Infertility can occur in a couple due to male factor infertility as often as it can occur due to female factor infertility. Male fertility levels are just as important as female fertility levels. It is estimated that 35 % of couples with fertility issues are due to solely female factors, 30% male factors and 20% a combination of the two while 15% are unexplained. Western medicine does not have any way to improve sperm count in most cases.  Fortunately, however, Chinese medicine can help the majority of men to achieve normal sperm counts within a few months.

If there isn´t a severe case of azoospermia (less than one million sperm per ml) Chinese medicine almost always can improve sperm number, motility and morphology.


Chinese Medicine Approach

In Chinese medicine there are many causes for problems with male fertility levels. These can be broken down into 4 different patterns of which more than one can exist at any one time.

  • Blood stagnation – this is a problem of blood flow usually in the testicles and many times this pattern coincides with the western condition of varicocele.
  • Kidney Yang deficiency– the yang energy of the kidney is very important for sexual function in males and in cases where there are problems with hormonal balance there usually is a deficiency of yang from the Chinese medical perspective.
  • Defiency of yin or jing– as both men and women age this raw ingredient of both sperm and egg production decreases. This problem can also occur in those with an inherited problem or due to a lifestyle which squanders this fundamental element. For example, little sleep, stress, stimulants, etc.
  • Heat and fire– Many men have an excess of internal heat which can, as with external sources of heat, damage the sperm. This is an extremely common pattern in western countries but has no direct correlation in Western medicine.


Chinese medicine treatment

The treatment of male infertility is based in Chinese herbal medicine.   Often there is a need for 3-4 acupuncture sessions at the beginning of treatment but, in general, the use of herbs is adequate to rectify the condition. 2-3 months of herbal therapy will usually provide good results which can be seen in a follow-up sperm analysis.

If there isn´t a severe case of azoospermia ( less than one million sperm per ml) Chinese medicine almost always can improve sperm number, motility and morphology.


 Western Medicine


  • Hormones– The testicles, like the ovaries, are under the control of the body’s reproductive hormones. Any imbalance in these hormones may cause problems in sperm production.
  • Varicocele– Problems in blood flow returning from the testicles into the body dues to blockages in small veins, known as varicoceles, can cause a small rise in the temperature of the testicles damaging the sperm.
  • Toxin exposure– there are many different chemicals which can cause problems in the sperm as well as modify hormone levels.
  • Recreational Drugs– It has been shown that tobacco, marijuana and other drugs cause a number of different problems in sperm production See the study here


Western Treatment

Besides surgery to remove varicocles, there is little western medicine has to offer in order to treat these problems.