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Maggie Ju (2014) Current opinion in acupuncture on stroke rehabilitation
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 21 Issue 2 September 2014 P9
Maggie Ju. (2015) What Part Does Acupuncture Play in IVF?
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 22 Issue 1 March 2015 P21
Maggie Ju (2020) The Potentiality of COVID-19 Treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine in the UK
The Journal of Chinese Medicine And Acupuncture Volume 27 Issue 2 November 2020 P9
Saturday, 11 January 2014
Male infertility, acupuncture could help
First, pre-testicular factors affect sperm production. In these conditions, hormonal imbalance and poor general health fail to support the testes to produce sperms. These include hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, obesity, alcohol, smoking, drugs, certain medications and genetic abnormalities. Second, testicular factors make testes produce low quantity and poor quality sperms. Varicocele which is abnormal veins above the testicle is common cause of low quantity of poor quality of sperms. Other causes include undescended testicle, infections in the testicle, and some medications including chemotherapy. Third, post-testicular factors including Vas deferens obstruction, infection such as prostatitis, ejaculatory duct obstruction, impotence, retrograde ejaculation etc.
Stress affects male fertility as well. Very recently there was a study about stress on male fertility. This study evaluated the effect of psychological stress on male fertility hormones and seminal quality in male partner of infertile couples. Seventy male partners of infertile couples were evaluated for level of psychological stress using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Score (HADS) questionnaire, serum total testosterone, luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) by electrochemiluminescence assay and serum GnRH by ELISA. Seminal analysis was performed. 27% of them had HADS anxiety and depression score ≥8 which was abnormal HADS score showing stress condition. The persons having abnormal HADS had lower serum total testosterone, higher serum FSH and LH than those of persons having normal HADS. Serum total testosterone correlated negatively with HADS. Sperm count, motility and morphologically normal spermatozoa were lower in persons having abnormal HADS. Abnormal sperm motility and morphology were related to lower testosterone and higher LH and FSH levels. This study suggested that psychological stress affects male fertility and sperm quantity and quality. Note acupuncture can help reducing stress to boost male fertility as well.
Obesity has negative impact on male fertility. Obesity is increased in Western countries and 10-30% of adult men are now obese. This has impact on male fertility.
Smoking affects people’s general health and also it impairs sperm production. In adult men smoking leads to hypoxia in testis this is because smoking causes small blood vessel contraction and reduces blood and oxygen supply to the testis. Compromised oxygen supply to testis would impair sperm production. Mother in pregnancy smoked heavily could affect her son’s sperm production when he grew up. Men’s sperm production could decrease about 40% by maternal smoking in pregnancy.
Recent some research data suggest that acupuncture improves male fertility by increasing sperm count and improving sperm quality and motility. The possible mechanisms for these are: acupuncture helps lower scrotal temperature; acupuncture improves blood flow of male reproductive system and reduces inflammation in the reproductive system; acupuncture also corrects hormonal imbalance to improve sperm maturation, acupuncture modulates the immune system and improves sexual and ejaculatory dysfunction in male infertility. A simple and popular hypothesis is that acupuncture stimulates nerve receptors at point location, transmitting signals to specific areas of the central nervous system, which initiate physiological changes in the body. From traditional Chinese medicine point of view, there is disharmony of kidney and liver in male infertility. Kidney Qi deficiency and stagnation fail to regulate liver blood flow causing blood stagnation and fluid and damp accumulation. Acupuncture makes Qi flow freely again to restore kidney and liver harmony. Acupuncture treatment for male infertility period is up to 3 month per course.
Sperm is impaired by inflammation and acupuncture can help
Semen quality is affected by prostate and genital tract inflammation. There was a study on 382 voluntary male subjects who underwent the screening for prostate health. Sperm motility and prostate-related parameters were significantly impaired in patients with chronic prostatitis syndromes and lower urinary tract symptoms in comparison with controls. Elevated seminal markers of inflammation were in positive association with body mass index, prostate-specific antigen, and estradiol level in serum while in negative association with semen volume, total sperm count, and sperm motility. It was suggested that one of the possible pathways for impaired reproductive quality in male subjects >45 years could be related to infection and inflammation in the genital tract with subsequent (partial) obstruction and damage of prostate and other male accessory glands. Previous study has shown that acupuncture could improve sperm parameter in men with genital tract inflammation.
Anti sperm antibodies (ASA) can be detected in seminal fluid where they may be bound to the sperm surface in male. In infertile male partners 10% show ASA in the seminal plasma or attached to the surface of sperm. ASA can also be found in cervical mucus , oviductal fluid or follicular fluid in female partners. This occurs in 5% of infertile female partners.
ASA have an adverse impact on male fertility by (1) directly interfering with sperm motility and sperm-oocyte binding and (2) indirectly by mediating the release of cytokines that can impair sperm function and by impeding cervical mucus penetration. Sperm ASAs have generally been associated with poor sperm motility, and, reduced natural pregnancy rates. Do you know that acupuncture can help reduce ASA in semen and helps conceive naturally?
Hu M et al Semin Reprod Med (2013) 31:301-10
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Sharpe RM Pgilos Trans R Soc B Bio Sci (2010) 365:1697-712
Ausmees K et al World J Urol (2013) 31:1411-25
Siterman S et al Asian J Androl (2009) 11:200-8
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