Infertility is a term used when a couple who are unable to conceive over the course of an year and not successful to conceive naturally. If the problem lies with male reproductive organs and system then it is referred to as male infertility.
Reasons for male infertility: Male infertility factors contribute to approximately 30% of infertility cases and it alone accounts for 1/5 of all infertility cases. Reasons for male infertility are:
- Gonadal disorder: Disorders in the testes
- A hypothalamic or pituitary disorder : Low level hormonal production
- Sperm disorder: not grown fully, odd shaped, not move the right way, be made in very low numbers (oligospermia), no sperms at all (azoospermia), low numbers, problems with ejaculation.
- Varicoceles: Swollen veins in the scrotum. It is found in 16 out of 100 of all men.
- Unknown causes (40-50%) – In this case all tests show normal results but unable to conceive.
- Abnormal chromosome – Like missing Y chromosome
Additional reasons for male infertility:
- Hernia, mumps during puberty, hormone disorder
- radiation exposure, use of alcohol, tobacco and other types of drugs, poisonous chemicals exposure
- medications related to following conditions – arthritis, depression, infections, high BP, cancer and digestion problems
- wearing tight and restrictive underwear and injury to groin area
- history of Sexually transmitted disease (STD), urinary infections, certain types of related medications
Diagnosis of male infertility: Doctor’s and infertility specialists including urologists can perform following tests to see the reason
- Semen analysis to check number and quality of sperms -this is one of the important and critical tests for male.
- Blood tests to check hormone, infections
- Culture of fluids from male parts to check infections
- Physical examinations of prostate, scrotum and penis
- Making a culture of fluid from the penis to check for infections
- Physical examination of the penis, scrotum, and prostate
After the diagnosis doctors will recommend either further tests or will request the patient to undergo specific treatment to cure infertility.
Treatments: Male infertility is treated by conventional methods
- Medications to help increase sperm production
- Antibiotic to heal any infection
- Hormonal treatment to balance hormone production
- If none of the above methods does not work other options include: Artificial insemination, IVF and if both partners willing donor sperm will be used for conceiving.
Health tips to cure male fertility:
- Avoid long hot water bath, sauna and hot tubs immersion.
- Use boxers rather than tight underwear
- Talk to doctor and get recommended male fertility supplements. Three supplements that are high recommended are: Selenium, Vitamin C and Zinc.
- Avoid illicit drugs
- Avoid tobacco products, soda and carbonated drinks
- Avoid getting in contact with STD (Sexually transmitted disease)
- Reduce exposure to radiation and poisonous chemicals.
- Give attention to personal hygiene
- Healthy habits – practice yoga, meditation, exercise, being mindfulness, plenty of sleep and stress management
- Foods and nutrition: Consume foods that are rich in Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, D-aspartic acid, Coenzyme Q10, Folate rich foods, Omega 3 fatty acids, and foods that contain Zinc. Following foods contain these nutrients:
- Nuts, seeds, peanuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and canola oil – Coenzyme Q10
- Fortified cereals, grains, dry fruits and fresh fruits – D-aspartic acid
- Olive oil, canola oil, chia, flax seeds, walnuts, soybean, yogurt – Omega 3 fatty acids
- Dairy products, beans, pumpkin seeds – L-arginine
- Fortified juices, broccoli and other Brassicaceae members, green leaves, nuts – Vitamin E
- Milk, yogurt and sun light – Vitamin D
- Citrus fruits, sweet peppers, kiwi, strawberry, tomatoes, cabbage – Vitamin C
- Fortified cereals, yeast, dairy products – Vitamin B12
- Bread, whole grain, cereal, fruits, fresh fruit juice, beans, peas – Folate
- Nuts, lentils, beans, dairy, green leaves, dairy – Zinc
- Herbs: fenugreek, ashwagandha root, tomato contains lycopene that helps in sperm improvement, Maca root helps improving sperm motility, Ginseng root tea – reduces tension, BP and stimulates nitric oxide production needed for sperm function
- Reduce soy product consumption as it can have negative impact on sperm production and quality
Millions of couples consider and take treatment for infertility. Talk to your doctor today if you are not using any birth control and unable to conceive. There is nothing to feel shy and hesitate. Adopting healthy habits, staying fit, maintaining stress and following doctor’s instructions will help to cure and conceive.
- Image credit: Photo by Heike Mintel on Unsplash
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: January 21, 2019