Whenever there is a talk about fertility, 7 out of 10 of these discussions are directed to the female. Understandably, we believe it is the female that tries to get pregnant and deliver a child.
However, conceiving a baby is a joint effort. Thus, the man must be able to produce fertile sperm that will penetrate the woman’s egg. Studies have revealed that about 20% percent of couple infertility cases are from the male side.
According to Reproductive facts, the chance for a healthy couple, having unprotected sex consistently to conceive is 20-37% within 3 months, about 75% within 6 months, and 90% within a year. Then, if they couldn’t conceive within a year, there’s a 50% chance that they will in the following year. Beyond this, there might be fire on the mountain.
What does infertility in Men entail?
Fertility is the ability to reproduce by natural means. Male fertility is an internal ability that enables man to naturally produce healthy sperm that fertilizes the woman.
According to the US Office on Women’s Health (OWH), fertilizing the woman’s egg to make a baby requires the man to:
- Have and keep an erection
- Have enough sperm with the right mobility and shape
- Release enough semen take carries the sperm to the egg for fertilization.
Thus an infertile man will be one that cannot start and complete the listed steps successfully. It could an inability in one, two or all. Ultimately, a problem with one reduces the chances of the man to fertilize the egg.
WHAT ARE COMMON INFERTILITY CONDITIONS?
Firstly, erectile dysfunction or impotence - the inability to have and keep an erection weakens the chance of a man to impregnate a woman naturally. The penis must be hard enough to penetrate the woman and allow the ejaculate to be conveyed to the ovary.
Erectile dysfunction doesn’t mean infertility. With different medical aids out there, men suffering from erectile dysfunction can still make babies.
Viagra (sildenafil) and tadalafil (Cialis) are one of the best and most effective drugs for curing erectile dysfunction. They will help increase blood flow to the penis, making it erect enough to start successful intercourse.
Other common drugs like vardenafil (Levitra), Cenforce, and avanafil (Stendra) are verified and effective for erectile dysfunction.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
This is a combination of many factors, which can either be psychological or physical. Having a low sex drive (also called Libido) can cause erectile dysfunction (or impotence). The lack of desire to have sex would affect the hormone’s response to penis erection.
Low libido problems can be solved by taking foods or supplements called aphrodisiacs that help to increase sex drive.
Then, sperm mobility and sperm count are the next crucial step in fertilization.
Sperm count refers to the amount of healthy, viable sperm present in the semen. According to WHO guidelines, a healthy sperm count should be at least 15 million sperm per millilitre (ml) per ejaculate. Anything below 15 million per ml is considered a low sperm count and can affect fertility in men.
On the other hand, Sperm motility is the ability of the sperms in the semen to swim. As we know, of the millions of sperm present in the semen, only the sperm that can swim to the egg will fertilize it. Thus, healthy sperm mobility is as important as having a good sperm count.
Common issues associated with sperm count mobility include; having too few sperms (oligospermia), undetectable sperm (azoospermia), wrongly shaped sperm (teratozoospermia) or sperm mobility issues (asthenospermia).
Also know about medicines to treat ED
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF MALE INFERTILITY?
Infertility in men is a result of a variety of factors. It can be as simple as the results of an unhealthy lifestyle and diet. Sometimes, it could be from hormonal imbalances, psychological problems or physical conditions.
It should be noted that only a small percentage of male infertility conditions are hormonal.
Chains of hormonal events lead to the effective production and dissemination of sperm by the testes. The hypothalamus-pituitary endocrine system is charged with this responsibility and rarely does something go wrong with this system.
Some known conditions that lead to male infertility owing to hormonal imbalances include:
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia which is when the activities of the pituitary endocrine system are suppressed by increased levels of adrenal androgens. This condition, usually found in 1% of infertile men causes low sperm count, immature sperm cells and low sperm mobility.
- Hypothyroidism, a condition of low thyroid levels leads to poor semen quality and testicular function. It is mainly caused by high iodine intake in diets and can also disturb the male sex drive.
- Hyperprolactinemia is a condition of increased levels of prolactin leading to impotence, sperm reduction, and low libido.
- Panhypopituitarism is another hormonal condition that is very deadly. It is when the pituitary gland fails to lead to low endocrine gland system functions. There will be lower hormonal growth, thereby causing lethargy, erectile dysfunction, undersized testicles, and decreased libido.
When it comes to physical problems, many conditions can also cause male infertility. They interfere with the sperm production process, disrupt the sperm mobility pathway and cause abnormal sperm morphology. Few common conditions include;
- Varicocele, which is the enlargement of the internal spermatic veins which drain blood from the testicle to the abdomen. It develops when one of the valves is damaged leading to abnormal blood backflow to the scrotum. This leads to poor development or mostly inability of sperm formulation
- Torsion, a supportive tissue abnormality also affect fertility. It twists the testes inside the scrotum causing extreme swelling. If not treated on time, it can lead to permanent infertility.
- Retrograde ejaculation, a condition whereby the semen in the ejaculate volume is reduced owing to the wrong channelling of the semen to the bladder. This happens when the bladder sphincter doesn’t close during ejaculation.
- Infections and diseases also play a major role in male infertility. Gonorrhoea, tuberculosis, syphilis, influenza, smallpox amongst other infections can cause testicular deterioration. They lead to blockage of the sperm tubes or epididymis, low sperm count and sperm mobility in some cases.
Just like hormonal imbalances, psychological problems contribute just a small percentage to the general male infertility cases out there. Premature ejaculation, ejaculatory incompetence, low libido, and erectile dysfunction (or impotence) are amongst the common conditions that contribute to infertility. Many of these conditions are results of psychological problems such as anxiety, low self-esteem, and guilt amongst others. Other common causes of erectile dysfunction are health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stress, heart diseases and sometimes, side effects of medications.
As mentioned, many infertility cases result from an unhealthy lifestyle. The body health and diet decide a lot of things about us. For fertility, many lifestyles have a significant negative impact.
Smoking and chronic alcohol abuse are top of this list. Many pieces of research have found them to contribute to sperm count and sperm mobility atrophy. Lack of particular vitamins and exposure to some chemicals also contribute to the infertility quota.
So, it is noteworthy to mention that, beyond the high procedure of medical interventions, fertility in men can be boosted naturally!
BOOST MALE FERTILITY, NATURALLY!
Firstly, we should know that infertility isn’t a death sentence!
Today, there are several medical procedures as well as verified medicine that can help boost male fertility. But, as the popular saying goes that “Charity begins at home”.
Living a healthy lifestyle, eating good and taking better care of the body is the first aid to boosting fertility. According to Dr. Staton Honig of Yale Medical Urology, “A good general health also means a good reproductive function”. What is good for general health is good for the sperm too!
Diet, exercise, and monitoring body health are the top ways to boost male fertility naturally. More specifically, we’ve curated top hacks that will help maintain a natural boost to male fertility at home.
Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About Infertility
BOOST MALE FERTILITY NATURALLY THROUGH A REGULATED DIET
The impact of diet cannot be overemphasized when it comes to our well-being. Many times when a medical condition is to be controlled, watching the diet is always at the forefront.
So, yes! Diet can help boost male fertility!
From foods, fruits and supplements, there are lots of recommendations to help boost male fertility naturally through a regulated diet.
According to research by Ross et. al., on the effect of antioxidants on male infertility, it was found out that male fertility can be boosted by taking antioxidants in supplement form. Men take took antioxidant food supplements were noticed to have less DNA damaged sperms.
In the study, Zinc, vitamin C, Selenium, Vitamin E, Lycopene and Folic acid were specifically studied and found to improve sperm health. To that effect, food that has a high content of the following antioxidants are advised.
Crabs, oysters, beans, red meat are good sources of Zinc, Vitamin C are found in fruits and vegetables, especially oranges, kiwi and grapefruits. Likewise, Nuts, oils, leafy greens, and nuts are a good source for Vitamin E. Selenium can be found in high content in Brazil nuts, walnut, and hazelnuts. It can also be found in tuna, chicken, and beef. Lycopene is more related to tomatoes, watermelon, and apricots while high content of folic acid is found in vegetables, fortified grains, and peas.
As much as these food supplements are advised, taking them in moderation and regulated manner is advised. Overdosed can cause an additional problem to the body.
Chavarro et. al. also discovered, in their study that too much intake of soy affects male fertility. Although, it was noted to not be that bad, as it could be useful for cancer prevention.
However, people who are obese are advised to reduce their intake greatly while other people only need to prevent too much of it. Equally, food with high chemical content should be avoided.
BOOST MALE FERTILITY NATURALLY THROUGH A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
The impact of a healthy lifestyle goes a long way in improving our general health. Thus, naturally, it affects our reproductive life too.
Stress, as noted under psychological causes of infertility is an important phenomenon to work on. As much as we might not be able to avoid stress totally, neutralizing it with a good sleeping culture it the much needed.
A study at Harbin Medical University in China showed that men who had less than 6 hours of sleep had a lower sperm count compared to those that slept longer. Aside from fertility, a lot of health conditions are linked to chronic lack of sleep and should be one top lifestyle that men suffering from low fertility should adjust.
As noted with sleep, exercising moderately has also been detected to affect male fertility. Research from Urmia University, Iran in 2016 showed that half an hour of moderate exercise thrice a week can boost male fertility naturally by one-fifth.
The emphasis was put on “moderate” exercise as excess will heighten the body hormonal balance, giving more side effects than cure.
Smoking and high alcohol intake are the next on the lifestyle toning down mission!
Ordinarily, without fertility in the scene, these two habits aren’t in any way helpful to the healthy. Alcohol naturally limits the absorption of zinc into the body, thus reducing its sperm health improvement abilities.
Smoking has so many bad effects on it. From lung damage to reducing semen quality. Gaur et. al., found out in their research that quitting smoking can greatly improve fertility. It was said that smoking affects sperm health especially sperm mobility, morphology, and mobility.
So, why not give it up? At least, for you and your partner to conceive that good looking baby you longed for!
Another thing to avoid is any activity that will lead to excessive heat, like having a sauna bath. Nikolopoulos et. al. found out that high temperatures can damage sperm. Hence, a reason why the penis and scrotum are outside the body, to cool off, at a temperature lower than the body temperature.
So, it is best to avoid heat near the scrotum. Wearing tight pants or keeping the laptop on the laps, close to the scrotum for long should be avoided.
It is no news that infertility is not a female household title. The man needs to contribute his quota to the fertilization process.
Also, some causes of reduced fertility in men were noted. Diet and the kind of lifestyle the man lives contributes a large amount to the causes of infertility.
Although, many medical procedures help to combat infertility, ultimately, embracing natural means of boosting male fertility is greatly needed. Other than the fact that they don’t need too many procedures, it is basically about consciously taking better care of oneself!
So, by adopting natural remedies to boost male fertility, you are helping your general health.
Tags: Foods to increase male fertility, Medicine to increase sperm count, Causes of fertility
John Mattew is a passionate writer with a professional degree in Creative Writing. He specializes in the Sexual Health category for Cheap Medicine Shop and spends most of the time discussing the research studies with his colleagues. He is a very organised individual and makes sure to inculcate discipline in whatever he does. Fitness and sports are two topics, John can talk about day in and day out.