Fertility is a couple’s issue, and male fertility levels are just as important as female fertility levels when trying to conceive. Several factors can be responsible for male infertility, such as low sperm count, abnormal sperm shape and size (morphology), reduced sperm motility, and abnormal liquefaction. With sperm counts and quality having declined by more than 40% in the past half century due to hormonal imbalances, increased exposure to environmental pollutants, sensitivity to heat, increased use of recreational drugs and alcohol, and prescription medications, male factors currently account for approximately one-third of all fertility problems. Lifestyle, genetics, and physiological changes can also lower male fertility and significantly affect a man’s ability to produce offspring.
While Western medicine has little to offer in a way of way improving sperm count in most cases, recent research has shown Oriental Medicine to be of benefit in the treatment of several aspects of fertility the majority of men. Whether the couple are trying to conceive naturally, or using assisted reproductive techniques, numerous studies have shown acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy to help improve sperm quality, concentration and motility. Since new sperm generally take 72 to 90 days to form, it is usually recommended to start a treatment at least 3 months prior to attempting to conceive. Even in the absence of an established diagnosis of fertility-related problems, Chinese medical treatments can improve overall health and optimize the chances of successful conception.
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