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Acupuncture may help male infertility through improving sperm quality, research found

male infertility sperm qualityInfluence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology

The clinical effects of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in sperm parameter and on therapeutic results in assisted reproductive technology were investigated.

22 patients failed in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with idiopathic male infertility. Those patientswere treated with acupuncture. The treatment is twice per week for 8 weeks, followed by ICSI treatment again.

The researchers observed sperm concentration, motility, morphology, fertilisation rates and embryo quality.

The research showed that:

  • Quick sperm motility after acupuncture (18.3% +/- 9.6%) was significantly improved as compared with that before treatment (11.0% +/- 7.5%, P < 0.01).
  • The normal sperm ratio was increased after acupuncture (21.1% +/- 10.4% vs 16.2% +/- 8.2%, P < 0.05).
  • The fertilisation rates after acupuncture (66.2%) were obviously higher than that before treatment (40.2%, P < 0.01). • There was no significant difference in sperm concentration and general sperm motility between before and after acupuncture. • The embryo quality after acupuncture was improved, but the difference between them was not significant (P > 0.05).

The researchers concluded that acupuncture can improve sperm quality and fertilisation rates in assisted reproductive technology.


Zhang M1, Huang G, Lu F, Paulus WE, Sterzik K. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2002;22(3):228-30.