TCM Fertility Clinic
Acupuncture in South Manchester

Male fertility

Getting pregnant is a quite complex process. It is more than just the joining of a sperm with an egg.

First of all, certain amount of sperm must be produced and become matured. It takes between three and four months for sperm to develop from the immature stages within the seminiferous tubules to mature sperm within the vas deferens. Then, after ejaculation, sperm must swim through the mucus secretions in the cervix and uterus and out along the fallopian tubes, a journey that takes about 12 hours. Finally, sperm join with the egg. Although about 20 million sperm are ejaculated, only one is successful in getting the egg fertilized.

Sperm disorders:
  • Low volume of sperm
  • Low sperm count
  • Poor motility
  • Poor morphology
  • Delayed liquefaction
  • Anti-sperm antibodies

World Health Organisation (WHO 2010) guidelines for assessing male infertility
Volume: 1.5 ml
Concentration: 15 million/ml
Progressive motility: 32%
Morphology (normal forms): 4%

World Health Organisation (WHO 1999) guidelines for assessing male infertility
Volume: 2 ml
Concentration: 20 million/ml
Progressive motility: 50%
Morphology (normal forms): 14%

Sperm disorders and TCM
There is little conventional medicine can do with sperm disorders apart from in very rare circumstances. IVF may be appropriate for minor disorders of sperm function, but in most cases ICSI is the best chance. Traditional Chinese medicine, however, offers a natural to improve sperm conditions.

Research has shown acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can have a positive effect on sperm production and quality. Although acupuncture works very well in preparing men for being a parent, we strongly recommend acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine hand in hand when it comes to sperm problems.

Kidney factor, more or less, will be mentioned in most cases, because Kidney, though not the same concept as used in conventional medicine, stores essence (jing) and dominates reproductive function. However, Chinese medicine is tailored to individuals and everyone is different, it will never be as simple as A = B. Almost every single case is complicated with one or another factor. Phlegm, damp, heat, stasis are among those most common identified factors.

When to start?
It takes about 100 days for a sperm to mature. We highly recommend at least 3 months of acupuncture and herbal treatment to see any impact on sperm.

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