July 27, 2005

Acupuncture May Improve Sperm Quality

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Acupuncture may have a role as a treatment for certain types of male infertility, researchers suggest.

They report, in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility, an improvement in sperm quality following acupuncture, especially the structural integrity of sperm.

Dr. Jian Pei, from Christian-Lauritzen-Institut in Ulm, Germany, and colleagues assessed the benefits of acupuncture therapy in 28 men with unexplained sperm abnormalities, including malformed and motionless sperm, and low numbers of sperm. A variety of standard acupuncture points throughout the body were used.

Acupuncture led to a significant increase in the percentage and number of sperm without structural defects, the investigators report.

Still, certain specific sperm abnormalities, such as immaturity, did not resolve or change with acupuncture, the report indicates.

The results suggest that acupuncture could be a useful treatment for infertility in men, but further research is needed to confirm the findings and to shed light on the mechanisms involved, the authors conclude.

SOURCE: Fertility and Sterility, July 2005.