- Male infertility is the inability to cause pregnancy in your female partner who is fertile
- ART methods, surgical methods and hormonal therapy are the treatment options
- Smoking, alcohol, over 40 years of age, diabetes and drugs affect male fertility
- Sperm problems largely associated with male infertility
The ability to get pregnant after having sexual intercourse without the use of contraception is known as fertility. When a couple is unable to become parents over the course of one year, infertility diagnosis is recommended for them. When the male partner has problems related to fertility, then it is called as male infertility. It is said that male infertility accounts for 30% of all infertility cases.
Studies show that 15% of couples are unable to get conceived after a complete 1 year of having regular unprotected sex, and about 10% of couples are not capable to conceive successfully even after 2 years. Among healthy and younger couples below the age of 30, 20% to 37% of them are successfully conceiving within the first 3 months of unprotected sexual intercourse .
In this article
Male Infertility Symptoms
There are no clear and obvious male infertility symptoms except the inability to conceive a child. Most of the men do not notice symptoms of infertility other than the inability to give birth to their offspring.
However other signs and male infertility symptoms that are associated are:
- Ejaculation issues:
- Facing difficulty with ejaculation: Men who face difficulty with ejaculation or can only ejaculate a very small amount of fluid- this small amount of semen may contain a very less number of active sperm cells that are needed to fertilize an egg.
- Premature Ejaculatory problem: A condition where the male person will sooner ejaculate than his partner. If ejaculation does not happen within the vagina of the female partner, that can cause conception problems.
- Retrograde Ejaculation: A condition where semen is forced back to flow into the bladder.
- Inability to maintain an erection:
- Erectile dysfunction: A condition where a male is unable to maintain an erection. According to studies, there is a reciprocal relation between infertility and sexual dysfunction .
- Low sexual desire:
- A very low or reduced desire to have sex: it retains the person to have sex when the partner is ovulating and thus leads to delayed conception.
- Presence of pain, swelling or lump like in testicle region: It may indicate a varicocele or injury to testes or a testicular torsion condition. These are common causes of male fertility problems.
- Hormonal issues:
- Gynecomastia: Which is an abnormal growth of breast, indicates a hormonal imbalance between estrogen and testosterone.
- Reduced hair on face and body: Due to lower testosterone hormone. If this is less, fertility chances in a male are lowered.
- Problems associated with the smelling sense: Here, infertility is due to the deficiency of hormones that are released by the hypothalamus and testes. This is seen in Kallman’s syndrome, a genetic disorder seen in both the genders and is very rare. In this condition, one's puberty is never fully started or finished.
- Respiratory tract infections and infertility are seen in Kartegener’s syndrome, an autosomal recessive disorder, also called Primary ciliary dyskinesia. In this syndrome, the sperm tail cannot move freely and hence cannot fertilize the egg.
When Is The Right Time To Visit An Infertility Specialist?
It is advised to visit your doctor if you are unable to make your female partner pregnant after one year of unprotected regular sexual intercourse.
Also If you notice any of the following, you should soon consult a doctor:
- If you have an erectile problem or have a low sexual drive.
- Any abnormal swelling, or lump of pain in and around testicles
- Having a history of prostate and testicular medical issues.
- Had any previous surgery to testes, groin, penis, and scrotal region.
Causes for Male Infertility
There are many causes that are responsible for decreased male fertility. The causes can be categorized into medical, environmental, and lifestyle-related .
Medical Causes of Male Infertility
There is a wide range of medical reasons that are responsible for fertility issues in males. Let us discuss some of the medical reasons that create problems of getting conceived.
- Varicocele: This is a condition where the veins within the scrotum are enlarged. This is the common cause of infertility as the male with varicocele condition has lowered sperm production and a decreased sperm quality.
- Infection: There is sometimes reduced sperm production or scarring of the passages through which the sperm pass due to some infections. The infections can be epididymitis- an inflammation of the epididymis, orchitis-an inflammation of the testes, gonorrhoea, or HIV- which are sexually transmitted diseases.
- Retrograde ejaculation: The condition where the semen flows back into the bladder instead of exiting out of the penis during sexual orgasm is called “retrograde ejaculation”. A male person having diabetes, an injury to the spinal cord, due to certain medicines, due to any prior surgery to his bladder, prostate or urethra can have retrograde ejaculation.
- Anti-sperm antibodies: One's own immune system produces antibodies that attack and destroy their own sperm cells. This happens in auto-immune disease. This often causes infertility.
- Tumours: Sometimes infertility may be due to cancerous or benign tumours of male reproductive organs or tumours of the pituitary gland or other unknown causes.
- Testicles that are undescended: A decline in male fertility is likely seen in men having a condition of failed descent of testes into the scrotum from the abdomen. This is a birth defect.
- Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal disorders of pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands cause infertility.
- Problems of sperm transporting tubules: Blockages in tubes of testicles, epididymis, vas deferens, or urethra due to surgery, trauma, or inherited conditions also cause male infertility.
- Defects in chromosomes: Abnormal development of male reproductive organs is seen in inherited diseases like Klinefelter’s syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and Kallmann’s syndrome.
- Sexual problems: These include problems of erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, painful sex, hypospadias, or problems with sexual relationships.
- Celiac disease: It is a digestive disorder that results in infertility. It is due to gluten sensitivity.
- Medications: A decreased male fertility and sperm quality is seen due to the usage of certain steroids and testosterone hormonal therapy, cancer drugs, antifungal, and ulcer medicines.
- Any Previous surgeries: Surgeries like vasectomy, hernia repairs, surgeries of scrotum or testes or prostate, etc prevent the presence of sperm in an ejaculation.
Environmental Causes Affecting Male Fertility
There is a noticeable reduction of sperm count and quality when a male person is being overexposed to heat, toxins, and chemicals. Some of the specific causes of this kind include:
- Exposure to chemicals: Low sperm count is seen when exposed to benzenes, xylene, pesticides, herbicides, and some painting liquids.
- Exposure to heavy metals: infertility results due to lead and other heavy metals exposure.
- Radiation exposure: Permanent damage to sperm production results due to high doses of exposure to radiation.
- Overheating of the testes: Frequent use of hot baths or saunas cause impaired sperm production. Long sitting periods, overworking with laptops, and tight clothing also cause overheating of testes.
Lifestyle Causes That Affect Male Infertility
Apart from other genetic and anatomical issues, diseases, etc, a male person's infertility is also caused by his lifestyle choices. In most of the cases, you can change your own things to enhance fertility levels, without any male fertility treatments or any other medical input.
- Use of recreational drugs: The number and sperm quality are temporarily affected by taking cocaine, marijuana, and anabolic steroids.
- Alcohol: Excess alcohol intake leads to lowered testosterone levels, and erectile dysfunction.
- Smoking of tobacco: Smoking causes low sperm production and paternal smoking also affects male fertility.
- Stress: Prolonged stress is associated with male infertility and causes interference with sperm production. Yoga, meditation, and exercise therapy can lower physical stress levels.
- Depression: Problems with ejaculation like delayed or inhibited ejaculation and, loss of sex drive are linked to severe male depression.
- Bodyweight: Obesity causes impaired hormonal changes that lower male fertility.
Tests for Male Fertility
A thorough physical examination including a full detailed medical history of potential factors that contribute to male infertility is tested. In most of the men having fertility issues, getting the right treatment will resolve the issues.
General body examination with past medical history
A complete examination of the penis, prostate, and the scrotal sac is done here to evaluate the cause for infertility. Your doctor will ask questions related to your inherited disorders if any, chronic health issues, any kind of surgeries or illness, or injuries that are affecting your fertility. Your sexual habits and your development of sexual characters from your puberty time are also discussed by the doctor.
Semen Analysis (Important Part of Male Fertility Tests)
Semen testing reveals problems that are causing infertility. This is the most important step to test male infertility. This helps your doctor to know the number and quality of your sperm.
Specific Markers that are assessed in your semen analysis report and how to interpret the semen analysis report :
- Semen Volume: A volume of 2 millilitres is considered as normal. If you have lower than 2 ml, then there may be an issue with seminal vesicles or ducts that can be blocked and prostate gland issues are indicated. Decreased volume of semen indicates the presence of less number of sperms, and less chance of successful fertilization and pregnancy.
- Sperm count or Sperm concentration or sperm density: The sperm count is measured in millions of sperm per millilitre of semen. A healthy male has about 20 to 30 million sperms per millilitre of semen. This is a normal range. If your count is below 10 million, it is considered a poor sperm count.
- Sperm Morphology: The size and shape of the sperm determine its capacity to reach and fertilize the egg. The size, shape, and appearance of the sperm cells are studied here. Out of the total number of studied sperm cells, more than 50% of the cells should have a normal structure. The abnormal sperms include those with defective heads, tails, midsections, and immature forms. If there are more number of abnormal sperms, there is a greater likelihood of infertility.
- Sperm Motility: The percentage of movement and the number of active cells in sperm are tested . Sperm movement grading is done on the basis of speed and direction travelled. After one hour of ejaculation, 50% of the sperms should maintain movement in a straight line with good speed. Sperm progression is rated on a basis from (no motion) zero to 4, where a range of 3-4 represents good motility. When less than half of the sperms are able to move, a stain is used to know the percentage of the dead sperm present in them and it is known as sperm viability test.
- pH of semen: Your semen pH levels helps to know the acidity of your semen. A normal male has a semen pH ranging between 7.2 to 7.8. If your pH level is low, it means you have acidic semen and can be seen in urine contamination or in obstructed ejaculatory ducts. Whereas, if your semen pH level is more than 7.8, then it is alkaline and is seen in infectious conditions.
- White blood cells in semen: The count of white blood cells should be lower than 1 million per millilitre. If you have a higher count, it indicates inflammation of semen and is associated with male infertility.
- Sperm agglutination: The sperms that are clumped or stuck together is termed as sperm agglutination. It is measured as the percentage of the total number of sperms in a sample. It is graded from 0 to 4, where no agglutination is seen in grade 0 and completely clumped sperms represent grade 4. When you have clumpy sperms, they cannot swim properly and cannot fertilize the egg resulting in infertility issues. It may also indicate a bacterial infection or tissue contamination.
- Viscosity or liquefaction time: When a normal male ejaculate, semen that comes out is thick to look. Liquefaction time is the measurement of time of how long your semen takes before to change into a liquid. The normal time for semen to liquify is 15 to 20 minutes. If your semen takes a longer time for liquifying or if it does not liquify at all, then cause problems with sperm movement.
- Fructose in semen: If your semen analysis shows no sperms, then your doctor will have to check your seminal fructose. Your seminal vesicles produce this seminal fructose. Normal seminal fructose concentration should be greater than 150 milligrams per deciliter of semen. If there is a low level or no fructose at all in your seminal vesicles, it means you may be having an obstruction.
If you have abnormal semen analysis report results, then your doctor may suggest you have other tests for male fertility to know your specific problem.
Genetic Testing for Male Infertility
To trace the presence of the genetic reason for male infertility like changes in the Y chromosome where the sperm concentration will be very low, a blood test is conducted.
- Sperm DNA fragmentation: The genetic material from the male is carried to the egg of the female through the sperm DNA. This DNA is protected by surrounding protein structures and this structure along with the DNA is known as chromatin. This sperm chromatin is prone to be damaged along its journey that starts right from the testicles and extends throughout the epididymis and vas deferens before getting ejaculated. This damage to sperm chromatin is referred to as sperm DNA fragmentation. This test is offered to you by your doctor when you are diagnosed with varicocele, or recurrent pregnancy loss and repeated failure of invitro-fertilization or intrauterine fertilization. Higher sperm DNA damage is associated with infertility, miscarriages, and failed in vitro fertilization procedures.
- Types of DNA fragmentation tests: There are several testing methods to measure the integrity of sperm like
- TUNEL assay-Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase dUTP nick End Labelling
- Single Cell Electrophoresis Assay SCGE, also known as COMET assay
- SCD or sperm chromatin dispersion test
- SCSA or sperm chromatin structure analysis: this is the most widely used method.
Guidelines that help to interpret the severity of DNA fragmentation and its impact on fertility is as follow:
- 15% or less Fragmentation- indicates excellent sperm DNA
- 15-25% - good to fair sperm DNA
- 25-50%- fair to poor sperm DNA
- 50% or more - very poor sperm DNA
Hormonal Test for Male Infertility
This helps to look for the presence of any hormonal problems in glands like pituitary, thyroid gland, hypothalamus, and testicles that cause infertility along with the level of testosterone in your body.
Other Tests for Male Fertility
- Testicular biopsy Test: Here samples from the testicles are removed using a fine needle . If the results of the test prove that your sperm production is normal, your infertility may be caused by blockage or problems related to sperm transport.
- Transrectal Ultrasound: A scan is used to take images of organs like the prostate gland. It detects blockages of the tubes that carry semen like the ejaculatory ducts and seminal vesicles.
- Culture Test: The fluids or secretions that are collected from the penis are checked for any infections. In this way, the presence of organisms or white cells that are causing inflammation of reproductive organs is identified and treated with antibiotics.
- Scrotal ultrasound: Using high-frequency sound waves images are produced of your inside body. A scrotal ultrasound helps your doctor to see if there is a varicocele. It also helps to detect other problems in the testicles and supporting structures.
- Urinalysis done post-ejaculation: If you have sperm in your urine, it indicates that your sperm is flowing back to the bladder instead of being pushed out of the penis. This is backward or retrograde ejaculation.
Male Fertility Treatment
Most often, the exact cause of male infertility cannot be identified. In such a case, your doctor might suggest some male fertility treatments or procedures that will help in achieving conception. Your partner also is recommended to undergo a fertility checkup if both of you have issues. This can help in identifying the cause of her fertility issue and can decide whether she needs any specific treatment or to decide to proceed with appropriate assisted reproductive techniques ART .
Male infertility treatment options include:
- ART Procedures
- Surgical treatment
- Hormonal therapy
ART procedures for Male Infertility Treatment
These are the common fertility methods used to treat male infertility by handling both the egg of a woman and the sperm of a man. ART procedures involve removing an egg from the body of a female and then the eggs are mixed up with sperm of male to produce embryos. These embryos are again put back into the womb of the female.
In ART procedures, the infertility specialist uses donor eggs, donor sperm, or previously frozen embryos to help achieve pregnancy for infertile couples. The following are various types of assisted reproductive techniques.
- IUI- Intrauterine Insemination
- IVF-Invitro Fertilization
- Advanced sperm extraction procedures: TESA, MESA, PESA, TESE, and Micro-TESE.
- Advanced ART Procedures:
ICSI, IMSI, etc
Artificial Insemination Or IUI In Male Infertility Treatment
To choose this male fertility treatment as an option, the following are to be considered:
- Low concentration of sperm in the male’s semen
- Presence of antibodies in the seminal fluid which is against his own sperm
- If the man has problems like impotence
- If his partner’s cervical mucus is abnormally interfering with sperm transport
In artificial insemination, semen is collected from the male partner, washed to remove any impurities, concentrated under a culture medium, and then introduced into his partner’s uterus through the cervix by a thin surgical needle.
Invitro-fertilization For Male infertility treatment
Invitro-fertilization means fertilization that happens outside of the human body. This is the most common and very effective and time taking procedure that is done in a specialized lab . First, semen is collected from the male partner and stored in a special incubator that maintains a favorable environment for the sperms. Then, his female partner undergoes ovulation induction, which is hormonal stimulation to produce more number of eggs, her eggs are collected through vaginal ultrasound.
Then, both the sperm and egg that are collected are combined together and placed in a special dish called petri dish in the lab. This promotes the fertilization process and results in the formation of embryos. This embryo is then implanted into the uterus of the female through a thin tube inserted via the cervix. This insertion of embryos into the uterus is done under ultrasound guidance.
Advanced Sperm Extraction Procedures
Specialized sperm extraction techniques like TESA, PESA, MESA, TESE, and Micro-TESE are used to treat severe male infertility. The goal of these procedures is to extract the best quality and number of sperms. No harm is done to reproductive organs during these procedures. Depending on your diagnosis, your infertility specialist will suggest any one of the following techniques.
Let us discuss some of these male-specific fertility treatments.
- Testicular Sperm Aspiration TESA: It is also called Testicular Fine Needle Aspiration (TFNA). It is used to diagnose and treat azoospermia. This method is also used to recover sperm from men having problems with obstruction or problems of ejaculation. It is done in a doctor's office and you will be given anesthesia. With the help of a thin needle, the skin and testes are punctured and sperm is collected. These sperms are then used to fertilize eggs or frozen. Sperms that are collected by TESA are less mature and less motile than those sperms that are found in your ejaculated seminal fluid. So, to achieve fertilization of sperms collected from TESA, your doctor will use a specialized form of IVF known as ICSI.
- Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration PESA: if you have had a vasectomy, or have a history of acquired or congenital obstruction defects like the absence of vas deferens and obstructive azoospermia, then PESA is the best method for collecting your sperm. Your sperms that are collected by PESA are used in combination with ICSI treatment. PESA is of low cost and requires no surgical cut. You will be given either general or local anesthesia. Your doctor will insert a needle that is attached to a syringe into the epididymis and gently removes the fluid. Sometimes, sperms may not be aspirated by this process and in such cases, a surgical process may be required.
- Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration MESA: In this method, your doctor will make use of a surgical microscope to remove sperm from your epididymis. With this MESA, lots of healthy sperm can be retrieved, saved, and frozen for future use. It is a very safe method done under general anesthesia and requires a highly skilled infertility surgeon.
- Testicular Sperm Extraction TESE: Through this method, azoospermia can be diagnosed and enough tissue that is required for sperm extraction can be done. Sperm collected can be used either fresh or can be frozen. It involves several small cuts in your testes and can be done at the doctor’s’ offices under a nerve block to treat pain or at a surgical centre under anesthesia.
- Micro Testicular Sperm Extraction Micro-TESE: This method is done only for non-obstructive azoospermia. It is done in an operating room by a specialist trained in microsurgery. In micro-TESE, your doctor will open the outer cover of the testicle and check inside of the testes. Only less tissue can be removed for sperm extraction and there is less damage to blood vessels.
Advanced ART Procedures
These procedures are highly precise lab techniques and involve fertilization of an egg with one sperm that is morphologically tested and selected.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm Injection ICSI: ICSI is used in cases where the fertilization process through IVF does not work or when it fails. It is also recommended in severe male factor infertility including low concentrated sperm, poor sperm motility, blockages in the reproductive tract or to have children after vasectomy. In ICSI, eggs are retrieved from the ovaries of the female, and each one of the eggs is injected with a single sperm. This results in fertilization of egg with sperm and thus formed embryos are placed into the uterus of the female at the appropriate time.
- Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection IMSI: If you have a history of failed in vitro fertilization cycles, or unsuccessful ICSI treatments and severe male infertility with high levels of DNA fragmentation, abnormal sperms, and miscarriages then IMSI is a good choice for you. IMSI is an advanced version of IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection. Using a high powered microscope, high-quality sperms are picked up and injected into the eggs for fertilization. This method allows sperm examination at the nucleus level. It is said to achieve higher pregnancy and delivery rates and lower abortion rates.
Surgical Methods For Male Infertility
When you have any blockages that cause obstruction of sperm moving through the ducts and tubes, then you will need surgery to remove these blockages and make sperm to flow normally.
- Repair of Varicocele- The enlargement of veins within the bag (scrotum) that holds your testicles is known as Varicocele . It is a more common cause of low sperm production and decreased quality of sperm that causes infertility. This can be surgically treated.
- Reversal of Vasectomy- This is the permanent method of male sterilization technique. Once this surgery is done in the male person, the transportation of sperms within the tubes of the reproductive system is blocked. These blockages are surgically removed to repair the tubes.
- If surgery fails or doesn’t work, then the doctor suggests another surgical procedure known as percutaneous Epididymal sperm aspiration PESA. By giving local anesthesia, a thin surgical needle is inserted into the epididymis, and sperms are removed. These sperms are either used for the IVF process immediately or freeze for later future use.
In some cases, male infertility is caused by insufficient levels of gonadotropins. These gonadotropins are the hormones produced by the pituitary gland of the brain that stimulates testicles to produce sperms. When these hormones are taken as medicines they help in male infertility treatment by boosting sperm production.
How to Improve Your Sperm Count and Volume
Studies show that there is a global decrease in sperm count in men. Low sperm count is a problem for those couples who wish to become parents. Below are a few tips to improve sperm count.
- While playing sports, wear a jockstrap.
- Exercising five times a week for at least 45 minutes is said to improve overall blood flow and circulation.
- Herbal oil massage of your body.
- Maintaining your ideal weight. Lack of food in men leads to a lowered sex drive and structural changes in the reproductive tissue that leads to infertility.
- Obesity is said to cause low sperm count and impotence. This is due to higher temperatures caused by excess stored fat near the testes.
- Taking a healthy diet will enhance your fertility by keeping body weight at normal levels.
- Reduce your stress levels. Stress lowers your sexual function and reduces sperm production.
- Too much work and the resulting exhaustion can lead to increased stress and decreased sperm production. So, make sure to have enough sleep every night.
- Eating organic foods helps to minimize the possible intake of pesticides and herbicides.
- Dioxin exposure is reduced by using only non-bleached coffee filters, paper, napkins, and toilet tissue.
Tips To Increase Sperm Count Naturally
There are great tips that you can follow to improve your sperm count and sperm quality. Here are such tips, to energize your sperms.
- Avoid activities that cause overheating of your testicles. It is not advisable to have hot baths, sitting in one place for a long time, and wearing tight-fitting underwear. Such underwear pressurizes the testes and increases temperatures that in turn suppress your sperm production.
- It is shown that men who smoke have 22% less sperm count compared to those who don’t. Studies show that smoking affects male semen parameters and even reduces the success of assisted reproduction techniques like IVF and ICSI . A drastically decreased success in IVF success is noticed due to paternal smoking.
- It is good to avoid plastic food storage containers, plastic water bottles, wraps, and plastic utensils.
- Avoid chlorinated products like chlorinated tap water, chlorine bleach. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as an alternative.
- Organic cosmetics and deodorants are more beneficial than synthetic ones.
- High-fat content milk products, chicken, beef, and pork contain hormones and should be avoided.
- Your diet should be free of alcohol, caffeine, refined carbohydrates, and other artificial additives . When alcohol intake is increased, there is study-based evidence that shows it causes a deterioration of sperm quality.
- Fried, charcoal-boiled, or barbecued types of foods should be avoided.
Indian Foods to Increase Sperm Count Naturally
If you want to improve your fertility and give your sperm a boost, then you should make finer modifications in your nutrition. In our Indian foods, you can get several micro and macronutrients that are needed for healthy sperm production.
So, to help you to increase sperm health, we provide a list of the top fertility foods below that you can include in your daily meal plan.
- Banana is found to improve male libido and regulate male sex hormones. They contain Vitamin C, A, and B1 and these are said to boost fertility in males.
- The most important nutrient to increase fertility in males is omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and if taken regularly they improve the flow of blood to genitals and thus aid in increasing fertility.
- Garlic is said to do wonders in boosting fertility in males, as it contains allicin and selenium which can protect sperm from getting damaged and also helps to improve their quality.
- Pomegranates are rich sources of antioxidants and help to increase the level of sperm and quality of sperm.
- Consuming dark chocolates, not more than one to two squares each day helps to fight free radicals as they are high in antioxidants. They boost male fertility.
- Vitamin C rich foods help with sperm defects and boost sperm health. Daily supplementation of Vitamin C is 2,000 to 6,000 milligrams. it helps to prevent sperms from clumping or sticking together, and thus improves the chances for fertility
- Broccoli is rich in Vitamin A, and it helps in increasing sperm count.
- Methi, which is a traditional ingredient of every Indian household, increases sperm count and libido.
- Pumpkin seeds help in increased sperm count, motility, and virility as they have abundant antioxidants, phytosterols, and amino acids. They are eaten raw or as snacks.
- Olive oil, if used regularly helps in keeping bad cholesterol levels at low, increases oxygen flow to testicles, and thus helps in the production of outstanding healthy sperm.
- Ashwagandha or Ginseng is an ancient Indian root used for cooking for ages. It is said to increase testosterone levels and helps with erectile dysfunction. It is taken in dried form and also added in tea.
- Tomatoes, consumed regularly will improve the structure and activity of the sperms. They have lycopene, an antioxidant that increases fertility in men.
- Carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, and apricots also have the ability to improve fertility and strength in men.
- Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants like green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kale, and yams. Antioxidants are present in carotenes, vitamins A, C, Endometriosis, and selenium.
- Foods rich in zinc like oysters, organ meats, lean beef, lamb, legumes, and nuts increase testosterone levels and sperm count and motility. Daily zinc supplementation is 100 to 200 mg.
- Eat lots of foods high in antioxidants (carotenes, vitamins A, C, E, and selenium) such as green leafy vegetables, kale, carrots, citrus, broccoli, cauliflower, and yams.
Foods That A Male Should Avoid While Planning For Pregnancy
Apart from medical reasons, there are some foods that can cause havoc to a man’s fertility rate. You should avoid taking the following foods in order to improve your sperm quality:
- Avoid sipping carbonated drinks like soft and sports drinks. A regular habit of drinking these carbonated beverages is linked to poor motility of sperm.
- Reduce the intake of highly processed, fried, starchy, and fatty foods as they can alter your overall health and also reduce your fertility levels.
- Reduce intake of processed meat, as it lowers sperm quality. In the study of the Journal of Epidemiology, it was stated that men eating processed meat had a low sperm count.
- Fish having high mercury levels like swordfish, tuna, tilefish, etc should not be consumed, as they cause ill effects on fetal growth.
- Excess intake of full-fat dairy products, milk, and cheese products is linked to lower your sperm count.
Supplements For Male Fertility
In couples presenting with male infertility, intake of certain nutrients have been proved to cause an improved sperm quality and sperm motility.
Supplements of folic acid are proven to improve sperm count. Folic acid is needed for DNA synthesis and it potentially improves male fertility.
Antioxidant supplements especially of vitamin E, vitamin C, lycopene, selenium and zinc are known to protect sperm from getting damaged and thus increase male fertility.
Some of the nutrients are essential for effective sperm motility. Vitamin D also helps in better sperm motility. Studies have shown that when CoQ10 and L-carnitine are given as nutritional supplements for male fertility, they help to improve sperm motility.
Male Fertility Home Test
Nowadays there are cheaper and easier ways to get your sperm tested at home. Yes, when you and your partner have trouble getting pregnant, you can get tested by using at-home sperm testing kits.
When is male fertility test at home done?
There are few criteria as to when you should use your sperm testing kit to check your male fertility at home.
- When you don't have a fertility specialist nearby
- When you hesitate to consult a specialist
- When you wish to get basic information of your male fertility wherever you are.
Male fertility test and kits: how can I use them?
First home fertility test for male was approved in 2012 by the FDA. Now, there are various kinds of such male fertility home test kits available in the market. Advanced kits that work with smartphone support are used to make a video of your sperm sample with the help of light and camera of the smartphone.
Each kit uses a different testing process and gives you different information. Some kits tell you whether sperms are there or not while other kits measure your sperm concentration.
Was this article helpful? Tap on heart to say yes
List of ReferencesHide
NICHD.NIH.GOV.“How common is male infertility and what are its causes”.NICHD.NIH.GOV. 12th January 2016.
Berger Michael H, Messore Marisa, et al.“Association between Infertility and Sexual Dysfunction in Men and Women”.NCBI.Sex Med Rev. 2016 Oct;4(4):353-365.PMID:27872029.
NLM.NIH.GOV“Male Infertility”.NLM.NIH.GOV, 20 August 2020.
Medlineplus.gov.“Testicular biopsy”.MedlinePlus.gov. 20 August 2020.
MedlinePlus.gov.“Semen analysis”.MedlinePlus.gov, 20 August 2020.
MedlinePlus.gov.“Assisted Reproductive Technology”.MedlinePlus.gov, 20 August 2020.
MedlinePlus.gov.“In-vitro Fertilization”.MedlinePlus.gov, 20 August 2020.
NICHD.NIH.GOV.“What treatment options are available for male infertility?”.NICHD.NIH.GOV, 12 January 2016.
Kovac Jason R MD, Ph.D., FRCSC, Khanna Abhinav, MD, et al .“The effects of cigarette smoking on Male infertility”.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV.Postgrad Med. 2015 Apr;127(3):338-341.PMID:25697426.
Gude Dilip.“Alcohol and Infertility”.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2012 May-Aug; 5(2):226-228.PMID:23162368
Last updated on: : 28 Sep 2020
explore more within our blogs
Most in demand and highly successful fertility treatments for couples
How Hormonal Imbalance Affects Your Fertility?
Female Infertility, its causes and treatments