If you have been diagnosed with having a low sperm count or erectile dysfunction, you would need to get proper treatment. If you have chronic underlying health conditions, you might need further tests or a consultation with a specialist.
Depending on the cause and severity of your erectile dysfunction or any underlying health conditions, there are various treatment options you can opt for. These treatment options include:
There are certain causes of low sperm count that require surgery to be corrected such as a varicocele, which can be surgically reversed or a blocked vas deferens that can be repaired. In cases where no semen is present in the ejaculation, sperm can easily be retrieved directly from the testicles or epididymis using sperm retrieval techniques.
Antibiotics work by curing the infection present in the reproductive tract. However, they do not necessarily restore fertility.
Treatments for sexual intercourse problems
Medication and counselling may improve male fertility in conditions such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
Hormone treatments and medications
Hormonal treatments or medications are primarily recommended in cases caused by high or low levels of certain essential hormones required for sperm production.
Assisted reproductive technology (ART)
ART treatments are done by collecting sperm through normal ejaculation, surgical extraction or from donor individuals, depending on the individual’s preference. The collected sperm is then inserted into the female genital tract, or used for in vitro fertilization, surrogacy or intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
Lifestyle and home remedies
There are steps you can take at home to increase your chances of getting your partner pregnant, including:
Increasing the frequency of sex
Increasing the number of times you have sex especially before and during ovulation drastically increases your chances of getting your partner pregnant. A woman is most likely to conceive during her ovulation period.
Avoid commercial lubricants
Certain commercial lubricants such as Astroglide or K-Y jelly, lotions can obstruct sperm movement and function. Switch chemical based lubricant for more natural lubricants such as egg whites, olive oil and baby oil.
Exercising not only improves physical performance, testosterone levels and confidence. Studies show that men who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels and better semen quality than men who are inactive.
However, too much exercise, as it may have an adverse effect and can potentially reduce testosterone levels. Adequate zinc intake can minimize this risk
Adopt an overall lifestyle change and quit smoking. Smoking increases risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer and a multiple of other diseases. Smoking can also cause a decreased sperm count and diminish overall sperm health, making it make it difficult for your sperm to fertilize your partner’s egg.
Severe and prolonged stress can cause disruptions in the productions of hormones required for healthy sperm formation. Keeping a balanced, relaxed mind controls the level of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that has strong negative effects on testosterone. When cortisol goes up, testosterone levels tend to go down. Chronic, unexplained anxiety can be treated with medication while milder forms of stress can be alleviated by numerous relaxation techniques such as; walking, meditating, exercising, being around loved ones.
Diet & Nutrients for Healthy Male Fertility
Diet plays a huge role in sperm health and male fertility. Little dietary changes can impact the health of the sperm two to three months from now. Here are a few nutrients essential for supporting the male reproductive system.
Zinc contains important trace minerals for fertility. Zinc has been shown to boost sperm levels, improve quality, motility thereby increasing sperm health and lowers infertility.
Good food sources of Zinc are calf liver, crab, fortified breakfast cereal, lobster, pork chop, chicken, dark meat, yoghurt, fruit, low fat, cashews, cheese, oatmeal, milk, almonds, peas, pumpkins seeds and shrimps.
Selenium is essential for the production of sperm. There are reports that show that, usually, men with low sperm have low levels of selenium.
Food sources are Brazil nuts, liver, turkey, cod, halibut, chicken tuna, salmon, sardines, shrimp, and turkey. Brazil nuts
Crucial for energy production, CoQ10 is an important antioxidant that helps to protect cells from free radical damage and protects DNA, which is important for sperm motility in semen. CoQ10 can increase sperm health.
Food sources: seafood and organ meats are rich in CoQ10. CoQ10 Ubiquinol supplementation is the best way to obtain CoQ10.
Vitamin E can improve sperm health and motility. Several studies show that a diet deficient in Vitamin E cause infertility in rats. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that helps protect sperm and egg DNA integrity.
Food sources: Sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, spinach, papaya, and dark leafy greens.
Folic acid boosts sperm health. Men with low levels of folate risks having poorly developed sperm. If an egg is fertilized by an abnormal sperm it could result in a birth defect such as downs syndrome, or increase risks of miscarriage.
It should come as no surprise that one of the planet’s healthiest foods is also one of the highest in folate such as; asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, peas, lentils, avocado, okra and brussels Sprout.
Vitamin B12 also known as cobalamin, is involved in cellular and a deficiency can lead to reduced sperm count and motility. If you have a sperm count of less than 20 million or have a motility rate of less than 50%, taking daily supplementation at 1,000mcg may increase sperm count.
Food sources: Clams, oysters, muscles, liver, caviar (fish eggs), fish, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, cheese, and eggs.
Vitamin C can improve sperm quality and protect sperm from DNA damage; helping to reduce the chance of miscarriage and chromosomal problems. Vitamin C also appears to keep sperm from clunking together, making them more mobile.
Vitamin C is abundantly found in plants and fruits including red peppers, broccoli, cranberries, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, and citrus fruit.
Get enough Vitamin D is used to boost testosterone levels. High vitamin D levels are linked to greater sperm motility. Additionally, Taking vitamin D supplements may boost testosterone levels in vitamin D-deficient men with low testosterone levels.
Food sources: cheese, egg yolks, beef liver, tuna, mackerel, salmon, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.
Carnitine is a required nutrient for sperm cells to function normally. Sperm requires high concentrations of carnitine for energy metabolism. Studies indicate that the level of free carnitine in seminal fluid directly correlates with sperm count and motility. The lower the concentrations of carnitine in the seminal fluid, the lower the sperm count. Carnitine and CoQ10 have been shown to work synergistically when combined.
Food sources: Red meat and dairy products.
Hormone imbalance in men plays a huge role in a man’s infertility. Testosterone is one of the main hormones responsible for a healthy functional reproductive system. However, due to a shift in lifestyle choices, hormones such as testosterone can become imbalanced.
There are certain pollutants that known as xenohormones (estrogen) that causes a reduction in testosterone. Excess estrogen in men produces erectile dysfunction, low/lack of libido, low sperm count, and lowered production of seminal fluid. Possible sources of xenohormones include soy foods, pesticides found in processed food, hormones added to dairy and meat and plastics.
In order to naturally balance hormones; reduce exposure to xenohormones, consume organic meats and dairy, avoid soy foods and eat lots of fibre and cruciferous vegetables.
Herbs for Male Fertility & Sperm Health
Natural herbs and supplements assist in nourishing the endocrine system, thus enabling all of the hormones to work properly. A few of these herbs include:
Ginseng root (Gin-chia)
Ginseng is known to have energy giving and healing properties also called “King of Tonics.” It contains 11 hormones like saponins. Gin-chia is being taken as a supplement by men to improve their sexual condition and sperm health.
Ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera)
Traditionally used to improve sex drive and low sperm count, Ashwagandha supports endocrine system function for overall hormonal balance.
Epimedium, also known as horny goat weed (Epimedium grandiflorum)
Epimedium is known as an aphrodisiac, increasing sexual desire and performance. The active ingredient Icariin has been shown to increase nitric oxide, in turn, nitric oxide increases circulation to the extremities. It is most useful in aiding a sustained erection.
Maca root (Lepidium meyenii)
Maca is a superfood that can be taken in powder, capsule form or eaten as a root plant. Daily consumption of Maca has been shown to increase libido, seminal volume, sperm count per ejaculate, and improve sperm motility.
Tribulus, aerial parts and fruit (Tribulus Terrestris)
Tribulus also known as puncturevine, is a medicinal herb that has been shown to be effective in aiding sex hormone production, increasing luteinizing hormone (LH), DHEA and testosterone production in men. This makes Tribulus useful for erectile dysfunction, libido low sperm count and poor sperm health related to hormonal imbalance.