Understanding Male Infertility: Chinese Medicine Perspective
Approximately 50% of infertility issues are attributable to male factors. In this article we will discover how Chinese Medicine is effective at supporting men to improve their fertility. We will explore the causes from Western and Chinese Medicine perspectives, explain several common symptoms of male infertility and provide helpful treatment and lifestyle tips to help resolve this common issue
Introduction to Male Infertility – The Western Medical Perspective
There are a number of conditions that can impair male fertility. These include:
- Low sperm count or production of poor quality sperm
- Varicoceles – A condition where the veins that transport blood away from the testicles become enlarged, obstructing the free movement of semen
- Retrograde ejaculation – When semen escapes into the bladder instead of the penis during orgasm
- Immunological causes
- Adverse effects of medication
- Hormonal imbalances – this can result in poor semen quality, low sperm count, erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, and reduced testicular function.
When seeking to improve all aspects of their fertility many men turn to Chinese Medicine as it offers a natural, non invasive and an effective solution with a track record of success.
Chinese Medical Viewpoint on Male Infertility
Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM views the human body as a set of interconnected systems that work together in harmony. A problem originating in one part of the body may give rise to symptoms in a completely different part of the body. One problem may also negatively impact on the flow of energy – Qi – throughout the body.
Chinese medicine interprets male infertility as the result of:
- Liver Qi Stagnation
- Blood Stasis
- Spleen Qi Deficiency
- Yang Deficiency
- Kidney Weakness
Some common signs of dysfunction in these areas include moodiness, rapid body temperature changes, low back and chronic knee pain, ringing in ears, fatigue, premature hair loss, reduced libido and infertility.
Liver Qi Stagnation and Blood stasis
According to Chinese Medicine theories stress can cause our energy to become stuck. The resulting Liver Qi Stagnation slows down the free flow of our Blood (Blood Stasis) which in turn starts to flow sluggishly through our Meridians – the circuits of energy that flow around our bodies. Blood Stasis causes multiple processes to work sluggishly: Our Vital Qi no longer circulates effectively and hormones are transported less effectively. This manifests in inflammation (for example varicoceles), difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection, imbalanced hormone levels and a reduced likelihood conceiving naturally.
Spleen Qi and Yang Deficiency
The hallmarks of Spleen Qi and Yang Deficiencies are fatigue, lack of strength and a poor blood circulation. These deficiencies negatively impact on the body’s ability to absorb nutrition and hence to produce the necessary quantities of male hormones which then become imbalanced. A diminished ability to digest food results in blockages along the Colon: Stagnated food transform into Dampness and Phlegm, creating damp in the lower abdomen area. The important balance of Yin and Yang energy is lost and this creates further damage to the male hormone system.
Kidney Qi, Yin, Yang, and Jing Deficiency
The Kidneys are responsible for the metabolism of water and hold our Jing – or Life Essence. When Kidney Qi is low this results in an accumulation of fluids, poor circulation, blocked meridians and decreased libido. The Kidney Qi, Yin, Yang and Jing need to be well balanced for the correct functioning of the reproductive organs – essential to create sufficient high quality sperm
A primary cause of male infertility is Kidney energy deficiency. This does not refer directly to how your kidney organ is functioning but rather to your Meridian System. The Kidney system is important because it is the foundation of yin and yang for all of your other organs. Kidney Yin is the fundamental substance for birth, growth and reproduction and Kidney Yang motivates all physiological processes.
Understanding the cause of male infertility: from a Chinese Medicine perspective
- Stress is a major contributing factor to male infertility. Overwork and overthinking affects the Spleen’s ability to function properly. It also creates Liver Qi Stagnation that has numerous negative effects on the free flow of Vital Qi. Stress also negatively impacts on the Blood.
- Being overweight has a negative impact on Male Fertility. Excess fatty tissue hinders free flowing energy and encourages accumulation of toxic material. Maintaining a healthy weight can have a positive effect on male fertility – Overweight men have an 11% chance of having a low sperm count and a 39% chance of having no sperm in their ejaculate
- Levels of Jing which is created by the Kidneys decreases over time. Kidney Qi declines with age- This means that without treatment, over time a male’s fertility can diminish
Male Infertility with Traditional Chinese Medicine
Man’s Life Power
Man’s Life Power is a 100% natural supplement developed to help with male infertility, promote hormonal balance and improve sperm health. This effective natural supplement stimulates the male reproductive organs to operate at an optimal level. This natural male infertility supplement also increases the chances of conceiving naturally and supports the success rate of IVF treatment.
Yi Mu Cao or Chinese Motherwort is a popular Chinese herb to balance women’s hormones. Chinese Motherwort Medicine can be used to balance overall hormones due to its ability to soothe blood stagnation. It effectively helps with irregular menstrual cycle, amenorrhea, postpartum abdominal pain, heavy flow with clots, fixed abdominal masses, fertility and traumatic pain. This powerful herb can also be used for targeted relief and support with fibroid and endometriosis.
Semen Cuscutae (Dodder Seeds)
Semen Cuscutae or Dodder Seeds are widely used in Chinese Medicine to naturally improve male fertility. This herbal treatment has the effect of increasing sperm mobility and improving sperm count. In addition, these seeds also increase testosterone levels. This powerful herb can be taken daily to improve hormone and energy levels.
Red Sage Root
Red Sage Root is a popular herb which supports heart health. It is primarily used to promote blood circulation and is a rich source of antioxidants, nourishes heart blood nutrition and supports relaxation. This herb works by removing excess heat from the blood and thus relieves inflammation.
Acupuncture for male fertility – how does it work
Acupuncture aims to re-balance the body by stimulating the flow of Qi balancing the levels of Yin and Yang and enabling the free movement of Blood to the reproductive organs. It rectifies hormone imbalances and supports healthy sperm production. An acupuncturist will primarily use points on the lower arms, lower legs, back, and abdomen. As the Meridian system connects throughout the body treatment on one part of the body can produce an effect in a different area of the body. TCM aims to resolve symptoms (e.g. poor sperm count, erectile dysfunction, etc.) by correcting larger imbalances in the body ecosystem as a whole.
Moxibustion Treatment for male fertility
Moxibustion is when areas of the body are heated using the herb Mugwort – or Moxa. Moxibustion can be done alone or in conjunction with acupuncture treatment. It has the effect of nourishing the Meridian system, feeding Qi and stimulating the movement of energy. Research has demonstrated that moxibustion is highly effective at promoting male fertility.
Diet and Lifestyle advice for male fertility
Male infertility can be caused by a multitude of activities including, too much sexual activity, over consumption of food and alcohol, drug abuse, stress and lack of nourishing foods. As the Kidney system creates Vital Qi it is often beneficial to support this meridian.
Lifestyle and Diet Advice to improve male fertility
A poor diet can have a major impact on male fertility. Eating too much cold or raw food is difficult for the Stomach and Spleen to process. From a Chinese medicine perspective foods and herbs are prescribed based on their ability to enhance specific energy systems in the body. Although your ultimate goal is to increase sexual vitality, sperm production and quality, changing your diet can have a dramatic positive impact on your overall health and create balance in the body. The multiple causes for male infertility respond well to dietary changes and TCM treatment.
Food to enhance male fertility include: Kidneys, Oysters, Salmon, Leafy Greens, Brussels sprouts and Avocados.
Food to avoid for male infertility : Alcohol, Cold and raw foods, Processed foods, Spicy-hot foods.
Common daily activities to avoid when trying to improve male fertility:
- Car seat warmers, hot baths and saunas- The testicles work best at a cooler temperature
- Smoking – this results in broken and immobile sperm
- Overeating – This overtaxes the Spleen and can cause deficiencies in the system
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.