Traditional Chinese Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy for Male Infertility

Infertility is a complicated disease; either or both partners may have several contributing factors. And it usually becomes a major problem for many couples. For many patients, infertility can become the central issue of their lives, if not properly solved, can lead to intense relationship, cold war, betrayal, even divorce.

As a doctor working at ReLife International Medical Center, I have the chance to get in touch with many infertility patients, and often receive international inquiries about both male and female infertility. First of all, I’d like to talk about the causes of male infertility.

What causes male infertility?20130104224058803

Male infertility is usually caused by problems that affect either sperm production or sperm transport. There are a variety of conditions that may lead to male infertility. The most common cause of male infertility is varicocele. A varicocele is a varicose vein found in the scrotum. The extra heat caused by the vein can lead to low sperm count and impaired sperm movement.

Other potential causes of male infertility are:

  • Complete absence of sperm (azoospermia)
  • Low sperm count (oligospermia)
  • Abnormal sperm shape (teratozoospermia)
  • Problems with sperm movement (asthenozoospermia)
  • Sperm that is completely immobile (necrozoospermia); the sperm may be alive and not moving, or they may be dead
  • Problems with sperm delivery, due to sexual dysfunction, an obstruction,
  • Problems with erections or other sexual problems


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) methods are effective to fix a variety of male infertility. Due to the effectiveness of TCM methods, Chinese has the lowest infertility rate in the world, less than 3%, while the infertility rate in some countries is high up to 15%. However, when we introduce TCM methods to foreign patients, quite a number of them have absolutely no idea of what TCM really is, some simply know of acupuncture, cupping, massage as TCM. Some patients even misunderstand TCM as a commercial brand.

Traditional Chinese medicine for male infertility

So I would like to give a brief introduction about how TCM address male infertility. As China’s proud and essence, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been practiced in China for 2000 to 3000 years, and has formed its unique system to diagnose and treat illness.

For male problems, like low sperm count and low sperm motility, tradition Chinese medicine is generally extremely effective, and it is a safe, natural, and green way to bring the body back to balance.

Doctor uses needles for treatment of the patient
Doctor uses needles for treatment of the patient

In treating male infertility, main forms of TCM include acupuncture, herbal medicine, proprietary Chinese medicine, moxibustion, cupping, Tui Na, etc. According to different causes and symptoms, TCM doctors select different herbal medicine and different acupuncture points to improve the body’s immune system and adjust reproductive function back to normal.

Stem cell therapy combining with TCM for male infertility

In my hospital, ReLife International Medical Center, besides the application of TCM in treating many kinds of male infertility, stem cell therapy, this advanced technology, is also administered to address some complicated cases, especially azoospermia and oligospermia.

This combination is designed by ReLife’s TCM doctors collaborating with western medicine doctors. Comprehensive TCM methods, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, Tui Na, acting as supportive treatment, restore body’s Yin and Yang balance and thus prepare a better inner environment for the coming stem cells to survive and differentiate in the body. After the stem cell transplantation, we continually use TCM methods to create a synergy with stem cell therapy. In this way, the survival rate of stem cells injected into the body is improved substantially.


The treatment effects  of this combination are found to bemuch better than that of stem cell therapy alone. And compared with TCM treatment, this combination shortens patient’s recovery period.

As to the type of stem cell, at ReLife, we use mesenchymal stem cell (MSC), either autologous or allogenic, which is proved to be effective to address infertility. Allogenic mesenchymal stem cells are derived from umbilical cord tissue, while autologous mesenchymal stem cells are derived from patient’s own body tissue. MSC has the characteristics of multi-directional differentiation potential, especially can differentiate into the damaged cells. By producing a variety of factors and enzymes to promote cell regeneration, the MSCs being injected into blood can locate into the impaired parts and repair the damaged cells and gradually restore the original function.

ReLife International Medical Center is located in Beijing, China. One of ReLife’s values is to help patients “regain their lives”. As a doctor at ReLife, I am proud to be working with a group of experienced and highly-skilled TCM doctors and excellent western medicine doctors. Having a baby is a dream for many couples. Hope the above two options help patients overcome this challenge and realize their dream.