Male Factor Infertility
Infertility affects men and women equally. In couples experiencing infertility, approximately 35% is due to male factors, 35% is due to female factors, 20% of cases have a combination of both male and female factors, and the last 10% are unexplained causes.
For this reason, it is imperative that both the male and female are evaluated during the infertility work-up. For males, this is a basic semen analysis which will include a sperm dna fragmentation assay.
There are many causes of male infertility. This includes problems during sperm development and transport inside the male reproductive tract, low semen analysis parameters (sperm count, motility and morphology), and sperm aneuploidy or the incorrect number of chromosomes. Even though semen analysis may be normal, sperm function issues may be present that can impact fertilization and proper embryo development.
Genital tract abnormalities and obstructions also cause male infertility. Varicoceles or varicose veins in the scrotum are common and can cause reduced or absent sperm production. In many cases, these issues may be successfully treated which often result in normal sperm production.
Acupuncture and herbal medicine have been shown to be effective in treating sperm anomalies that are not caused by obstructive mechanisms (severe vericocele), and genetic disorders, i.e., micro-deletion of the y chromosome or bilateral congenital absence of the vas deferens.
Many males have low sperm count, poor morphology, low volume, poor motility, and sperm DNA fragmentation due to unknown reasons. Acupuncture and herbal medicine have been used repeatedly at The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness to normalize or to at least improve these types of sperm anomalies.