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Abstract

Volume 11, Issue 2 (March 2009) 11, 200–208; 10.1038/aja.2008.4

Success of acupuncture treatment in patients with initially low sperm output is associated with a decrease in scrotal skin temperature

Shimon Siterman1,2, Fina Eltes3, Liora Schechter1, Yair Maimon2, Hanny Lederman3 and Benjamin Bartoov3

1 Maccabi Fund Complementary Medicine, Kaufman Street, Tel Aviv 68012, Israel
2 Refuot-Integrative Medical Centre, Ramat Aviv Gimel, Tel Aviv 69123, Israel
3 Male Fertility Laboratory, Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel

Correspondence: Prof. Benjamin Bartoov, Male Fertility Labo-ratory, Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel. Fax: +972-3-534-3679 E-mail: bartoob@mail.biu.ac.il

Received 29 April 2008; Revised 22 July 2008; Accepted 27 August 2008; Published online 5 January 2009

Abstract

Poor spermatogenesis in patients with inflammation of the genital tract is associated with scrotal hyperthermia. These patients can benefit from acupuncture treatment. We conducted a study to verify whether the influence of acupuncture treatment on sperm output in patients with low sperm density is associated with a decrease in scrotal temperature. The experimental group included 39 men who were referred for acupuncture owing to low sperm output. The control group, which comprised 18 normal fertile men, was used to define a threshold (30.5°C) above which scrotal skin temperature was considered to be high. Accordingly, 34 of the 39 participants in the experimental group initially had high scrotal skin temperature; the other five had normal values. Scrotal skin temperature and sperm concentration were measured before and after acupuncture treatment. The five patients with initially normal scrotal temperatures were not affected by the acupuncture treatment. Following treatment, 17 of the 34 patients with hyperthermia, all of whom had genital tract inflammation, had normal scrotal skin temperature; in 15 of these 17 patients, sperm count was increased. In the remaining 17 men with scrotal hyperthermia, neither scrotal skin temperature nor sperm concentration was affected by the treatment. About 90% of the latter patients suffered from high gonadotropins or mixed etiological factors. Low sperm count in patients with inflammation of the genital tract seems to be associated with scrotal hyperthermia, and, consequently, acupuncture treatment is recommended for these men.

Keywords: acupuncture, poor spermatogenesis, scrotal skin hyperthermia

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