Male factors account for approximately 40% of all fertility problems. One reason for this is that the average male sperm count has dropped significantly over the past few generations. For example, one study showed that the average sperm count has dropped 30% since 1980. Semen volume has also dropped, reducing the total number of sperm by around 50%. The number of men with low sperm counts has tripled, while the number with high sperm counts has decreased. The reasons for declining sperm counts seems to be our increased exposure to environmental pollutants, increased use of recreational drugs and alcohol, and prescription medications, and stress. Studies show that although smokers generally have lower sperm counts and more abnormal sperm, once smoking is stopped sperm improve significantly within 6-12 months, especially when assisted by acupuncture. In a 2005 study published in Fertility and Sterility, acupuncture was shown to significantly improve several aspects of male fertility.
Since new sperm generally take 70 to 90 days to form, treatment for male factors is usually recommended for a minimum of three months.