male infertility

Sperm Health for Embryo Development

Did you know that men are as important to the success of an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedure as women? In a recent interview, Dr. Paul Turek discussed the role of the male factor in infertility and miscarriage. According to the recipient of the prestigious NIH Grant for Research on male infertility, men are part of the fertility equation. But why does the guy matter? What are the possible interventions for improved sperm health? This article highlights the role of sperms in poor embryo development. We will also discuss how acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine may help with your fertility concerns. 

How can Sperms Affect Embryo Development? 

Although IVF has helped thousands of couples facing infertility, the pregnancy rate is still low. Medical practitioners often direct their focus to female factors while attempting to tackle infertility and unsuccessful IVF procedures. But contrary to previous assumptions, fertilization is not entirely egg driven – sperms play a significant role. This assertion is guided by a growing body of research in the field of fertility. 

What defines a healthy sperm? This is a question that is often answered by a semen analysis. The test helps determine important parameters such as the sperm count, morphology, and motility (ability to swim). Possible causes of infertility based in the test include sperms without acrosomes, double polyploid, globozoospermia, lollipop sperms. While the information from a semen analysis is necessary, it merely observational.  

Dr. Turek recommends a more detailed test that analyzes factors such as toxins in the semen and DNA damage. Sure, sperms can look fine after a semen analysis, but when undressed by the egg, functional problems are revealed. The percentage of damaged sperms with fragmented DNA has been shown to impact the outcome of IVF procedures and the rate of miscarriage. This explains the low fertilization rates among smokers and men exposed to similar risks. However, it is essential to note that DNA fragmentation affects early embryo development but not fertilization. 

Here’s How to Improve Embryo Development 

Now that you know the role of sperm DNA fragmentation in embryo development, is it possible to improve the male factor situation? According to Dr. Turek and experienced practitioners at Centre of Balance Hamilton, the key to healthy embryo development lies in lifestyle habits.  

Fortunately, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine focus on the overall health of an individual. This includes diet, exercise, stress reduction, and other lifestyle habits that improve overall reproductive health. The treatment procedure by acupuncture practitioners at Centre of Balance Hamilton involves looking for the underlying cause of male infertility.  

How are your eating habits? Do you exercise regularly? Are you stressed? Which drugs are you using? These are all questions that you should expect from an acupuncturist. Based on the information collected, prenatal treatment for men may be recommended to improve fertility rate and reduce miscarriage. Dr. Turek approximates that nearly 50% of failed IVF and poor embryo development is associated with the male factor. Therefore, be bold and take the initiative by visiting an acupuncture clinic.

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Jayasena, C. N., Radia, U. K., Figueiredo, M., Revill, L. F., Dimakopoulou, A., Osagie, M., … & Dhillo, W. S. (2019). Reduced Testicular Steroidogenesis and Increased Semen Oxidative Stress in Male Partners as Novel Markers of Recurrent Miscarriage. Clinical chemistry, 65(1), 161-169. 

Bussen, S., Sütterlin, M., Steck, T., & Dietl, J. (2004). Semen parameters in patients with unilateral testicular cancer compared to patients with other malignancies. Archives of gynecology and obstetrics, 269(3), 196-198. 

Siterman, S., Eltes, F., Wolfson, V., Lederman, H., & Bartoov, B. (2000). Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study. andrologia, 32(1), 31-39. 

Sherman, S., Eltes, F., Wolfson, V., Zabludovsky, N., & Bartoov, B. (1997). Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality. Archives of andrology, 39(2), 155-161.