Acupuncture can be given at any point to men to optimise their health and well-being. Treatment is given to improve sperm quality (motility, morbidity, morphology and quantity), which can improve the chances of conception.
Research studies have demonstrated the benefits of acupuncture in treating male fertility by improving sperm quality.
In one study of 40 men with poor sperm count, 28 received acupuncture twice a week for 5 weeks, while 12 in the control group received no treatment. In the treatment group there was a statistically significant increase in the percentage and number of sperm, plus improved sperm motility.
In another study, 22 males with idiopathic infertility who had just failed an ICSI cycle were treated with acupuncture twice weekly for 8 weeks, followed by ICSI treatment again. This time, sperm motility was significantly improved after treatment. The normal sperm ratio was also better and embryo quality as well as fertilisation rates (66.2%) were higher than before treatment (40.2%).
Acupuncture is particularly useful to improve the sperm motility prior to ovulation, however because it takes 60-90 days to develop mature sperm, treatment is ideally given over a 3 to 6 month period for the best results when you are trying naturally, or before you begin an ICSI, IUI or IVF cycle.
In Assisted cycles it can be very beneficial to also have acupuncture on the day, or day before sperm collection.