A group of men with fertility problems received acupuncture for five weeks. The results showed that the number of abnormal sperm cells decreased, whilst the number of normal sperm cells increased. This Chinese medical discipline could also be a useful compliment to the traditional treatments of male infertility.
The causes for male infertility are in many cases unknown. As an estimate, 10 per cent of all men are infertile, and with almost half of couples with fertility issues, the issue lies with the man.
In previous studies about the connection between acupuncture and male infertility, it has been shown that acupuncture can improve the production and motility of sperm cells. Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in which needles are being placed at precise points of the body to cure diseases or to alleviate pain.
Recently, researchers were investigating the effects of acupuncture on the structural health of the sperm cells of men in which the precise cause of their infertility was unknown. 28 Sterile men received acupuncture twice a week for five weeks; twelve other men were not treated and formed the control group.
The researchers analyzed the sperm samples at the start and at the end of the study. They detected that in the acupuncture group the sperm quality had increased considerably. The treatment led to a decrease in the structural deviations and to an increase of the normal amount of sperm at ejaculation. In other treatments however, such as unripe or dead sperm, acupuncture did not have any benefit.
Acupuncture is a simple, non-invasive treatment that improves the quality of sperm. Therefore, researchers propose to use it as an addition to classical methods.