Acupuncture for Men's Health
Acupuncture is a highly effective and safe treatment for men's health. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has been proven to give relief and ease many male specific health concerns such as:
Urinary difficulty, urgency or frequency
Spontaneous seminal emissions
Low sperm count
Lack of sex drive
Stress and Anxiety
Male Factor Infertility
What is Male Factor Infertility?
Almost one in six couples experience fertility problems. Studies show that while 40% of the time infertility is the result of the result of female factors, 40% of the time it's the result of male factors and 20% of the time the result of a combination of both women and men. If you are experiencing difficulties getting pregnant, it is important that the male partner get his sperm checked.
Sperm problems may involve the quantity and/or quality of the sperm. A simple semen analysis can assess basic fertility. This simply involves asking your family doctor for a test requisition and taking a sperm sample to a local lab for testing. Often men feel embarrassed or stressed about providing the sample, but there is no need to as the sample can be collected at home and discretely dropped off at a laboratory near you.
The semen analysis looks at the sperm in three different ways:
1. Sperm Count: This is the most important part of the test. The more sperm there is, the better!
2. Sperm Motility: This measures the percentage of sperm that is moving in a forward direction -- sperm needs to be able to travel from the vagina to the fallopian tubes where they meet the egg)
3. Sperm Morphology: This measures the shape of the sperm. It is quite common for men to have lot of abnormally-shaped sperm. Don’t feel too worried if you get this result as no one really knows how much impact this has on your overall fertility
How Chinese Medicine can Help
Recent studies have shown that acupuncture can effectively:
Increase sperm production
Increase the percentage of healthy sperm
Improve sperm movement (motility)
Improve the levels of hormones responsible for fertility
*Acupuncture needles are never inserted into the genitals. The needles are instead painlessly inserted into acupuncture points in various other parts of the body.
Things to Avoid
The human body is 37 degrees Celsius while sperm functions best at 32 degrees Celsius. This means anything that elevates the scrotum’s temperature over a period of time can adversely affect sperm. Long distance driving, extended sitting, hot baths, saunas, hot tubs, tight-fitting underwear, and athletic support straps all can raise the temperature of the scrotum, thus “cooking” the sperm.
Many prescription drugs affect fertility: common antibiotics such as penicillin and tetracycline can wipe out a sperm harvest. Phenytoin, glucocorticoids, sulfasalazine, and nitrofurantoin are other drugs that can affect sperm motility. Furthermore, many nonprescription drugs can have a toxic effect on sperm. For example, the chemical ingredient in marijuana is very closely related to testosterone, which causes the body to produce less of its own. Marijuana also builds-up in the testes, lowering libido, causing impotence, and sometimes even causing sexual anxiety. Fortunately, as with cigarettes, if you stop smoking them, you will probably see an improvement in sperm quality within a few months. The effects of cocaine on fertility are similar to those of marijuana.
Environmental estrogens can damage the sertoli cells. Sertoli cells are responsible for the production of sperm. Estrogens are now found in drinking water and food such as meat. Plastics also give off estrogens. Don’t microwave plastic and try to avoid drinking from it. Try to use glass containers instead. If you are drinking water from a plastic bottle, try to limit its exposure to the sun or heat. Balance your intake of water between bottled water and filtered tap water (or tap water that has been let sit on the counter for a few hours).