Male Factor Infertility

Semen quality in fertile men in relation to psychosocial stress

These results suggest that stressful life events may be associated with decreased semen quality in fertile men. The experience of psychosocial stress may be a modifiable factor in the development of idiopathic infertility.

The Treatment of 156 Cases of Oligospermia with Sheng Jing Qiang You Tang (Engender Essence & Strengthen Fertility Decoction)

156 men with low sperm count and inability to conceive were administered individually modified versions of the Chinese herbal formula Sheng Jing Qiang You Tang for 3-6 months. They were not allowed to drink alcohol, smoke, or have sex. In 98 men their sperm count increased above WHO standards, and 35 men showed an increase in sperm count but did not meet ‘fertile’ WHO criteria.

Zhang Jun. - Shi Yong Zhong Yi Nei Ke Za Zhi (Journal of Practical Chinese Medical Internal Medicine), page 50 of issue #1, 2005


A significant correlation showed that low egg numbers were associated with higher Depression. Sperm motility was weakly correlated with Depression scores. Women with high State Anxiety score on the egg retrieval day had significant lower pregnancy rates, as did those with higher Depression.

Psychological Reports: Volume 104, Issue , pp. 796-806. June 2009

An Integrated Chinese-Western Medical Treatment of 100 Cases of Male Oligospermia Sterility

100 men with low sperm count and poor sperm motility were treated with individulaly modified Chinese herbal formulations combined with clomid and vitamin E daily for 15-60 days (37.3 days average). 82% showed significant increases in both count and motility. This may be a viable treatment option for men with poor sperm motility and low sperm counts.

Shao Chang-jie - Hei Long Jiang Zhong Yi Yao (Heilongjiang Chinese Medicine & Pharmacology), pages 36-37 of issue #3, 2007

Association of state and trait anxiety to semen quality of in vitro fertilization patients: a controlled study

Increased levels of both state and trait anxiety were associated with lower semen volume, sperm concentration and count, reduced sperm motility, and increased sperm DNA fragmentation of IVF patients, thus influencing seminal parameters at the macroscopic and cellular/subcellular levels. Similar results were obtained in the controls. Our data confirm previous observations with state anxiety and show that trait anxiety also is negatively associated with male fertility.

TCM treatment of male immune infertility--a report of 100 cases.

100 cases of male immune infertility in the treatment group were treated with Yikang Decoction, while 100 cases treated with prednisone as the controls. CONCLUSION: The Yikang Decoction has a more stable effect for male immune infertility than prednisone. Antisperm antibodies, percentage of motile sperm, pregnancy rates, and sperm agglutination (clumping) were all significantly better in the group treated with the Chinese herbal fomula Yikang decoction vs the prednisone treatment group.

Relationship between psychological stress and semen quality among in-vitro fertilization patients

This study provides evidence for a significant decline in semen quality of male IVF patients at egg retrieval and demonstrates an inverse relationship between semen quality and specific aspects of psychological stress.

Robert N. Clarke1, Susan C. Klock2,4, Anne Geoghegan3 and David E. Travassos1
Oxford JournalsMedicine Human Reproduction Volume 14, Issue 3Pp. 753-758 - 1998

Observations on the Therapeutic Effects of Treating 132 Cases of Male Immune Infertility with Ju He Wan (Citrus Seed Pills)

Conclusions: 132 men tested positive for antisperm antibodies. They were treated for 1.5-4.5 months with a Chinese herbal formula Ju He Wan. After treatment, 120 (91%) tested negative for antisperm antibodies (compared to only 45% of the group treated with prednisone). 74 of these same men conceived after 1.5-3 months of treatment. From these findings, Chinese herbal medicine could be an effective treatment option for men with antisperm antibodies.

Cheng Ke-jia et al. - pages 39-40 of issue #7, 2007 of Xin Zhong Yi (New Chinese Medicine)

DNA fragmentation of normal spermatozoa negatively impacts embryo quality and intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcome

Conclusion(s): The DNA fragmentation of morphologically normal sperm negatively impacts embryo quality and probability of pregnancy in ICSI cycles.

To evaluate DNA fragmentation in morphologically normal sperm recovered from the same sample used for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and to correlate DNA damage with embryo quality and pregnancy outcome.

Prospective study.

Academic center.

36 infertile men participating in the ICSI program.

Effect of acupuncture on sperm parameters of males suffering from subfertility related to low sperm quality - Siterman S et al

Conclusion: patients exhibiting a low fertility potential due to reduced sperm activity may benefit from acupuncture treatment.

A group of infertile men with abnormal semen analysis were randomly divided into 2 groups; one group was given 10 acupuncture treatments over 5 weeks, and the other group, no treatment. Significant improvements (p < 0.05) were demonstrated in the acupuncture group compared to the control group, in particular improved motility and morphology.

A substance isolated from Cornus officinalis enhances the motility of human sperm

The effects of a Chinese herb, Cornus officinalis, on the motility of human sperm was studied. An aqueous extract was prepared from the dried fruits of the herb and used in this study. The crude extract showed substantial stimulatory effects on sperm motility.

Jeng H; Wu CM; Su SJ; Chang WC Department of Anatomy, Taipei Medical College, Taiwan. Am J Chin Med 1997;25(3-4):301-6 (ISSN: 0192-415X)


Conclusions: The OSA test is a novel assay that directly assesses end damage to semen from oxidative stress and appears to identify approximately 30% of men from infertile couples as having elevated scores. The OSA test may provide a means of quantifying the role of ROS-related semen damage in infertility and potentially aid in the evaluation in men from infertile couples.

Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study - Siterman S et al

Conclusions: It is concluded that acupuncture may be a useful, nontraumatic treatment for males with very poor sperm density, especially those with a history of genital tract inflammation.

An experimental study on inhibitory effect of Chinese medicine tai-bao on antisperm antibody

Tai-bao Chinese herbal medicine displayed significantly higher rates of implantation and pregnancy, as well as comparitive rates of lowering effects of antisperm antibodies as prednisone. CONCLUSION: Chinese medicine Tai-bao possesses regulatory effect on reproductive immune function, inhibitory effect on antisperm cytotoxic antibody, and promoting effect on pregnancy.

Lai AN; Song JF; Liu XJ Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of TCM, Beijing. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih, 17(6):360-2 1997 Jun (ISSN: 1003-5370)

Semen quality in relation to antioxidant intake in a healthy male population

In a population of healthy young men, carotenoid intake was associated with higher sperm motility and, in the case of lycopene, better sperm morphology. Our data suggest that dietary carotenoids may have a positive impact on semen quality.

To assess the relationship between dietary antioxidant intake and semen quality in young healthy males.

Cross-sectional study.

University and college campuses in the Rochester, New York, area.

One hundred eighty-nine university-aged men.

Male infertility treated by bu shen sheng jing pill in clinical observation and evaluation on its curative effect

Eighty-seven cases of male infertility were treated with Bu Shen Sheng Jing Pill, and the comprehensive semen routine analysis score was enhanced significantly (P < 0.001). The result showed that this prescription had a regulatory function in follicle stimulating hormone, luteotropic hormone, testosterone, cortisol (could bring the enhanced or reduced hormone level back to normal range).

Yue GP; Chen Q; Dai N Institute of Acupuncture and Meridians, Anhui College of TCM, Hefei. Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih, 16(8):463-6 1996 Aug (ISSN: 1003-5370)

Paternal diet-induced obesity impairs embryo development and implantation in the mouse

Conclusion(s): This study demonstrates that paternal obesity impairs preimplantation embryo development and implantation but does not influence gross fetal or placental morphology. It highlights the important contribution that paternal health and lifestyle choices have for achieving a viable pregnancy.

To use a rodent model of male diet-induced obesity (DIO) to examine resultant preimplantation embryo development and implantation rate, as well as fetal and placental growth.

Experimental animal study.

A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia - Dieterle et al

Conclusions: After receiving acupuncture twice weekly for 6 weeks motility of sperm (but not overall count) was found to increase significantly.

This recent small clinical trial randomised 57 patients who had extremely low sperm counts, to acupuncture and placebo acupuncture groups. The authors conclude that the results of the present study support the significance of acupuncture in male patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia. More evidence with larger trials needs to be accumulated before the efficacy and effectiveness of acupuncture in male infertility can be evaluated.

Effects of Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan on male infertility with varicocele

Thirty-seven infertile patients with varicocele were treated with Guizhi-Fuling-Wan (7.5 g/day) for at least 3 months. Before and after the administration, semen qualities such as sperm concentration and motility were examined, and the varicocele was graded. A varicocele disappearance rate of 80% was obtained with 40 out of 50 varicocele, and improvement of sperm concentration and motility were found in 71.4% and 62.1% of patients, respectively. From these results, Guizhi-Fuling-Wan is considered to be effective for circulation disorders in varicocele as well as semen quality.

Effects of work and life stress on semen quality

Conclusion(s): Men who feel stressed have fewer, slower sperm -- which may diminish fertility. In this first study to examine all three domains of stress, perceived stress and stressful life events but not work-related stress were associated with semen quality.

To evaluate associations between work-related stress, stressful life events, and perceived stress and semen quality.

Cross-sectional analysis.

Northern California.

Sperm morphological assessment based on strict criteria and in-vitro fertilization outcome

Conclusion: men going through IVF with poor sperm morphology has been correlated to poor embryo cleavage rates, lower IVF embryo transfer rates, decreased pregnancy rates, lower ongoing pregnancy rates, and increased miscarriage. Poor sperm morphology is a good indicator of IVF outcome.

Clinical study on the treatment of male immune infertility by Hu zhang dan shen yin

90 men with immune infertility were selected as the research subjects and randomly divided into two groups, 60 in the treatment group, treated by Huzhangdanshenyin, and the other 30 in the control, treated by prednisone, both for 3 months. The improvement of clinical symptoms, immunologic indexes (antisperm antibodies in serum and seminal plasma) and sperm indexes (semen liquefied duration, motility, viability, density and abnormal morphology rate) were observed and the results analyzed.

Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities - Gurfinkel E et al

Conclusion: The Chinese Traditional Medicine acupuncture and moxa techniques significantly increase the percentage of normal-form sperm in infertile patients with oligoastenoteratozoospermia without apparent cause.

Plants Used in Chinese Medicine for the Treatment of Male Infertility Posses Antioxidant and Anti-Oestrogenic Activity

In this study Chinese herbs commonly used in the treatment of male infertility were investigated for relevant biochemical activity. Oxidative stress has been implicated in male infertility with significant levels of reactive oxygen species detected in 25% of infertile males. A total of 37 individual herbs and seven herb decoctions used in the treatment of male factor infertility were therefore tested for endocrine activity. 20 showed strong and 10 weak anti-oestrogenic activity. Oestrogenic responses were elicited for two herbs.

Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility - Pei J et al

CONCLUSION(S): The treatment of idiopathic male infertility could benefit from employing acupuncture. A general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, was seen after acupuncture, although we did not identify specific sperm pathologies that could be particularly sensitive to this therapy.

Effects of L-Carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 on Impaired Spermatogenesis

Conclusions: treatment with L-carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 significantly increased total antioxidant, LH and testosterone levels. Treatment with L-carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 also improved semen parameters and organs weight. L-carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 could protect spermatogenesis.

Shorter abstinence decreases sperm DNA fragmentation in ejaculate

Conclusion: daily ejaculation improves sperm DNA health.

To evaluate the relationship between duration of sexual abstinence and sperm selection on sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF).

Prospective study based on normozoospermic individuals.

Fertility and IVF unit and university unit for research.

Two cohorts of normozoospermic individuals: 21 men (aged 25–35 years) attending a clinic and with clearly adverse female factors; and a group of 12 selected donors (aged 20–25 years).

Food intake and its relationship with semen quality: a case-control study

CONCLUSION(S): Frequent intake of lipophilic foods like meat products or milk may negatively affect semen quality in humans, whereas some fruits or vegetables may maintain or improve semen quality.

Acupuncture Helps Lower Scrotum Temperature, Increase Sperm Count - Siterman S. et al

Conclusion: men that manifest higher scrotal temperatures due to genital tract inflammation or poor lifestyle habits can benefit from the scrotal temperature lowering effects of acupuncture.

Role of male factor in early recurrent embryo loss: do antioxidants have any effect?

CONCLUSIONS: All couples whose male partners accepted antioxidant supplementation achieved a successful pregnancy. This study demonstrates the benefits of an increased intake of antioxidant-rich food or antioxidant supplements by men who show high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation or lipid peroxidation, which could result in an improvement in gestational outcomes in couples with history of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL).

Acupuncture & IVF poor responders: a cure? - Magarelli P. et al

Conclusions: Significant increases in pregnancy outcomes were confirmed by this study and the data uniquely supported the advantage of acupuncture in patients with normal PI (prior studies were done on patient with PI). We also demonstrated that both acupuncture treatment protocols could be used together with a synergistic effect. Finally, this study is the first to demonstrate that the use of acupuncture in patients with poor prognoses (elevated Peak FSH, longer history of infertility, poor sperm morphology) can achieve similar pregnancy rates to normal prognosis patients.

Effects of the combined therapy of acupuncture with herbal medicine on male immune infertility--a clinical report of 50 cases. - Fu B. et al

CONCLUSION: The combined therapy of acupuncture with herbal drugs has definite therapeutic effects on male immune infertility, which can regulate AsAb and raise the immunity of the patients. To study the clinical effects of the combined therapy of acupuncture with herbal medicine on male immune infertility and on antisperm antibody (AsAb), 100 male cases of infertility with positive AsAb were divided randomly into two groups, each consisting of 50 cases. The control group was treated with oral prednisone.

Influence of acupuncture on idiopathic male infertility in assisted reproductive technology. - Zhang M et al

This trial looks at sperm behaviour in an IVF setting. It was a “before and after” study involving 82 infertile men with pathological semen abnormalities and who’s sperm achieved a poor fertilization rate in at least 2 IVF/ICSI cycles. They were given acupuncture twice a week over 8 weeks and the IVF/ICSI cycles were repeated. The fertilization rates after acupuncture (66.2%) were significantly higher than that before treatment (40.2%) (P < 0.01).

The Acupuncture Treatment of 128 Cases of Oligospermia Sterility - Pang Pao-zhen et al

128 men with low sperm count were treated with acupuncture for 25 days consecutively as one course of treatment. Some men went through 2 courses. Overall, 92.19% of the men involved showed increase is sperm count, and 42 of these men were considered ‘cured’ when compared to WHO criteria. Note: In general, the more the patient felt the needle sensation, the better the outcome. Conversely, the less they felt the needle sensation, the worse the outcome.

Low folate in seminal plasma is associated with increased sperm DNA damage

CONCLUSION(S): Low concentrations of folate (folic acid, B9) in seminal plasma may be detrimental for sperm DNA stability, and total homocysteine (B6, 9, 12) correlated with sperm count.

Psychosocial factors discriminate oligozoospermic from normozoospermic men

The relationship between psychosocial variables and seminal status has been confirmed by comparing a group of oligozoospermic (poor sperm) and normozoospermic (normal sperm) men.

Fertility and Sterility - Volume 79, Supplement 3 , Pages 1571-1576, June 2003
Luigi De Gennaro, address, Simona Balistreri, Ph.D., Andrea Lenzi, M.D., Francesco Lombardo, M.D., Michele Ferrara, Ph.D., Loredana Gandini, B.Sc

Direct effects of Chinese herbal medicine “hachuekkito” on sperm movement.

CONCLUSION: Protective effects of Hochuekkito on sperm was suggested on sperm with Anit-sperm Antibodies. Although normal sperm with ASA was used in this report, since the sperm of infertile patients are said to be more fragile, this results imply that direct protective effect is one of the mechanism of Hochuekkito for male infertility

Yamanaka M; Kitamura M; Kishikawa H; Tsuboniwa N; Koga M; Nishimura K; Tsujimura A; Takahara S; Matsumiya K; Okuyama A Department of Urology, Osaka University Medical School - Nippon Hinyokika Gakkai Zasshi, 89(7):641-6 1998 Jul (ISSN: 0021-5287)

Effects of folic acid and zinc sulfate on male factor subfertility: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

CONCLUSION(S): 74% increase in total normal sperm count after combined zinc sulfate (66mg) and folic acid (5mg) treatment for 26 weeks (6 months) in both subfertile and fertile men.

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