Male infertility means a man is not able to start a pregnancy with his female partner. In more clear words, Male infertility is a man’s inability to produce any sperm or to produce sperm that is of adequate quality to fertilize a female egg.
Infertility is the inability of couples to get pregnant after one year of non-contraceptive, regular sexual intercourse. For 40 percent of infertile couples, male infertility is a contributing factor.
Infertility has traditionally been thought of as a woman’s problem. But as it turns out, men don’t get off that easily. About one out of every three cases of infertility is due to the man alone, and men are somehow involved in infertility about half the time.
What happens in normal fertile conditions?
Sperm are made in the testicles. They’re then stored inside yards of “plumbing” called the epididymis, which lies on top of each testicle. Sperm are nourished by semen, which is made by glands along the way. When the magic moment arrives, about 150 million sperm are ejaculated in a half-teaspoon of semen through the penis.
This whole process hinges on there being proper levels of testosterone and other hormones as well as correct signaling from the nervous system.
Women ovulate — send an egg down into the uterus — once a month. This happens about 14 days after menstruation. Sex any time in the five days before ovulation can create a pregnancy. Sex any other time, even the next day after ovulation, will not result in conception.
• Impotence, which is the inability to have and keep an erect penis during sex, is one physical sign of male infertility.
• Retrograde ejaculation, which results in a “dry orgasm,” as the semen is not ejaculated out of the body but into the male’s bladder, is another symptom of male fertility problems.
• Genetic and chromosomal disorders and problems with sperm production and delivery present no symptoms.
Many biological and environmental factors can impact your fertility. The possible causes may includes –
• Azoospermia: Your infertility can be related to your inability to produce sperm cells.
• Oligospermia: The production of low or poor quality sperm.
• Genetic diseases: Examples include Klinefeflter’s syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, microdeletion and more.
• Malformed sperm: Sperm that cannot live long enough to fertilize the egg.
• Some medical conditions: Examples include diabetes, some autoimmune disorders, cystic fibrosis and some infections.
• Some medications and supplements.
• Variococle: This is a condition where the veins on your testicles are larger than normal, causing them to overheat, which can affect the shape or number of your sperm.
• Cancer treatments: Chemotherapy, radiation or a surgery that removes the testicles (one or both).
• Unhealthy habits: Substance use, including alcohol, smoking and drugs.
• Trauma to your testes.
• Hormonal disorders: Disorders that affect your hypothalamus or pituitary glands can affect your infertility.
Risk Factors –
You may be more likely to have male infertility if you have had –
• Past inflammation of the prostate or past genital infections
• Injury to or twisting (torsion) of the testicles
• Early or late puberty
• Exposure of the genitals to high temperatures
• Hernia repair
• Undescended testicles
You may also be at risk if you take certain prescription medicines. These include medicines for ulcers, psoriasis, depression, and high blood pressure.
To work out the cause of your infertility, your doctor will usually order a semen analysis or blood test to measure your hormone levels. They might test for infections, or send you to get an ultrasound to look at the structure of your testicles and other scrotal contents. In some cases, a testicular biopsy might be needed for diagnosis.
Treatments for male-related infertility include –
• Holistic fertility and lifestyle changes can alter such negative health habits as obesity, unhealthy diet and smoking, all of which affect fertility
• Intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves the collection, washing (cleaning) and concentration of healthy sperm that are then placed directly into the uterus
• IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an advanced laboratory procedure that involves the injection of a single healthy sperm into an egg to create an embryo, which is implanted into a woman’s uterus
• Sperm retrieval for men who cannot ejaculate or produce semen involves retrieval of semen from the testicles using a small needle
• Vasectomy reversal enables a man to once again produce healthy sperm in his semen
• Sperm donation is the use of another male’s sperm to fertilize a woman’s egg
• Hormone therapy and medications may be recommended to alter high or low hormone levels that affect fertility.
In Ayurvedic terms, dravya denotes the medicine or drug used for treatment. For male infertility, certain dravyas are used to provide Balya (those which increase the strength of the body), brumhana (those which provide necessary nutrition to the body) and vrishya (those which increase fertility).
Some of the recommended dravyas are cow’s milk, cow’s ghee, honey, ashwagandha, bala, shatavari, triphala, shilajitu, musali pak, chyawanaprasha, vrishya vati, kushmanda avaleha, rasayana vati that are known to be helpful in maintaining sexual wellness.
A special branch of Ayurveda developed to treat infertility issues is Vajikarana. Some of the Vajikarana dravyas include:
• Semen enhancing dravyas – milk, ghee, shatavari, ashwagandha etc.
• Semen purifying dravyas – sugarcane, kushtha etc.
• Dravyas promoting the fertilization capacity in semen- brahmi, shatavri, guduchi etc.
• For libido increasing- kesar, garlic, long pepper, lavanga (clove) etc.
• Dravyas preventing premature ejaculation- nutmeg, ashwagandha, chandana etc.
Exercises and Yoga
Regular exercise, yoga, and eating balanced meals helps in keeping the mind, body and soul balanced. Include the following yogasanas in your daily yoga practice.
• padmasana (lotus pose)
• paschimottanasana (seated forward bend)
• bhujangasana (cobra pose)
• sarvangasana (shoulder stand)
• praivritta trikonasana (twisted triangle pose)
For more informative articles on Reproductive health and other health related issues, please visit our website www.santripty.com and also feel free to consult with our experienced team of doctors, get benefits and stay healthy.
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