What Is Male Infertility?
An infertility diagnosis is given to a couple who are not able to conceive over a one year period. Male infertility is when the problem results from the male partner. Statistics show that male infertility has contributed to approximately 30 percent of all cases of infertility.
Fertility of any man may be affected by any of the following factors:
The concentration of sperm in a given quantity of semen is one determinant factor of male fertility. A low sperm count may be caused by various factors, such as a preexisting genetic disorder, severe mumps infection occurring after puberty, and the abuse of alcohol and drugs.
Exposure to radiation and poisonous chemicals may also reduce the sperm count. Other causes include blockage of the tubules due to a previous infection or a hormone disorder.
This refers to a situation in which a man is unable to develop and sustain an erection during intercourse. It is also known as impotence.
Also called sex drive, libido is defined as the urge or desire to have sex. Some foods and supplements can be taken to boost libido in both men and women. They are known as aphrodisiacs.
The quality of sperm is determined by its ability to swim to gain access to the egg. Sperm motility is determined by the percentage of sperms moving in a given sample of semen. Low mobility may result from inflamed testicles or swollen veins in the scrotum. The swollen veins may also block the tubules, affecting the movement of the sperm. Poor sperm mobility may also arise from abnormally developed testicles.
Ejaculation refers to the release of sperm from the male reproductive organ. Ejaculation problems may result from premature ejaculation or complications due to radiotherapy or a surgical procedure. Retrograde ejaculation can also lead to male infertility. This refers to a situation in which the semen is forced back into the bladder. Erectile dysfunction may also lead to ejaculation issues.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone. Testosterone plays various roles in the body, including the development of the sex organs such as the testes and the prostate gland. It also promotes the development of male sexual characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass. Low levels of testosterone in the body can contribute to male infertility.
How To Boost Male Fertility
Male infertility may be caused by various factors such as genetics, diseases, and poor general health. The unhealthy lifestyle of an individual and the diet they are following may also contribute to male infertility. Some nutrients can boost fertility more than others. In this article, we are going to discuss a few evidence-based methods of increasing the male sperm count and fertility in general.
1. D-Aspartic Acid Supplements
D-aspartic acid is a form of aspartic acid. It is an amino acid that is available as a supplement. D-aspartic acid is likely to be confused with the L-aspartic acid that is involved in the formation of the protein structures in the body. It is also the most common compared to the D-aspartic acid. However, D-aspartic acid is the one that can help improve fertility.
The compound is commonly found in glands, especially the testicle glands. It is also present in semen and, by proxy, in the sperm. According to research work, D-aspartic acid plays a big role in male infertility. The levels of the compound in infertile men is low compared to the levels in fertile males.
Studies have also revealed that supplementation of D-aspartic acid may boost the levels of testosterone hormone in the body.
An observational study was performed in infertile men who were given 2.66 grams of D-aspartic acid for three months. It was observed that the levels of testosterone increased by 30-60 percent. The sperm count and mobility also increased by 60-100 percent.
There was also a record increase in the number of pregnancies conceived among the participants. However, more research work needs to be done to find out the potential risks that are involved with the use of the D-aspartic acid supplement and how they can be minimized.
2. Regular Exercises
Besides improving the level of confidence and physical appearance of an individual, daily exercises may also increase the levels of testosterone present in the body. Studies have revealed that men who exercise on a regular basis have a higher concentration of testosterone hormone than those who live an inactive life.
According to health experts, testosterone levels may increase after exercise, but the effect may not last for long. It is advisable to perform regular exercise activities to benefit from its effects.
One of the leading causes of low testosterone levels is being overweight. Obesity forms a big part of the problem in many infertile males. Endocrinologists suggest that exercise can help raise testosterone levels by cutting off some of the excess weight.
Research suggests that testosterone levels may vary throughout the day depending on the type of activities being performed. Strength-training exercise in the evening has a great impact on the levels of the hormone in the body.
However, too much exercise may actually result in the reduction of testosterone levels. It is important to maintain a careful balance by performing sufficient exercise without overwhelming the body. An adequate intake of zinc alongside training activities may also boost the levels of testosterone.
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a medicinal herb that is commonly grown in India. Studies have revealed that the herb may boost male fertility by increasing testosterone levels.
A study that was conducted on men with infertility problems concluded that the intake of 675mg of the herb for three months improves fertility in men. The specific benefits derived from the herb include an increase in the sperm count by 167 percent, an increase in semen volume by 53 percent, and improved sperm mobility by 57 percent.
All these contributed to improved fertility in the men who took part in the study. Minimal improvements were observed among the participants who were given placebo treatment.
According to the study, an increase in testosterone levels was the primary cause of the health benefits and increased fertility experienced by participants.
Another study involving 57 young men was carried out to find out the possible effects of Ashwagandha. The participants were put on a strength-training program, and later 600 milligrams of the herb was administered to them.
It was observed that daily consumption of the Ashwagandha root extract might significantly increase the levels of the testosterone hormone. Besides its effects on testosterone, it also boosts muscle mass, sperm mobility, and antioxidant levels in the body.
4. Fenugreek Supplements
The Fenugreek supplement, also known as Trigonella foenum-graecum, is a popular culinary herb, but it also has medicinal properties.
A study was conducted among 30 individuals who strength-trained four times on a weekly basis. The objective of the study was to find out the effects of Fenugreek supplements on their training and results. The men were given 500 milligrams of the supplement daily.
The results showed a significant increase in the testosterone levels, as well as an increase in fat loss and energy levels.
Another separate study was carried out on 60 healthy males who were put on 600 milligrams of Testofen. This is a supplement that is produced from the Fenugreek seed extracts. The participants took Testofen on a daily basis for six weeks. The results indicated an increase in libido, sexual performance, and strength.
The findings of the research work were confirmed by another study that was performed on 120 healthy males. The participants of the study were put on 600 milligrams of Testofen on a daily basis for three months. The results indicated an improvement in erectile dysfunction, as well as the frequency of sexual activity. The supplement was also reported to have increased the levels of testosterone in the body.
Zinc is an essential dietary mineral to the body. The mineral plays various roles in the body, such as boosting the body’s immune system and promoting the process of cell division. Studies have suggested that low levels of zinc in the body can lead to low testosterone levels.
However, the exact mechanism by which the enzyme affects the levels of testosterone is not properly understood. It is thought that zinc may have an impact on the cells in the testes that synthesize testosterone.
Experts suggest that a properly guided supplementation of the body with the mineral may help raise testosterone levels. A study was conducted to find out the effects of magnesium and zinc supplementation on testosterone levels. It was found that a daily intake of 30 milligrams of zinc may help to boost testosterone levels.
The mineral can be obtained from foods such as eggs, fish, meat, and shellfish. Adequate consumption of these foods is thought to be a cornerstone in male fertility. An observational study revealed that low levels of zinc in the body are closely related to the low testosterone levels. The study also revealed that an intake of the mineral might reduce the decrease of testosterone that may result from high-intensity exercises.
6. Tribulus Terrestris
Also known as puncturevine, Tribulus Terrestris is an herb that is commonly used to boost male fertility. The herb is mostly recommended for male health, including urogenital health and cardiovascular health specifically. Its libido-enhancing properties and testosterone-boosting properties have caused this herb to grow in popularity across the world.
A study was conducted in humans to find out the effects of Tribulus on sexual performance and erectile dysfunction. The study confirmed an increase in libido and an improvement in occurrences of erectile dysfunction.
The herb is thought to exert its activity by enhancing the androgen receptor density in the brain. As a result, the libido-enhancing property of androgens is increased.
The fruits of the herbaceous plant have also been found to protect the body’s organs, especially the kidneys, from damage by free radicals roaming in the body.
Another study was conducted in men who had been diagnosed with a low sperm count. The participants were administered six grams of the Tribulus root on a daily basis for two months. The results indicated an improvement in libido and erectile dysfunction.
7. Vitamin D
The journal of Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology recently published a report that showed the impact of vitamin D on fertility in males. The report linked vitamin D deficiency to various reproductive disorders in males, including hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction. Vitamin D receptors are located in the testes and the male reproductive organ. This suggests that the vitamin acts locally to mediate the activities in the male reproductive organ.
A study that was conducted on laboratory animals found that vitamin D deficiency may lead to a low sperm count and an impaired sperm mobility in the semen.
A separate observational study revealed that men with low levels of vitamin D also have inadequate amounts of the sex hormones. A controlled study was done in 65 men who had been diagnosed with low testosterone levels as well as vitamin D deficiency. The findings of the study confirmed that the levels of vitamin D in the body correlates to the testosterone levels available.
An intake of 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 on a daily basis for one year may raise the testosterone hormone levels by 25 percent. High amounts of the vitamin in the body are also linked to enhanced sperm count and motility.
8. Vitamin C
When the concentration of the reactive oxygen species increases in the body, one is likely to encounter oxidative stress. During oxidative stress, the body’s antioxidants are overwhelmed due to various factors such as aging, unhealthy lifestyle, and diseases.
The reactive oxygen species are normally produced in the body and their concentration is kept in check by the antioxidants present in healthy bodies. High levels of reactive oxygen species may lead to tissue injuries and an increased risk of developing chronic diseases.
Scientific evidence is available that explains how oxidative stress and high levels of the reactive oxygen species may lead to male infertility. The intake of adequate antioxidants such as vitamin C may help relieve the harmful effects resulting from these reactive oxygen species. Some evidence also suggests that vitamin C is capable of improving the quality of semen.
A study was conducted in infertile men to find out the effects of vitamin C on male fertility. It was found that the intake of 100 milligrams of vitamin C twice daily for two months improved sperm motility by 92 percent. The sperm count was also increased by over 100 percent. The amount of deformed sperm was also reduced by 55 percent.
A different observational study in industrial workers from India indicated that an intake of 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C five times weekly for three months protects the sperm cells from damage caused by reactive oxygen species.
9. Relaxation And Minimization Of Stress
Studies have revealed that stress can lower sexual satisfaction and impair fertility. The adverse effects of stress can partially be explained based on the effects of the cortisol hormone.
Prolonged levels of stress have been shown to increase the concentration of cortisol hormones in the body. Increased levels of the hormone may lower testosterone levels in the body. When the level of cortisol is increased, the availability of testosterone is reduced.
Mild levels of stress can be alleviated using numerous relaxation techniques. However, severe and unexplained levels of anxiety may require treatment with antianxiety medication or therapy, about which you should consult with your doctor. A simple walk, meditation, or a relaxing bath can all help reduce mild stress without the need for any further treatment.
10. Maca Root
Maca root originated from Central Peru. It is a traditional plant food that is used to improve libido and fertility in men. Studies have revealed that an intake of 3 grams of Maca root for a three-month period enhanced self-reported sexual desire and libido in men.
Studies have also demonstrated that the intake of Maca root may enhance sexual performance. According to studies, the administration of 2.4 grams of Maca root to men diagnosed with infertility resulted in a self-reported improvement in erectile function and general sexual wellbeing.
It was also found out that the intake of 1.75 grams of Maca root for three months could lead to an increase in sperm count and mobility.
Several reviews have confirmed the findings of these studies. However, according to the researchers, more studies need to be done on the effects of Maca root on the testosterone hormone.
Additional Tips On How To Improve Male Fertility
Other ways that can be used to boost male fertility involve living a healthy lifestyle, as an unhealthy lifestyle may impair fertility. Studies have also suggested that obesity may result in infertility in men, so losing excess weight is another way of boosting male fertility.
Heavy alcohol consumption is thought to reduce testosterone levels available in the body. Too much consumption of soy may also impair fertility in men. A diet that is rich in folate may help to reduce the risks that are associated with male infertility.
Male Fertility Boosters Conclusion
Infertility is a common problem that affects men across the world. Those suffering from male infertility should focus on improving their general health to reduce the risks associated with the problem. The solutions provided in this article are all major components of a healthy lifestyle.
It is not a guarantee that they will work to solve every infertility problem. However, if the infertility is as a result of nutrient deficiency, the tips provided will definitely help.