulate blood flow to the testes such as in cases of varicocele, or eliminate pathogens such as chronic infections. In Chinese medicine they are often classified under blood stagnation and damp heat. Through Chinese medicine we can also modulate antibody response in order to produce healthy and highly viable sperm if that is the reason for the poor sperm analysis results. High abnormality rate can also be treated very effectively with Chinese medicine.
A well tailored treatment attempts to adjust and improve all the factors of male fertility, from libido, to sperm count and motility to sperm vitality. This is because the treatment is aimed at improving the underlying constitution of the person and not just the signs and symptoms. For instance, one man might also suffer from chronic anxiety or anger or digestive issues, which according to Chinese medicine can negatively affect sperm. Someone else might seem perfectly healthy, always exercising and taking natural supplements, but still have a low sperm count, with the doctors not having an explanation for this. TCM can use diagnostic methods that can point to other signs that were missed or not recognized by modern medicine.
The reality is that men do not take the news too well when they are told that they might be responsible for the fertility issues. This can be a devastating blow and they might become consumed with the pressures of guilt and inadequacy. Truthfully, there is nothing to be ashamed of, and the issue is much more common than they may think. The reassuring news is that there is much they can do about it and Traditional Chinese Medicine using herbs and Acupuncture is one of the most effective methods available today. I also believe that combining the treatments with nutritional therapy is very important and a necessity for lasting effects.