Sperm Count of Western Men Declines by over 50%

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Dr. Lorne Brown, clinical director at Acubalance Wellness Centre, comments on a recent meta-analysis of data collected on male sperm that points to a significant decline in male reproductive health and on a study in the journal of Fertility and Sterility that showed a general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, after acupuncture.

Dr Lorne Brown

Dr Lorne Brown

The good news is that men are constantly producing new sperm and that improvements in lifestyle and environment increase sperm quantity and quality in many men.

A recent meta-analysis of data collected on male sperm between 1973 and 2011 finds sperm concentration declined by more than 50% in men from Western countries. https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmx022

These findings point to a significant decline in male reproductive health that has serious implications for men’s health and longevity; poor semen quality has been associated with higher risk of hospitalization and death.

Environmental factors may be contributing to the decline. A new study from the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine in Lodz, Poland, shows that men whose urine has high concentrations of parabens—a chemical commonly found in products like shampoo and soap—have lower testosterone levels and more abnormally shaped and slow moving sperm. Higher levels of parabens in the urine were associated with DNA damage in the sperm.

“Male infertility is a biomarker for men’s overall health.” says Dr Lorne Brown, Dr TCM, founder and medical director of Acubalance Wellness Centre and internationally acclaimed natural fertility expert. “Plummeting sperm counts are a ‘canary in the mine’ for male health. We know that infertility is also associated with heart disease, diabetes and a host of other health issues.”

Increasingly, scientific studies are showing how important healthy sperm is for conception and a healthy pregnancy. For example, researchers have found that the higher the levels of phthalates—endocrine-disrupting compounds found in plastic bottles, laundry detergents, food and many personal care products—in a man's sperm, the less likely a couple was to have high-quality embryos during an IVF procedure. Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Jun; 124(6): 831–839.

Known for pioneering the ”Healthy Baby” approach to fertility treatment, Dr Brown states that improved sperm parameters optimize the chances of conception and of having a healthy baby whether you conceive naturally, with IUI, or with IVF.”

“The good news is that men are constantly producing new sperm and that improvements in lifestyle and environment increase sperm quantity and quality in many men. It’s actually much easier to improve sperm than it is to improve the egg quality of women,” says Brown. “Much of what we do is to try and slow down the reproductive clock, repair environmental insults to the reproductive system, reduce free radicals and inflammation, and optimize overall health. Chinese herbal therapy, fertility acupuncture and naturopathy have been shown to boost sperm quality and quantity.”

Dr Brown’s top 6 tips for healthy sperm include:

1) Eat a diet high in antioxidants including 10 servings of colourful veggies and fruits per day. In addition take high-quality antioxidant supplements.

2) Take Vitamin D3. According to a review of several studies, published in the European Journal of Endocrinology, vitamin D levels may be a potent factor in fertility for men. Vitamin D is essential for the healthy development of each sperm’s nucleus. It also increases levels of the male sex hormone testosterone, improving a man’s libido.

3) Take 1000 to 2000 mg of omega 3 fatty acid daily to reduce inflammation and improve cellular function.

4) Don't cook your balls

  •     No hot tubs or saunas
  •     Cell phone out of pockets and computers off laps
  •     Wear loose underwear or boxers

5) Manage stress with exercise and meditation and not marijuana.

6) Take a course of acupuncture treatments to improve sperm quality. The minimum treatment protocol is twice a week for 5 weeks for a total of 10 treatments. (Don’t worry, says Dr Brown. Needles are never used around the genitals.)

Acupuncture has been shown to increase blood flow to the reproductive organs (which helps with sperm production) and to reduce stress. A study in the journal of Fertility and Sterility showed a general improvement of sperm quality, specifically in the ultrastructural integrity of spermatozoa, after acupuncture. Pei J et al Fertil Steril. Jul; 84(1):141-7

“At Acubalance we have seen countless men whose sperm count increased by over 200 % after acupuncture, lifestyle and diet changes,” says Dr Brown. “Many have gone on to father a child naturally. Our ultimate goal is to help couples have the healthiest baby possible whether it is the old-fashioned way or through IVF.”

Acubalance Wellness Centre (acubalance.ca) is British Columbia’s leading reproductive wellness clinic, specializing in natural integrative care for fertility, pregnancy, and women’s health. As the first clinic in Western Canada to introduce fertility acupuncture, Acubalance has helped thousands of women and couples find the way to conceive and have a healthy baby.

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Mairi Campbell
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