Male Factor Infertility

Studies show that 40-50% of infertility cases are due in part, or in whole, to male factor infertility (MFI.)

If you’re having difficulty conceiving, it is essential to consider your partner’s reproductive health as well as your own, even if you already have a diagnosable cause of female infertility. If you’re pursuing treatments to enhance your fertility but your male partner is not, you may be overlooking important factors that can help you conceive.

Obtaining a thorough semen analysis is always a valuable component to understanding the whole picture of your fertility as a couple. If there are abnormalities detected, or if any of the values are on the lower end of normal, we encourage men to consider incorporating acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment into their routine.

Treatment may include acupuncture, herbs, supplements and lifestyle recommendations. Our treatment plan recommends weekly treatments and lifestyle modifications for 1–2 cycles of spermatogenesis (3–6 months). For less significant male issues, receiving a monthly treatment near the time of their partner’s ovulation, IUI, or egg retrieval is recommended.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be an effective treatment to:

  • Improve sperm count, motility and morphology
  • Promote hormonal balance
  • Decrease anti-sperm antibodies
  • Decrease DNA fragmentation
  • Improve erectile dysfunction and performance issues (which are quite common for men who are facing timed intercourse and the pressures of catching their partner’s fertile window each month)
  • Reduce stress and support overall health and well-being

Because treatments increase blood circulation to the male reproductive organs they can benefit men who are dealing with age-related fertility decline, varicoceles, reverse vasectomy issues, and inflammatory, infectious or other obstructive issues. If there are sperm issues related to high BMI, our treatments can support healthy digestion and weight loss.

The importance of sperm health

Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, but men are constantly producing a continuous supply of sperm. Sperm take about 2.5–3 months to mature so anything that happens during that window prior to ejaculation—health enhancing or health decreasing—can affect that sperm sample.

For couples going through IVF, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is often used to inject a single sperm directly into the egg. Because technically only one sperm is needed (and it doesn’t even need to be moving), one might assume that there is no benefit to improving male fertility for men undergoing ICSI. This is not the case.

We use the analogy of a barrel of rotten apples to help explain the importance of treatment to improve sperm count and quality. Would you rather dig through a barrel of rotten apples to find the one apple that looks good, or would you rather find a barrel of beautiful, delicious apples and choose one from there?


Having an abundance of healthy sperm increases your chances. Additionally, Chinese medicine understands the overall health of both partners at the time of fertilization to significantly impact the lifelong health of their offspring. Whereas women can continue supporting the health of their unborn child by leading a healthy lifestyle throughout their pregnancy, men only have the opportunity to support the health of their offspring in the weeks and months prior to ejaculation


Taking steps to enhance your partner’s health is a smart investment that can result in a healthier, successful pregnancy. Let us help both of you optimize your fertility.