Effect of Chinese Herbal Medicine on Male Infertility

Int Rev Neurobiol. 2017;135:297-311. doi: 10.1016/bs.irn.2017.02.014. Epub 2017 Apr 12.

Abstract

Male infertility normally refers a male's inability to cause pregnancy in a fertile female partner after 1 year of unprotected intercourse. Male infertility in recent years has been attracting increasing interest from public due to the evidence in decline in semen quality. There are many factors contributing to the male infertility including abnormal spermatogenesis; reproductive tract anomalies or obstruction; inadequate sexual and ejaculatory functions; and impaired sperm motility, imbalance in hormone levels, and immune system dysfunction. Although conventional treatments such as medication, surgical operation, and advanced techniques have helped many male with infertility cause pregnancy in their female partners, effectiveness is not satisfactory and associated with adverse effects. Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) has been used to improve male infertility in China for a very long time and has now been increasingly popular in Western countries for treating infertility. In this chapter we summarized recent development in basic research and clinical studies of CHM in treating male infertility. It has showed that CHM improved sperm motility and quality, increased sperm count and rebalanced inadequate hormone levels, and adjusted immune functions leading to the increased number of fertility. Further, CHM in combination with conventional therapies improved efficacy of conventional treatments. More studies are needed to indentify the new drugs from CHM and ensure safety, efficacy, and consistency of CHM.

Keywords: Chinese herbal medicine; Immune infertility; Male infertility; Sexual dysfunction; TCM.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / therapy*
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional / methods*

Substances

  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal