Male fertility acupuncture and Chinese medicine in Brisbane for men’s pre-conception care to support optimal reproductive health
What is male fertility acupuncture?
Male fertility acupuncture is a concept – a style of clinical practice – that involves Peter Kington Brisbane acupuncturist creating a Chinese medicine diagnosis and customising acupuncture therapy based on your unique presentation of signs and symptoms.
Who might benefit from male fertility acupuncture?
Most men (and their partners) who enquire about male fertility acupuncture have often already commenced their fertility journey and discovered a male fertility issue as part of the normal fertility investigations.
Others enquire about male fertility acupuncture with a view to starting a family and wish to take a holistic approach to pre conception care to support optimal male reproductive health.
The male fertility acupuncture practitioner will always be guided by your semen analysis (the primary diagnostic tool used by doctors to assess male reproductive health).
However, the male fertility acupuncture practitioner will also undertake a comprehensive assessment, including careful analysis of other signs and symptoms and health markers, which will form the basis of your Chinese medicine diagnosis.
What is the Chinese medicine diagnosis and how does it relate to male fertility acupuncture?
To understand how the Chinese medicine diagnosis has evolved to accommodate men and their sub-fertility, we need to take a moment to delve into a little history.
In the ‘classical’ texts, the Chinese medicine doctor would do four things which we would never do now. They would inspect the colour of the semen for its colour and thickness. They might also smell it and some texts suggest the would even taste it.
As far removed from current practice this is, it is also interesting that even today when semen is inspected in the laboratory it is inspected fro its colour and viscosity (thickness). There is definitely no tasting going on.
However, where that method of diagnosis failed is that while it notionally assessed the quality of the semen (or the liquid a man ejaculates), it had no way of knowing anything about the sperm themselves.
And so, with the coming of the twentieth century and modern, microscopic examination of the semen and sperm, came the ability to also examine the sperm.
In China, this information would be used by doctors to allow for a Chinese medicine diagnosis based on the information taken from the semen analysis.
Therefore, the semen analysis actually allowed for the Chinese medicine diagnosis to become more comprehensive.
What is the semen analysis and how does it relate to the Chinese medicine diagnosis?
The semen analysis is by no means a perfect test, but it remains the most reliable indicator available to a practitioner to assess a man’s fertility.
Peter’s male fertility acupuncture focuses on using the semen analysis as a treatment guide. The semen analysis can reveal:
- Sperm count
- Semen volume
- Sperm motility (how they move)
- Sperm morphology (how they are shaped)
There are a range of other disorders which may be detected via the semen analysis – but these require an advanced level of testing. These include:
- Anti-sperm antibodies
- Aggregation and agglutination
- DNA fragmentation
In its most crude form, the Chinese medicine diagnosis classifies signs and symptoms as being more yin in nature or more yang in nature.
Spermatogenesis – or the making of sperm – is a yin function so the count and shape (morphology) relate to yin. The semen, which makes up the volume, is also yin because it is a fluid and fluids are yin.
The motility of the sperm – or how well and how fast they move – is a yang function because it involves movement.
As part of your overall Chinese medicine diagnosis, Peter will take a look at your semen analysis results, consider them and incorporate them into his wider holistic diagnosis.
In addition to your semen analysis, Peter will also consider other health and well-being markers and use that information to build your Chinese medicine diagnosis.
Once the Chinese medicine diagnosis is in place, his male fertility acupuncture therapy will seek to address the signs and symptoms associated with that unique diagnosis.
Included amongst those signs and symptoms will be the information taken from your semen analysis.
A great resource for men and their partners experiencing fertility issues is the Andrology Australia website.
A word about evidence
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine research is an emerging area. At the moment, the best we can say is that the evidence is unclear around the role of male fertility acupuncture.
The gold standard for research is a systematic review. There has not been enough data gathered for any robust systematic review to be published in this area and where such data exists, often the study size is too small or research methodology is poor.
To understand more about the role of evidence in male fertility acupuncture and general acupuncture, click through to the FAQ page where this is covered in more detail.
Does having male fertility acupuncture involve putting needles into the testes?
The short answer is: NO.
In fact, your genitals remain safely tucked up in your underwear for the whole treatment.
Acupuncture as a treatment to support other areas of men’s health
Yes, give the clinic a call to discuss how else male fertility acupuncture may be of assistance to you.