San Francisco Acupuncture for Male Factor Infertility

Men can contribute to a couple's infertility over 50% of the time. Fortunately for men, male fertility is easier to treat than female fertility, as men constantly and quickly reproduce sperm. 

If you are experiencing difficulties getting pregnant, it is extremely important to have the male partner’s sperm checked.  Having enough, motile, and normally shaped sperm is essential to conception. Male fertility is primarily assessed via sperm analysis.  This is a simple process of asking either a fertility specialist or your primary physician to order a sperm sample to the lab for testing. The sample often can be taken in the privacy of your own home, and then dropped off at the lab. Sperm issues may include sperm quantity and/or quality. Men constantly make new sperm, and the sperm lifecycle from being produced to when it is ejaculated is 75-90 days. So you can affect your fertility quite quickly by making lifestyle adjustments and getting treatment such as acupuncture, herbs and supplements.

At Blue Ova we use fertility acupuncture, herbal medicine, stress reduction, and diet to optimize a man's sperm quality and allow him to reach his peak fertility potential, including: 

  • Increasing sperm count (quantity of sperm)

  • Improving sperm motility (ability of sperm to move )

  • Improving sperm morphology (the shapes of the sperm )

  • Correcting some immune factors such as anti-sperm antibodies that can interfere with conception

Acupuncture to improve male fertility

Our treatment plan to support male fertility typically includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs, supplements, lifestyle, and dietary recommendations for approximately three months. The reason we focus on three months is that one full sperm development cycle takes about 75-90 days. The key to success is consistent treatment during a full sperm development cycle. This treatment protocol is for both men trying to conceive naturally and with assisted reproductive technology (IVF/IUI/ICSI) 


Recent studies have shown that acupuncture can effectively increase sperm production, improve sperm movement (motility, increase the percentage of healthy sperm, improve the levels of hormones responsible for fertility and increase the rate of pregnancy when used in conjunction with ART studies.

Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility. Pei J et al Fertil Steril. 2005 Jul;84(1):141-7 Fertility and Sterility 

Forty men with at least one of three problems with their sperm were treated with acupuncture twice a week for 5 weeks. A statistically significant increase after acupuncture in the percentage and number of sperm with no structural defects was demonstrated compared to the control group of patients who received no treatment. They concluded that male infertility patients could benefit from having acupuncture. 

A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia. Dieterle et al. Fertility and Sterility, 2009 Oct

28 infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia (high percentage of poorly swimming sperm ie poor mobility) received acupuncture according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and 29 infertile patients received placebo acupuncture. The men in the study who received acupuncture had significant improvements in the percentage of sufficiently motile sperm.

Effects of acupuncture and moxa treatment in patients with semen abnormalities. Gurfinkel E et al Asian J Androl. 2003 Dec;5(4):345-8.

A prospective, controlled and blind study put two randomized groups of infertile men into an acupuncture group and a control group. After 10 treatments, the patients in the acupuncture group demonstrated a significant increase in the percentage of normal forms compared to the control group.