Andrology is a new science that studies the structure and function, physiology and pathology of male reproductive system. It is a branch of medical science that combines the basic and clinical research, and involves multidisciplinary mutual penetration. In recent years, great progress has been made in treatment of the male reproductive disorders and sexual dysfunction.
Male infertility is a complex problem, it can be only solved by bringing together medical wisdom and clinical experience of people all over the world.
Infertility—for those who yearn for a child—may be the source of prolonged pain and suffering. Treatment which offers help to the infertile is therefore one of the highest forms of medicine.
Both in modern biomedicine and in traditional Chinese medicine, however, the focus has mostly been on the female partner. There is partial justification for this since a healthily fertile woman can compensate to some degree for impaired fertility in the male. Yet often the failure to address the male component of couple infertility reveals a deeper pattern of marginalising male health—a problem almost entirely created of course by men themselves. This failure is especially significant in a world where male fertility is declining in most animal species, including humans.
As we know from Chinese philosophy, we need to cultivate both yin and yang, and there is ample evidence that male infertility or subfertility is a factor in up to half of all couple infertility. And there are several benefits to be found in addressing the male partner. Firstly, underlying diseases and patterns of disharmony (as recognized in Chinese medicine) may be discovered and treated, benefiting a man's broader health and wellbeing. Secondly, successful treatment of male infertility may reduce the onus on the female to take fertility enhancing medication which may cause unwanted side effects. And finally, of course, the chances of a successful pregnancy will be increased if the male partner is treated as well as the female.
The treatment of female infertility has been the greatest success story in China's integration of cutting edge biomedicine with its long and rich medical traditions. This combined medicine now stands as probably the world's most successful and powerful approach to achieving successful pregnancies.
What has been missing, however, is an equivalent approach to treating male factor infertility, and practitioners have been unable to find a comprehensive and integrated account for both Western and Chinese medical approaches. Missing until now, that is, with the publication of Giovanna Franconi's welcome Male Infertility: An Integrative Manual of Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine.
This is the kind of book that should make the Western Chinese medicine profession proud, offering as it does a clear and comprehensive manual for the enhancement of fertility, which is the vital source of life.
Founder and Editor, Journal of Chinese Medicine
Author, A Manual of Acupuncture
Author, Live Well Live Long