Infertility may be the diagnosis when a couple has been unable to conceive for one year or longer. Male fertility accounts for 20-30% of all cases and 30% of the cases arise from both partners according to the World Health Organisation.
So why only women spend so much time working on themselves when the couple can’t conceive? It is very important for males to adopt an active role in taking regular checks and learning the possible reasons fertility may decline.
According to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), infertility can be linked to organ weakness, energy and blood deficiency, inflammation, chronic infections, being overweight, emotional and mental stress which can affect the whole energetic system of the body.
It is very important to maintain the “terrain” working well. What I mean by that is that if the person’s overall health is good: their energy is strong and circulating properly, the diet is healthy and inflammatory foods are avoided and not creating damage daily, the psychological and mental states are stable, there are very minimal signs and symptoms, then the focus can be on fertility alone.
How do you achieve that balance? By finding the right support system. I find the most successful couples have a GP they trust, an allied professional and or a natural therapist (sometimes an IVF doctor) working as a team. The open mindedness to work with different doctors and practitioners allow for more insights and angles to be looked at and worked on, often leading to a better diagnosis and treatment outcome.
I find important to give sufficient time to prepare and start trying when the terrain is good. That way the best possible start for a baby is set. One of the most common causes of infertility is Kidney deficiency. In TCM terms, the Kidneys stores the “essence” or our inherited DNA/traits, which forms the basis for reproduction.
When the kidneys are healthy, we have enormous will power, motivation and drive. Men have healthy semen and women will have a regular cycle. So what depletes the Kidneys? Excessive sexual activity or ejaculation, lifting heavy weights, standing up for too long or working very long hours, being chronically running on fight or flight, not drinking enough water or having poor sleep routine.
Kidney deficiency affect not only fertility but can also weaken ejaculation, erection and may lead to impotence. The semen can become very thin and sperm count low or even damage to sperm can occur.
Kidneys can take a long time to become deficient and it may also take a long time to build back up. Chinese herbs are one of the best options as well as acupuncture, rest and relaxation. These practices can also help supplement the energy levels and blood quality.
A good diet is also important. Poor diets, being overweight or eating rich foods and drinking alcohol regularly are linked to low grade inflammation and infections, specially when affecting the pelvic area. This can lead to premature ejaculation, distending pain and impotence. Inflammation can also have a thickening effect on sperm and lead to failure to ejaculate due to poor semen transportation.
Physical injury can also cause infertility due to the way it can cause obstruction of semen movement and production. Sometimes, physical trauma can cause internal swelling and pain.
My recommendations and steps to good general health in preparation for pregnancy are: Have a clean diet, free of processed, sugary, rich or oily foods; avoid smoking or drinking alcohol; avoid excessive sexual intercourse; avoid keeping mobile phones inside pants’ pockets; avoid hot baths; avoid wearing tight pants/jeans; supplement with vitamins and minerals (especially if diet was poor); have a positive mental attitude; practice meditation; seek new ways to relax and avoid stress; balance emotions and seek professional guidance.