Turek on men's health
U.S. News Top Doc

Award-winning urologist - and pioneer in Men's Health - Dr. Paul Turek blogs weekly about issues such as infertility, vasectomy and vasectomy reversal, sexual and hormonal dysfunction and more. Keep up with the latest on this fascinating field of medicine.

Pins and Needles

The iconic Rolling Stones logo
Eastern Medicine is much easier than pulling these…(Courtesy: deviantart.com)

This week’s post is written by noted Bay Area acupuncturist Anca Sira, founder of Ama Wellness Center in San Rafael, California, She has a special interest in Eastern medicine treatments for infertility.

The man sitting in my waiting room for his acupuncture appointment looked about as excited as he would getting a root canal. I think it’s because men somehow think that if they are getting acupuncture for infertility that I will be putting needles in their penis. Not true. Probably the other reason that men don’t like to come in is because of the bigger “I don’t like to go to doctors” issue. Once we start, though, they soon figure out that acupuncture is nothing like a root canal.

Why Am I Here?

We start by talking about whatever floats the guys boat and then slip in the how’s the sperm question, which will result in a look down at the floor and mumbling of the answer before we happily go back to whatever was more distracting, like cars.  In some way or another, our conversation progresses to encompass the following points:

  • Chinese or Eastern medicine has a several thousand-year history of focusing on male sexual health, especially given China’s long-standing male-centered society.
  • Chinese medicine is not only all-natural, it is holistic, meaning it treats the whole body. The intake visit is a “State of your Health” visit that focuses on diet, cravings, sweat, sleep, and the big one–stress.
  • Eastern medicine treatments include acupuncture, herbs, and dietary & lifestyle changes.
  • Typically stress, anxiety and circulatory issues affect male fertility and acupuncture can help.  Recent studies also show improved sperm motility right after acupuncture.
  • Herbal formulas may improve semen quality, including sperm counts, morphology and ejaculate volume.

So the moral of the story… yeah, acupuncture can help with sperm issues if you can get a man to go. Or maybe we need to couch it a different way: Think of it as though you are the dictator and your sperm is your army. They act on your orders to make progeny, and what you eat and do to enable your army determines their strength and ability to overcome adverse conditions. Well the less you do, the weaker the forces. Likewise, the more you do, the stronger the army. So acupuncture is a programmatic way to strengthen the army, build the forces and conquer the golden egg.  So cowboy up!

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