Male Infertility

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A couple is considered to have infertility issues when they try for a year without success. More than 1 out of 10 couples experience infertility.

Fertility problems are nobody’s fault. People tend to think that if a woman is not getting pregnant the fertility issue must be with the woman, but that is not necessarily always the case. There is an equal chance that male factor infertility can be the cause of a couple’s difficulty in achieving pregnancy.

When a couple has a problem achieving pregnancy, it’s estimated that about

1 out of 3 times it’s due to a problem with the man’s fertility, 1 out of 3 times it’s due to a problem with the woman’s fertility, 1 out of 3 times it’s due to a problem with both the woman’s and the man’s fertility, or a cause cannot be found for the problem.

That’s why both the woman and the man usually get tested for fertility problems when a couple is having infertility problems.

Male infertility means low sperm count or is the inability to cause a pregnancy .

In ayurvedic classics it is called as purusha bandhyatawa.

The rate at which infertility is fast becoming a common phenomenon in today’s hectic stressful lives, is rather alarming, all thanks to our current lifestyle taking a toll on our overall health.

Causes of Low Sperm Count

. Sperm production problem: defect in sperm production process in male testies is the major cause of infertility and this problem is reported in two third of the infertile men. This can be divided into two:-

Oligospermia:- in this condition there are fewer cell in the ejaculate than normal. Oligospermia is generally defined as less than 20 million spermatozoa per one ml of ejaculate. Asthenospermia:- low sperm count

As per WHO norms the motility of sperm is divided into 4 types:

  1. grade 1 – Fast progressive – sperm swim fast forward in a straight line.
  2. Grade 2- Slow progressive- sperm swim fast but in non linear motion
  3. Grade 3- Non progressive- sperms move their tail with no forward movement
  4. Grade 4- Immotile- sperm do not move at all

Grade 3 and grade 4 sperms are considered poor. Grade 1 motility should be minimum 30% or above and total motility which means 1+2 should be more than 50% for higher chance of conception.

Other reason for male infertility includes blockage of sperm transport:

Blockage ( often referred to as obstruction) in the track leading the sperm away from the testis to penis can cause a complete lack of sperm in the ejaculated semen. . A herbo mineral medicines in ayurveda can effectively clear the blockades without undergoing any surgeries.

Sperm antibodies: In some men sperm antibodies get develop in the sperm or in the blood that reduce sperm movement and block egg binding , thereby effects fertilization . Herbomineral ayurvedic medicines can effectively treat sperm antibodies and increases the chance or fertilization or conception.

sperm that don’t move quickly enough — they die before they reach the egg

sperm that are not formed correctly

seminal fluid that is too thick — sperm can’t move around in it very easily

no sperm, A complete absence of sperm is called azoospermia.

Sperm-related problems may result from too much or too little of some of the hormones that guide sperm making.

Some health problems may reduce a man’s ability to get a woman pregnant. You may want to see a health care provider sooner if you have a history of

cystic fibrosis

injury or trauma to the scrotum and testes

problems getting an erection

problems ejaculating

Things that may cause low sperm counts:. They include

chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer

environmental toxins, like lead and pesticides

excessive drug or alcohol use

injury to the scrotum and testes

smoking cigarettes

having overheated testicles from wearing clothing that is too tight or swimming or bathing in hot water

having an  undescended testicle

In Ayurveda the cause of male infertility :

  • Ativyavayat– Over indulgence in sexual activity.
  • Vyayamat– Over exertion, it may include any kind of physical exertion or strenuous mental efforts.
  • Avyayamat– Over relaxation, laziness or spending very leisure life.
  • Asatmyanam cha sevanat – Eating over spicy, salted, sour, frozen foods, foods with low nutrition and lack of hygiene; also behavioural habits like sleeping very late at night, hectic lifestyle leads to disparity of Rakta and Pitta Dosha, ultimately causing Shukra kshaya i.e. deficit in Shukra Dhatu qualitatively and quantitatively.
  • Akale– It means at inappropriate time; i.e. before desirable age specifically before age of 16 in females and 18 in that of males, or beyond the age of 65-70 where the body faces generalised debility. Another aspect explains having intercourse very frequently and many times (5-6 times) in a day also leads to debility of Shukra dhatu.
  • Ayonau – Indulging into sex in other than natural ways, i.e. Masturbation, oral or anal sex etc.
  • Maithunam Na Cha Gachataha– Suppression of sexual urge.
  • Narinam Arasaudnyata– Having intercourse with undesirable partner.

Suppression of sexual urge, infection in reproductive tract, or any kind of stricture can cause an obstructive pathology.

Diagnose of Male Infertility:

Semen sample analysis is the diagnostic aid which can examine sperm and seminal fluid. This is called a semen analysis. The semen sample will be examined for

  • the amount of seminal fluid
  • the sperm count — how many sperm there are
  • how quickly the sperm move
  • the size, shape, and appearance of sperm
  • Other blood tests and sonographic investigations should be opt out to find out if there are any hormone problems and any other underlying pathologies.

How Is Male Infertility Treated?

Treatment is available for male fertility problems. Male infertility treatment options include

Herbal medication, mineral medication, herbomineral combined medication

Yoga , meditation, naturopathy etc.

Diet & Nutrients for Healthy Male Fertility

Diet has a big impact on sperm health and male fertility. What you are eating today is impacting on the production, growth and for the viability ot the sperm that will be potent for the fertility.

The nutrients specifically needed for a healthy male fertility diet, they should be added to the diet as well as supplemented:

Zinc
In men, zinc is considered one of the most important trace minerals for fertility; increasing zinc levels in infertile men has been shown to boost sperm levels, improve the form, function and quality of the sperm thus decreasing male infertility.
Selenium
Selenium is necessary for the creation of sperm. Men with low sperm counts have also been found to have low levels of selenium.
CoQ10
Necessary for every cell in the body for energy production, CoQ10 is an important antioxidant that helps to protect cells from free radical damage, thus protecting DNA: it is necessary for sperm motility in semen.

Vitamin E also called as sex hormone
Vitamin E improves sperm health and motility in men.

Folic acid –Folic acid can boost sperm health. Men with low levels of folate had increased risks for sperm that contained too little or too many chromosomes.

Vitamin B12 – Also known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is involved in cellular replication and studies indicate a deficiency can lead to reduced sperm count and motility.

Vitamin C – For men, vitamin C has been shown to improve sperm quality and protect sperm from DNA damage; helping to reduce the chance of miscarriage and chromosomal problems. Vitamin C also appears to keep sperm from clumping together, making them more motile.
L-Carnitine – Carnitine is a necessary nutrient for sperm cells to function normally. Sperm require high concentrations of carnitine for energy metabolism.

Antioxidants – Antioxidants are one of the most important components to having healthy fertility that every man and women needs to focus on. Antioxidants help to protect the sperm from free radical damage. Free radicals are able to damage both sperm cell health and the cell’s DNA.

Hormone Balance

Hormone imbalance is not just something that is reserved exclusively for women. Men can also have imbalanced hormones. Hormones play a large roll in semen production and a man’s fertility. One of the main hormones being testosterone. Due to our modern lifestyles and many of the culprits mentioned above, men’s hormones can become imbalanced.

Ayurvedic remedies have long been used to address the problems of fertility. “Evidence of the use of herbal remedies for male infertility dates all the way back to 5000 BC. There are lot of beneficial ayurvedic plants and remedies.”

TREATING MALE INFERTILITY WITH AYURVEDA

Overcoming male infertility requires some basic modulation in lifestyle and food habits.

The treatment includes Shodhan chikitsa i.e. cleansing therapy depending upon dominancy of derranged doshas. Vaman in Kapha dushti, Virechan in Pitta dushti and Basti in case of Vata dushti.

Panchakarma therapies like Abhyanga (whole body massage), Shirodhara, Nasya endows great deal of physical and mental relaxation.

Regular exercise and yoga promotes added assistance. One should practice pelvic floor exercises, padmasan, mool bandha to strengthen and optimize the functionality of the desired organs.

Treating obstructions or infections if any, with medicines like Gokshur, Guduchi, Triphala, etc. Also Uttar Basti treatment  serves beneficial in cases of obstructive pathologies, it as well strengthens the muscles of urinary tract and reproductive system.

Rejuvenation and Aphrodisiac treatment plays an important role;

Rejuvenation therapy revitalizes the body and reinforces it internally and externally thus enhances body endurance and also assists in creating healthier sperms. Medicines like Chyawanprash, Musali paak, Rasayan vati, Kandarpa paak, Kushmand avleha, etc serves the purpose. A combination of milk + ghee + honey + cold water in specific proportion depending upon one’s body constitution along with other medicines like yastimadhu, shatavari, amla, etc. serves as a good rasayan.

Aphrodisiac Therapies are of 3 types :

  1. Sperm generating or enhancing sperm count.
  2. Those which helps in ejaculation of seminal fluid.
  3. Medicines which serve both the above purpose.

Medicines like Shatavari, Nagbala, Bala, Musali, Ashwagandha, Milk, Ghee, Haritaki, Amla, Yastimadhu, Pippali, Shatavari kalpa plays an essential role in improving count of efficient sperms.

Kapikacchu, Vidari, Gokshur, Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Bruhati phala, medicinal preparations like Vrushya vati, Shilajatu, Vanari kalpa cures problems related to Semen ejaculation.

Gokshur, Ashwagandha, Musali, Kapikacchu, Pippali, Milk, Ghee, Fruits and fruit juices; and the most important aspect – pleasant relaxed state of mind is the key ingredient to treat infertility. Vrushya vati  not only increases sperm count qualitatively and quantitatively, but also improves vigor, it also takes care of problems like impotency, loss of libido.

Musli sufed, Munjatak, Makkhan, Ashwagandha, Shatavari, etc. Along with the herbs there are various classical combinations which are very helpful for treating this condition like Makardhwaj wati, Suwarna Siddha Makardhwaj, Shilajeet Adi wati etc.

All the above mentioned medicines can be used in powder form, or for superior results they should be used in the form of medicated milk or ghee, Because oleation and revitalization of cells is an integral part of the treatment.

Necessary Diet Modifications :

  • Fresh, organic fruits, fruit juices and vegetables.
  •  Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, black currants, dates, figs, apricots, and raisins.
  • Milk , milk-date shake, milk-mango shake can also be cherished.
  • Dairy products like cream, lassi, butter; especially intake of Milk and Ghee should be increased. They can be taken plainly, or in medicated form.
  • Non-vegetarians can include preparations of eggs, meat (Goat meat), rooster. Soups increases appetite and also provides desired nutrition.
  • Rice pudding or vermicelle pudding, sweet preparation of suji in ghee is also beneficial.
  • Spices such as ajwain powder, cumin, turmeric cleanses the genitourinary tract.
  • Include coconut and coconut milk in your diet.

A big “NO” to Smoking and Alcohol consumption is must.

You should always attend the natural urges.

There are still many medicines depending upon an individual body constitution, all the above recommended medicines should be taken under consultation of Ayurvedic physician.

Ayurvedic single drugs therapy for male infertility or ekamooliya dravyas:

Mucuna Pruriens (Kawach)
A medicinal plant, which has been mentioned in the treatises of ancient Indian texts such as the ‘Charaka Samhita’ and the ‘Susrutha Samhita’. In Hindi, it is called ‘Kawach’. The plant is a vigorous climber, bears purple or white flowers and has turgid S-shaped pods. The medicinally valuable parts are the seeds, stems and leaves too.

Shilajit
An excellent restorative and rejuvenating tonic, it ensures good physical performance for the individual and leads to balanced and harmonious health. Shilajit is also known as sex tonic in India as it increases the core energy responsible for sexual drive or libido. It balances debility, general fatigue and provides strength to muscles and bones.

Safed Musli
The dried roots of Safed Musli (also known as asparagus) are used in Ayurveda as an aphrodisiac. Its tubers are used in Ayurvedic medicine preparations. White Musli or Safed Musli is primarily used as a tonic to rejuvenate the reproductive system. The regular use of this herb is valuable in impotency, premature ejaculation and low sperm count in men.It works very well in curing impotency and low sperm count

Ashwagandha
This is a very effective medicine for male infertility. As a digestive, it corrects metabolism and helps to provide proper nutrition. It is effective in mental disorders. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. It is a tonic for the nerves and helps in neuritis. It is helpful in sexual disorders like erectile dysfunction and Oligospermia.

Yoga for Fertility:
Padmasana, the classic Lotus Pose increases blood flow to the perineum and directs prana or the life force to the lower two chakras that govern sexual functions. A very useful yogic exercise for both partners is to practice pelvic floor exercises. Just contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor greatly enhances the circulation to the reproductive system. Such practices as moola bandha, ashwini mudra and vajroli mudra are famed for enhancing sexual prowess and potency.

Maintaining fertility:
Optimising fertility is one of the delicious arts of Ayurveda. There are certain foods and herbs that have an affinity for the reproductive system that anyone wanting to enhance their fertility should include in their diet. These are usually foods that have qualities of sweetness, nourishing and building. Examples include There are two kinds of foods and herbs that help enhance shukra dhatu, and therefore help enhance fertility. One is called ‘Bruhana’, and these foods enhance shukra by enhancing all the seven dhatus. ‘Vrishya’ foods and herbs target shukra dhatu in particular

  • Foods to Nourish All Seven Dhatus (Bringhana)
  • Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds
  • Dairy proteins, including milk,cream, ghee, lassi, and panir (a fresh cheese made of milk)
  • Sweet, juicy fruits such as mangoes, peaches, plums, and pears
  • Dried fruits such as dates, figs, and raisins
  • Herbs like Ashoka (Saraca indica), Aamla (Emblica oficinalis), Pippali (Piper longum), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), etc., are age old proven rejuvenators.
  • The generic preparations like Chyavanprashavaleha, Brahmi Ghrita, and Agatsya Haritaki Avaleha are prescribed for the gain and maintenance of the strength and vigor.
  • Foods to Enhance the Reproductive Tissue (Vrishya)
  • Milk , milk-date shake, milk-mango shake
  • rice pudding

Spices such as ajwain powder, cumin (which purifies the uterus in women and the genito-urinary tract in men), turmeric (to improve the interaction between hormones and targeted tissues), and black cumin, fenugreek, garlic, onion, and licorice are said to invigorate the reproductive organs.