Infertility is effecting 15% of the couple globally. So in this detailed blog we will cover all aspects of male infertility and how to increase sperm count and hence increase fertility
- What is Infertility?
- What are the Symptoms of Infertility in men?
- What are the causes of infertility in men?
- What are the Medical causes for infertility in men?
- What are the Environmental causes for infertility in men?
- How to increase sperm count natural?
- What is the Diagnosis procedure for infertility?
- What are various options to boost male sperm count?
- What are the lifestyle changes to boost sperm count and fertility?
- What is the food to increase sperm count?
- How to increase male fertility?
- What are the Ayurvedic treatments available to increase male fertility?
- When male fertility treatment is ineffective?
What is Infertility?
Infertility is a common medical problem in couples and in India, nearly 1 in 7 couples face this problem. Infertility is the problem in which a couple is unable to conceive a child naturally even after having an unprotected sexual relationship for more than a year or so. Male infertility is a major sexual health concern and can be caused by
- Low sperm production
- Abnormal sperm functioning
- Chronic health issues
- Unhealthy lifestyle, etc.
It can be a really stressful and frustrating situation for a couple when they are unable to conceive a child but one should not be disheartened as there are a number of treatments available to cure infertility.
What are the Symptoms of Infertility in men?
Infertility causes the inability to get pregnant naturally and it does not show any major symptoms. Some patients may experience problems like genetic disorders, blockage in veins around testicles, hormonal imbalance, etc. some of the symptoms that may show up includes:
- Reduced sexual desire
- Sexual problems like erectile dysfunctioning or difficulty in ejaculation
- Problems like swelling, lump, or pain in testicles area
- Inability to smell
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Hormonal or chromosomal abnormality showing signs like decreased body hair, etc.
- Lower sperm count
What are the causes of infertility in men?
In order to conceive a child, it is very important for both partners to be healthy and male fertility is a complex process and plays a crucial role. Infertility in men can be because of multiple reasons like: it can be medical reasons, environmental factors, or physiological factors.
What are the Medical causes for infertility in men?
Various medical treatments and health issues can cause problems with male fertility, some of them are listed below:
- Infections: sperm production or sperm health can be hampered by various infections, it can also block the passage of the sperm by scarring. These infections include sexually transmitted infections, including gonorrhea or HIV. Permanent testicular damage can be made by some infections.
- Varicocele: it is a problem where swelling in the veins drains the testicles. This is one of the most common reasons for male infertility. Varicocele is abnormal blood flow but the main cause is not known. This problem leads to reduced quality and quantity of sperm production.
- Impotence: male organ loses its erection before getting into climax, or one may experience the worst situation where the male organ does not erect at all.
- Premature ejaculation: multiple medical conditions can cause premature ejaculation like diabetes, spinal injuries, medications, and surgery of the bladder, prostate, or urethra.
- Anti sperm antibodies: They are the antibodies that attack sperm these are the immune system cells that recognize sperms as harmful elements and try to get rid of them
- Cancerous tumors: Tumors can affect the male reproductive system directly. In some patients, tumor surgeries, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy can affect the male fertility
- Hormonal imbalance: complete functioning of the body is because of the hormones androgen is the male organ that is responsible for libido and other sexual activities.
- Tubules defects: defects in the multiple tubes which carry sperms can cause infertility. The blockage can be because of multiple reasons it can be injury made because of surgery, prior infections, trauma, or abnormal development, such as with cystic fibrosis.
- Defective Chromosome: Problems that are inherited and cause abnormal development of male reproductive organs.
- Problems in sexual relationships: Experiencing trouble in keeping or maintaining an erection that should be sufficient for giving you satisfaction can cause problems with sexual intercourse.
What are the Environmental causes for infertility in men?
In today's time various harmful environmental factors are affecting the human body, elements like heat, toxins, and chemicals, etc reduce sperm production or its functioning.
- Increasing Industrial chemicals are a major factor that affects the sperm count exposure to certain chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, etc. is the reason for low sperm count.
- Drastic exposure to lead or heavy metals may lead to infertility
- Harmful radiation can reduce sperm count
- Overstressing the testicles by sitting for a longer period or by wearing tight clothes, etc can be harmful to the sperm count and may cause infertility.
- Other factors that cause male infertility includes:
- Usage of drugs- stimulation of muscles by using drugs can harm your body and can cause a reduction in sperm production and can shrink your testicles. Drug usage can reduce the quality and quantity of sperm as well.
- Alcohol- Excessive drinking can lower testosterone levels and can be a reason for erectile dysfunction. Liver diseases can be a reason for infertility.
- Smoking- Lower sperm count can be because of smoking and tobacco intake. It can be a reason behind male infertility.
- Obesity- It can affect fertility in multiple ways and can cause hormonal imbalance that can be the main reason for reduced male fertility.
You cannot always increase sperm count naturally and prevent male infertility, start the following natural ways to help increase your fertility:
- Quit Smoking
- Stop Drinking alcohol
- Opt for a healthy lifestyle
- Healthy food for sexual health
- No drugs consumption
- Reduce stress
- Avoid exposure to toxins and pesticides.
What is the Diagnosis procedure for infertility?
The fertility problem can be with anyone and the reason for the inability to get pregnant can be because of a male or female partner, so in order to know the cause of infertility both the partners should see a doctor. Multiple tests are done to find the cause of infertility. Diagnosis of male infertility involves
- Physical examination and medical history - The doctor may ask questions about your chronic health problems, inherited conditions, injuries, or surgeries that can cause infertility. Doctors may also ask questions about sexual activity and also about sexual development during puberty.
- Semen analysis - This test is performed to check the no of live sperms present and to check any defects in the shape and moment of the sperm. The semen sample is collected from the patient and sent to the lab to analyze.
Additional tests are recommended by the doctor to find out the cause of infertility. They are -
- Scrotal ultrasound -
High-frequency sound waves are used to reflect images of your body. A scrotal ultrasound helps the doctor to find out if there is a problem in the testicles and supporting structure.
- Trans-rectal ultrasound -
In this, a small lubricated wand is inserted in the rectum. This helps the doctor to check the prostate and find blockages in the tube that carry semen.
- Testicular biopsy-
In order to check male infertility, this test is conducted in which a small sample of the testicle is removed with a needle. If the biopsy results are normal then it means there is blockage or some other problem with the sperm movement.
- Hormone testing
Hormonal imbalance is a major reason behind infertility and any abnormalities in the organs that produce hormones like the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and testicles that play an important role in sperm production can cause infertility. Multiple blood tests are done to find out the levels of testosterone and other hormones.
- Specialized sperm function test
This test is performed to check the duration of sperm survival after ejaculation. It diagnoses the problem which can be either in attaching to an egg or how well they can penetrate in an egg.
- Post-ejaculation urinalysis
Sperm in the urine indicates whether the sperm are traveling back into the bladder rather than moving out of the penis during ejaculation. It is called retrograde ejaculation.
- Genetic tests
The genetic cause may also result in low sperm concentration. A blood test is done to see whether there are changes in the Y chromosome, which is a sign of a genetic abnormality. Genetic testing also helps in analyzing various inherited syndromes.
What are various options to boost male sperm count?
Based on the stage overall health the following treatment options can be considered
- Lifestyle changes
- Eat healthy food to increase sperm count
- Ayurvedic herbs to boost sperm count
- Ayurvedic treatment
- Allopathic medicine
What are the lifestyle changes to boost sperm count and fertility?
By making few changes in your lifestyle you can increase your fertility. Following are the changes that should be taken care of-
- Have frequent sex - In order to have a baby it’s best to have sex during the time of ovulation, however having frequent sex through the month increases your fertility. A short period of abstinence can also affect sperm health.
- Quit smoking - Smoking deeply affects sperm health. It leads to low sperm count, decreased sperm motility, and sperm shape. It is very important to quit smoking in order to improve your fertility. Smoking has a negative effect on couples using fertility treatment like IVF with ICSI. Men who smoke also affect the fertility of the female partner.
- Limit alcohol - Too much alcohol lowers fertility. Alcohol affects sperm count, shape, and mobility. Those couples who are planning to conceive should completely give up alcohol.
- Maintain your weight- To increase your fertility it is very important to maintain your weight. Those people who are either overweight or underweight have a problem of infertility because the body hormones do not function properly which results in low sperm count. As a result, it is very important to maintain a healthy weight.
- Keep things cool - High temperature can damage sperm health. It is due to this reason that men are recommended not to have a hot tub bath, avoid sitting at a place for long, don't sit with the laptop on your lap, and wear comfortable underwear.
What is the food to increase sperm count?
You can add the following food to increase male fertility
- Have a well-balanced diet : Experts always recommend having a well-balanced diet. Fertility is majorly affected by bad food habits and you should get a healthy diet to get good sperm quality and quantity. it is recommended to have more green veggies for your sperm health. some food items that you can include in your diet are :
- Fresh veggies
- Whole grains
- Healthy fats
- Add antioxidants to your diet : Antioxidants help to increase male fertility. Researchers have found that men who took antioxidants in supplements had better sperms count and quality than men who did not take antioxidants. Couples have higher pregnancy changes where men took additional antioxidants. Folic acid, selenium, lycopene, vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin E should be taken to increase the chances of conception. Under the proper guidance of the doctors, these supplements should be taken.
How to increase male fertility?
The exact method to increase male fertility depends on the cause of infertility. Doctors may recommend various treatments that will help a couple conceive. Both the partners are checked to find out the root cause of infertility. Specific treatment is given to the patient to cure infertility.
Treatment to increase male fertility includes-
- Surgery - in certain cases surgery is conducted to cure infertility. For example, surgery is done in a varicocele or in case of obstructed vas deferens repaired. Prior vasectomies can be reversed. In those cases where sperm are absent in the ejaculate, sperm can be directly retrieved from the testicle or epididymis using the sperm retrieval technique.
- Treatment for infection - Antibiotics are given to cure an infection of the reproductive tract, however, this does not always restore fertility.
- Treatment for sexual intercourse problems - Medication or counseling can help in improving fertility in cases of premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction
- Hormone Treatment and medication - When a body starts using hormones differently or when infertility is caused by the high or low level of hormones then in this case doctors may prescribe various medicine to increase sperm count.
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART) - With the advanced development in the medical and health sectors this procedure is one of the really successful techniques that is used to make a couple pregnant. In this procedure, the sperm is taken either by normal ejaculation, surgical procedures, or from a donor depending on the case. Then the sperm is inserted into the female uterus or used in the process of in vitro fertilization(IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
What are the Ayurvedic treatments available to increase male fertility?
Wondering how to increase sperm count naturally, ayurveda is your answer. Vajikarana is the branch of Ayurveda that deals with sexual health. Vandhyatwa is the word that means infertility in Ayurveda that is the inability of a couple to conceive a child. In order to cure infertility Ayurveda has some excellent treatments along with eating good food for sexual health.
- Panchakarma treatment : With this extremely effective treatment therapy by which the doshas are brought back on track. Panchakarma treatment for male infertility includes:
- Uttara vasti - It is putting medical oil into the bladder of male through urethra. It can also be done in females by putting medical oil into the uterus through the cervix.
- Ayurvedic Medicines : Ayurvedic medicine to increase sperm count or male fertility are classified as
- Balya it increase the strength of the body
- Brumhana helps to provide necessary nutrition to the body
- Vrishya helps to increase fertility.
- Vajikarana dravyas : Dravyas means substances(drugs). Ayurveda has some secret benefits that can be really helpful for sexual wellness. Vajikarana dravyas that are very helpful to treat infertility:
- Medicine to enhance semen – milk, ghee, shatavari, ashwagandha etc.
- Semen purifiers – sugarcane, kushtha etc.
- medicines promoting the fertilization capacity in semen- brahmi, shatavri, guduchi etc.
- To increase libido- kesar, garlic, long pepper, lavanga (clove) etc.
- To cure premature ejaculation- nutmeg, ashwagandha, chandana etc.
When male fertility treatment is ineffective?
In rare cases, the problem of male infertility is not cured by any treatment and it is impossible for that man to become a father. In such cases, doctors may recommend the patient to use donor sperm or even adopt a child.
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- Which are the foods to increase male fertility?
Foods to increase male fertility are: Eggs, spinach, Bananas, Maca roots, Asparagus, dark chocolate, walnuts, zinc-rich food, and pumpkin seeds.
2. Which are the fruits to increase sperm count and motility?
Fruits to increase sperm count and motility include bananas help to increase male libido and stimulate intimate organs. Other fruits like lemon, oranges, etc, that contain vitamin A, C, etc. are very beneficial to increase the quality and quantity of sperm.
3. What juices increase sperm count?
Pomegranate juice is the best to boost male fertility.it improves the semen quality and sperm count.