If a man is unable to impregnate a woman even after a year of unprotected sex without the use of any contraceptive measures whatsoever, and during the most fertile periods of the woman, doctors interpret it as a case of male infertility. In one fifth of all such cases both partners might be reasonably responsible for the failure of the woman to conceive, however there is a higher 50/50 chance that the male partner is infertile in such cases. While it is generally agreed that the higher the sperm count in the man, the higher the chances of impregnating a woman, it is still not decided by researchers as to how much sperm is necessary in one ejaculation to state fertility in a normal healthy male.
The presence of anatomical defects or scar tissue formation, in the recovery process of the reproductive tract from infection is responsible for infertility in some men. However the underlying causes or reasons for infertility is unidentifiable in most cases of infertility in men, it is therefore difficult to pinpoint a cause for the disorder and hence the proper treatment methodology. Sperm is manufactured in the testes through the stimulation of the male hormone testosterone, a low sperm count results in a large number of infertile men due to a reduction in the levels of testosterone in the body. However, fertility is not controlled only by the amount of sperm produced by a man, and other determinants or factors for full-fledged fertility exist as far as male fertility is concerned. Motility of sperm is very important, motility is simply the activity displayed by the sperm, an active sperm is a healthy sperm and a high percentage of the sperm in a single emission must be healthy and motile for the male to be able to impregnate a woman successfully. Naturally occurring renegade molecules in the body called free radicals can very easily destroy sperms because of their fragile characteristics. Levels of both the free radicals and of the testosterone hormone can be affected by a large variety of factors and underlying reasons. Such factors can include smoking, deficient or poor nutrition; psychological factors like stress and even the consumption of alcohol. Conception is also often hindered because sperm motility can be interfered with or altered by several prescription medications as a side effect.
Supplements and herbs
Anatomical defects as a result of scarring or otherwise can be dealt effectively through some form of surgery or via a surgical process. Supplementation is a good way to go about dealing with infertility in many men and should always be tried out. These supplements are not age specific and can prove useful to the sufferer from infertility problems belonging to any age group. A general difference between in fertility in men and women is that male fertility is not age dependant unlike female fertility, which recedes after the age of 35, and stops altogether with menopause. This has been demonstrated by observing sperm, and the health and motility of sperm collected from men in their 60's is not any different from men in their 30's in a study conducted on 240 couples undergoing in vitro fertilization. Prolonged supplements is the most effective way to deal with male infertility and supplementation should continue for a minimum of several months or longer time periods for best results. The supplements that are given here are generally considered safe health wise as far as long term use is considered.
Sperm protection from free radicals in the body is assured through the use of a potent mixture of such antioxidants in supplemental form like the vitamin C, the vitamin E, and mixed carotenoids in combination doses. Partly through its action of preventing the clumping together of sperms, the motility of spermatozoa is increased to a great degree by the vitamin C, as this vitamin is often lacking in heavy smokers, it may be very helpful in addressing infertility with particular reference to men who smoke.
Supplementation with mineral zinc and the oil of flaxseed may greatly benefit infertile men. An increase sperm count and a boost in the testosterone production are some of the important roles played by zinc in many men. Supplements of copper must inevitably follow this use of zinc as the mineral affects the level of copper in the body adversely, interfering with its absorption in many cases. The health of sperm is promoted by the essential fatty acid content of supplements like the oil of the flaxseed among other important functions. Sperm motility and sperm count is also improved by the action of an additional supplement like the amino acid arginine. Problems with infertility can be dealt with in about three months time of treatment with arginine, and this amino acid is most effective for long term use.
More than one herbal therapies or concoctions can be used in a combination dose with the supplements listed above in dealing with male infertility. The formation of sperm and the stimulation of testosterone production are achieved through the use of the Panax ginseng herb. The Siberian ginseng may also induce this same function, and this herb can be alternated with the Panax ginseng every three weeks to get optimal results. Herbal therapies made from the pygeum africanum herb in dosages of 100 mg of the standardized extract taken two times daily can also be used to effectively deal with male infertility. Men suffering from some form of prostate problems and consequent infertility may particularly benefit from this herbal therapy.
Additional things you may do
It is important to reduce intake or to avoid the consumption of alcohol altogether. Smoking is very detrimental to health as well as to sperm production and if you smoke it is best to quit the habit immediately. Utilize alternative physical relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation, and other stress beating exercises to bring down or defeat psychological factors and to improve overall health.
- Siberian ginseng, 100-300 mg two times a day; alternate with Panax ginseng.
- Panax ginseng, 100-250 mg two times daily; alternate with Siberian ginseng.
- Flaxseed oil, one tbsp (14 gr) daily, in the morning.
- Vitamin E, 400 IU two times daily. If you take anticoagulant medications, check with the doctor.
- Vitamin C, 1,000 mg thrice daily. If diarrhea develops, reduce the dose.
- Copper / Zinc, 2 mg copper and 30 mg zinc daily. Use zinc for at least one month before adding copper.
- Arginine, 500 mg L-arginine four times daily for three months with mixed amino acids. Not recommended for patients with genital herpes or kidney disease, or who are prone to cold sores.
- Carotenoids, one pill mixed carotenoids two times daily with food. Should contain 25,000 IU vitamin A.
Other beneficial herbs