Male Infertility Questions
By Gabrielle Matthieu, LAc and Brian
Carter, MS, LAc
Gabrielle Mathieu is a Licensed Acupuncturist, with a graduate
degree in Oriental Medicine .She has an undergraduate degree
in medical technology and worked in hospitals as a lab technician
for 12 years before coming to Oriental Medicine. She integrates
both medicines in her Austin Texas practice.
Something related to fertility...
My husband has very low sperm count, quality,
motility, and morphology. He had surgery last December to correct
a varicocele. He was tested again 5 months post surgery and found
no improvement. He also had an SCSA test to detect DNA fragmentation
in his sperm. The results showed 35% fragmentation. 30% or above
is considered poor and believed to lead to a 75% chance of miscarriage.
By doing the math and factoring in the success
rate of IVF and my age, (I will be 38 in October, he will be 41
in July.) we have a 6% chance of a successful pregnancy.
Can acupuncture help us in any way? By the way,
due to a car accident at age 12, he does not have a spleen and
his liver does not function very well. Thanks for your help.
Given all the specific factors that you present, we can't give
you a statistic on how acupuncture will improve your and your
husband's ability to conceive. We know that IVF increased fertility
success rates from 26% to 41% in the 200 or so participants in
the German study, but we need to include your husband's issues
Generally, herbal prescriptions have been documented to help
improve sperm motility and decrease sperm defects. This research
has mostly been done in China, where subjects are willing to take
large doses of raw herbs. I would suggest you read this
article on male infertility by Randine Lewis, PhD, LAc, author
of The Infertility Cure.
You may need to contact a specialist in Chinese medicine infertility,
and you might possibly need to travel for treatment. Overcoming
infertility can be tiring and expensive. Acupuncture and herbs
are relatively inexpensive compared to IVF, and since there is
a good chance they'll increase the likelihood that your first
or second attempt will succeed, they are indispensable. We'd suggest
you use all three.
Usually, PulseMed.org recommends traditional acupuncturists,
or MD acupuncturists if they are well trained in and experienced
with acupuncture, but since your husband has already had specialized
medical tests, perhaps a doctor could best help interpret them
(though, of course, a real specialist in Chinese medicine infertility
would also be familiar with such tests).
For more information about Chinese medicine fertility treatments,
listen to this
free Chinese medicine fertility webinar (a web seminar, this
one surprisingly comprehensive for a free resource) from Dr. Randine
Additionally, Dagmar Ehling, an acupuncturist in North Carolina,
specializes in fertility. You can visit