Acupuncture for Male Infertility

Both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been shown to improve male fertility. Treatment improves your sperm count, vitality, and normal sperm. It also improves your libido.

Male fertility is declining rapidly, causing approximately 40% of couples’ difficulty in conceiving. A normal semen test result in 1992 contained 30% normal sperm; this is now as low as only 4%.

Your sperm may be abnormal, may lack the vitality to swim to the egg, or you may have low numbers of sperm. All these factors reduce your fertility as a couple.

Acupuncture treatment primarily focuses on your lower legs, abdomen and lower back. Chinese herbs often include Tu Si Zi Cuscuta seed and Wu Wei Zi Schisandra. These improve your libido and increase antioxidants. Your diet, exercise and lifestyle will be reviewed, and appropriate advice given.

We ask for your semen test results results to help us treat you more accurately. We interpret these results, offering you advice on the way forwards.

Western medicine has very little to offer you to improve sperm quality and quantity. They can offer you ICSI at IVF for low sperm morphology.

However, there is a lot you can do to improve your sperm quality with simple changes to lifestyle and diet.

Improving your health will improve your sperm, and you may not need IVF.


Success of acupuncture treatment in patients with initially low sperm output is associated with a decrease in scrotal skin temperature. Siterman S et al, Asian J Androl 2009 Vol 11(2):200-8 Asian Journal of Andrology.

This study discovered that the success of acupuncture in improving sperm quality was associated with a drop in temperature of the testes. 

A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia.  Dieterle et al Fertil Steril 2009 Oct; 92 (4): 1340–3 Fertility and Sterility

This small clinical trial randomised 57 patients who had extremely low sperm counts, to acupuncture and placebo acupuncture groups. After receiving acupuncture twice weekly for 6 weeks motility of sperm (but not overall count) was found to increase significantly. The authors conclude that the results of the present study support the significance of acupuncture in male patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia. More evidence with larger trials needs to be accumulated before the efficacy and effectiveness of acupuncture in male infertility can be evaluated.

Effect of acupuncture-moxibustion therapy on sperm quality in infertility patients with sperm abnormality.  Chen A et al, Jnl Acup Tuina Sci 2011 Vol 9, Number 4, 219-222

Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science

This study in China sought to elucidate the mechanism whereby acupuncture improves sperm quality. The team found that levels of an important enzyme in the semen increased, as did the sperm motility after acupuncture.

Clinical study on the treatment of male immune infertility by Huzhangdanshenyin.  Lu TK et al, Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2006 Aug;12(8):750-5. National Journal of Andrology

Studies in Xiamen, China have found that herbal formulas have a better effect on anti-sperm antibodies than does prednisone, and provide an effective way to treat male factor immune infertility.

Influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology.  Zhang M et al J Huazhong Univ Sci Tech Med Sci.2002;22(3):228-30 Journal of Huazhong University (Abstract in Chinese)

This trial looks at sperm behaviour in an IVF setting. It was a “before and after” study involving 82 infertile men with pathological semen abnormalities and who’s sperm achieved a poor fertilization rate in at least 2 IVF/ICSI cycles. They were given acupuncture twice a week over 8 weeks and the IVF/ICSI cycles were repeated. The fertilization rates after acupuncture (66.2%) were significantly higher than that before treatment (40.2%) (P < 0.01).

Effects of acupuncture during in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Xian Zhanga, Myeong Soo Lee, Caroline A.Smith, Nicola Robinson, Yong Zhoua, Yan Wu, Ying-Ying Mao, Fan Qua. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, October 2018.

This study concluded that acupuncture may have an impact on the outcome rates of implantation, clinical pregnancy, and live birth; however, well-designed RCTs are warranted to further validate its effects.

Male infertility

Contact the Alma Vale Centre here to find out more
about Acupuncture for Male Infertility.

Or call us on 0117 377 1186.