A lot of women come to see me for acupuncture to help with fertility support. This might be when they are trying to conceive naturally or alongside assisted reproductive techniques such as IUI and IVF.
But what about the men?
|A recent study published this summer from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem looked at the historical trends of sperm counts and found that there has been a 60% decline in western countries over the last 40 years.|
There is plenty of debate around what might be causing this, and also discussion on whether it is more about the way these are now measured compared to back in the 70s. One of the areas that is being researched in more detail are environmental factors such as diet, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and possible chemicals and pesticides in our home and work environments.
Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine has been used to support both men and women for fertility over many hundreds of years – when you come for your appointment we’ll take a full health history and look at where there may be imbalances that are causing issues. If you have your results from Western Medical tests, these are also a helpful indicator to help us in our traditional Chinese diagnosis.
The process of sperm production, known as Spermatogenesis takes around 90 days. The process is ideally most efficient at around 34℃ so it is important to take this into account with both lifestyle changes and when reviewing results of sperm analysis. A high fever or prolonged heat can impair the process and may impact on your results.
As well as acupuncture we’ll review your diet and nutrition, exercise and relaxation and look at other changes you can make in your home environment.
Here are some of the things that I would recommend:Avoid saunas, hot baths and spas or jacuzzisKeep your laptop off your lap and mobile phone out of your pocketChange underwear to looser fitting briefs and avoid wearing tight fitting trousersGet moving – we want to keep you healthy and exercise is a great way to do this – avoiding excessAlthough saying that – we do want to avoid excess or prolonged cyclingLook at your diet and ensure that it is balanced avoiding soya, excess meat, dairy and sugarAvoid drinking from plastic water bottles and look at areas in your house to reduce the use of plastics, particularly those containing BPAStop smoking tobaccoReduce alcohol consumptionReview the chemicals and pesticides used around your home and workplace to limit wherever possible – this includes buying organic wherever you can.
Generally we would like to treat males for a period of 10 weeks, weekly or twice-weekly to get the most benefit from acupuncture. Is it time for both you and your partner to experience the benefits of acupuncture treatment?
This article was co-authored by Laura Ichajapanich & Stacey Chapman