03 8802 1519 [email protected]

Acupuncture male infertility research

Influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology

J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2002;22(3):228
Zhang M, Huang G, Lu F, Paulus WE, Sterzik K.
Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030.

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 were treated with acupuncture twice weekly for 8 weeks, followed by ICSI treatment again. The sperm concentration, motility, morphology, fertilization rates and embryo quality were observed. 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 fertilization 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 afteracupuncture. The embryo quality after acupuncture was improved, but the difference between them was not significant (P > 0.05). Acupuncture can improve sperm quality and fertilization rates in assisted reproductive technology.

PMID: 12658811 [PubMed-indexed for MEDLINE]



Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study

Andrologia Volume 32 Issue 1 Page 31 January 2000
S. Siterman, F. Eltes, V. Wolfson, H. Lederman & B. Bartoov

Classic therapies are usually ineffective in the treatment of patients with very poor sperm density. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of acupuncture on these males. Semen samples of 20 patients with a history of azoospermia were examined by light microscope (LM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM), with which a microsearch for spermatozoa was carried out. These examinations were performed before and 1 month after acupuncture treatment and revealed that the study group originally contained three severely oligoteratoasthenozoospermic (OTA), two pseudoazoospermic and 15 azoospermic patients. The control group was comprised of 20 untreated males who underwent two semen examinations within a period of 24 months and had initial andrological profiles similar to those of the experimental group. No changes in any of the parameters examined were observed in the control group. There was a marked but not significant improvement in the sperm counts of severely OTA males following acupuncture treatment (average=0.7±1.1 10 6 spermatozoa per ejaculate before treatment vs. 4.3±3.2 10 6 spermatozoa per ejaculate after treatment). A definite increase in sperm count was detected in the ejaculates of 10 (67%) of the 15 azoospermic patients. Seven of these males exhibited post-treatment spermatozoa that were detected even by LM. The sperm production of these seven males increased significantly, from 0 to an average of 1.5±2.4 10 6 spermatozoa per ejaculate (Z= 2.8, P <0.01). Males with genital tract inflammationexhibited the most remarkable improvement in sperm density (on average from 0.3±0.6 106 spermatozoa per ejaculate to 3.3±3.2 10 6spermatozoa per ejaculate; Z=2.4, P 0.02). Two pregnancies were achieved by the IVF-ICSI procedure.It is concluded thatacupuncture may be a useful, nontraumatic treatment for males with very poor spermdensity, especially those with a history of genital tract inflammation.



Modification of semen quality by acupuncture in subfertile males

[Article in German]
Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd. 1984 Aug;44(8):510
Fischl F, Riegler R, Bieglmayer C, Nasr F, Neumark J.

Our first attempt in treating subfertility by acupuncture was carried out on 28 males. The results obtained from the experiences in veterinary medicine encouraged us to attempt this type of therapy. Each patient received a total of 10 treatments for a period of three weeks. Several spermiograms were made afterdiagnosis subfertility. We checked spermiograms and hormone levels before and after acupuncture. Total count, concentration and motility were evaluated. In all cases we observed a statistically significant improvement of sperm quality. Having obtained these good results in our first studies, we now intend to continue acupuncture therapy in subfertile males for insemination or intercourse at the time of the ovulation of their female partners.

PMID: 6566639 [PubMed-indexed for MEDLINE]

Effect of Quyu Jiedu Granule (祛瘀解毒颗粒) on Micro environment of Ova in Patients with Endometriosis


Lian Fang et al, Zhong Xi Yi He Xue Bao 2009 Feb;15(1):42-46 Chinese Journal of Integrated Medicine

A chinese herb formula for endometriosis was given to women with  long term infertility and endometriosis before and during an IVF cycle and various ovarian parameters were compared with a group of women with endometriosis who embarked on IVF directly without taking the herbs. The group who took the herbs produced more eggs and had a higher fertilisation rate (although a difference in pregnancy rate was not reported). Additionally the follicles of the women who took the herbs showed a reduced level of inflammatory cytokines compared to the women in the control group.




To observe the effect of Quyu Jiedu Granules (QJG) on the microenvironment of ova in patients with endometriosis (EM).



Twenty EM patients who received in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) were randomized equally into a treated group and a control group.Further, 20 patients who received IVF-ET due to oviduct factors were enrolled into a non-endometriosis group.The dosage of gonadotrophic hormone used, the number of ova attained, fertilization rate and clinical pregnancy rate were all observed, and the levels of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) in follicular fluid as well as their mRNA expressions in ovarian granular cells were detected by RT-PCR on the very day of ovum attainment.



The ova attainment (13.80±6.87) and fertilization rate (0.69±0.31) in the treated group were all higher than the corresponding values in the control group (9.80±5.32 and 0.47±0.22); the follicular fluid contents of TNF-α and IL-6 in the treated group were 1.38±0.21 ng/mL and 130.56±12.81 pg/mL, respectively, which were lower than those in the control group (1.98±0.34 ng/mL and 146.83±17.65 pg/mL, respectively). Further, the treated group showed much lower mRNA expressions of TNF-α and IL-6 in ovarian granular cells.



The elevation of TNF-α and IL-6 contents in follicular fluid and their mRNA expressions in ovarian granular cells are possibly related to the low quality of ova in EM; QJG might raise the ova quality by reducing TNF-α and IL-6 levels to improve the living micro-environment for the ova.

Clinical Observations on the Treatment of Endometriosis by Combined Acupuncture and Herbs


Fu Yu and Xia Tian, Shanghai Jnl Acup Moxa, 2005, Vol 3 Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion

This is just one trial of many carried out in China which looks at the clinical effectiveness of treatment of endometriosis with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. The investigators report that symptoms  and signs of the disease are treated effectively without side effects.




To compare the clinical efficacy of combined acupuncture and herbs with danazol for treatment of endometriosis.



Seventy-eight patients were randomly divided into a combined acupuncture and herbs treatment group (40 cases) and a Westerm medicine control group (38 cases). Observation was made of changes in clinical symptoms, signs, serum CA 125, β-EP, PGE 2 and PGF 2α, and adverse reaction to the medicine in the two group.



The overall efficacy was similar in the two groups, but the effects on lumbosacral pain, anal downbearing distention, irregular menstruation and infertility were significantly better in the treatment group than in the control group(P < 0.05), and in the treatment group serum CA 125, PGE 2 and PGF 2α were significantly lower and serum β-EP was significanly higher after treatment than before (P < 0.05).



Combined use of acupuncture and herbs has a marked effect on endometriosis and the adverse reaction is lower than the control group.

Acupuncture Combined with Herbal Medicine Effects on Outcomes of Patients with Endometriosis Who Accepted IVF-ET

Acupuncture Combined with Herbal Medicine Effects on Outcomes of Patients with Endometriosis Who Accepted IVF-ET

Yu Xiao-Li et al, Liaoning Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 2010 Vol 4 Liaoning Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine

This clinical trial carried out in north east China, recruited 180 women diagnosed with endometriosis who were doing a long down regulated IVF protocol. The women who were given acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine achieved significantly higher pregnancy rates than those in the other groups who did not have acupuncture.


Abstract (English version)

Objective: We investigated the effect of the intervention of acupuncture combined with herbal medicine on outcomes of patients with endometriosis (EM) who accepted in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET).


Methods: 180 cases from patients who took IVF-ET were randomly assigned into three groups,the control group(60 cases),the medicine group(60 cases),and the acupuncture combined with medicine group(60 cases).All the three groups were introduced with gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist(GnRH a) long protocol,and the curative effects were compared between groups.


Results: The total effective rate, number of retrieved oocytes, rate of fertilization, implantation rate, and pregnant rate in the acupuncture combined with medicine group were all higher than those in the medicine group, which there were significant statistical differences(P0.05). The scores of the patients who accepted treatment in the two groups had significant difference (P0.05).


Conclusion: Treatment of acupuncture combined with herbal medicine has remarkable effect on the patients who took IVF for ET, which is better than the medicine group.