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Male infertility

Infertility is estimated to affect between 8% and 12% of couples of reproductive age worldwide. The infertility approach should always be performed on both partners, starting with a detailed history and physical examination.

In general, one third of cases of marital infertility are caused by male factors, one third by female factors, and another third by a combination of female and male factors, or even by unknown causes.

Acupuncture can also help with male infertility as a complementary treatment.

The action mechanisms of acupuncture in male infertility are:

Some studies suggest that acupuncture may increase sperm motility (Diertele 2009), increase sperm numbers (Siterman 2001 and 2009), improve morphological quality (Gurfinkel 2003 and Pei 2005) and have a beneficial effect on erectile dysfunction (Engelhardt 2003) . Therefore, acupuncture and TCM can be used to try to improve all sperm count parameters.

And how does she act?

Acupuncture can help in the following ways:

  • Decrease in scrotal sac temperature (Siterman 2009);

  • Increased testicular microcirculation by increasing the diameter and velocity of blood flow from peripheral arterioles (Komori 2009);

  • Reduction of local inflammation by releasing immunomodulatory and vascular factors (Zijlstra 2003);

  • Increased sperm maturation in the epididymis, increased testosterone and anti-oxidant action in seminal fluid (Crimmel 2001).

Therefore, studies show that we can associate acupuncture and TCM with the conventional treatment of infertility in men.

It was believed that the sperm analysis was considered the gold standard test to assess the fertile capacity of men, however, research shows that more than 80% of infertile people have sperm concentrations that exceed the normal values ​​of the WHO. Thus, it is necessary to emphasize that seminal analysis is not a fertility test: fertility assessment is a complex and multifactorial phenomenon that involves couple assessment.

DNA integrity is important for normal embryo development, and sperm DNA integrity is maintained in part by chromatin compaction in the nucleus. DNA fragmentation is closely related to decreased fertility, affecting the quality and function of sperm. So, in addition to the sperm count, another test called the sperm fragmentation test has been widely used in the assessment of male fertility.

Oxidative stress, resulting from increased production of reactive oxygen species or low antioxidant stores, is responsible for most of the DNA fragmentation.

Hence, lifestyle precautions, such as not smoking, not drinking alcoholic beverages, avoiding excess caffeine, added to a balanced diet rich in foods with antioxidant action, are essential to reduce this oxidative stress.

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