Male Infertility Treatment
Some of the treatments for male infertility actually mirror the treatments for female infertility. For instance, in vitro fertilization can be used to weed out the stronger sperm, fertilize the woman’s eggs in an external environment, and then implant them. In vitro fertilization remains the best medical treatment for a couple trying to conceive when male infertility is an issue.
Intrauterine insemination, too, is sometimes used for men with poor sperm quality. By implanting “washed” sperm directly into the woman during her ovulation period, IUI has an average pregnancy success rate of between 6 and 25%. Success rates at or above the higher end of this range occur when the sperm count is between 20 to 30 million per ejaculation and are reduced significantly when the count falls below 5 to 10 million.
IUI is typically not successful in cases of:
- Low sperm count
- Low sperm motility
In April 2009, the journal Fertility and Sterility published a study that found that men who took Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) along with vitamin E for six months showed an increase in both sperm count and motility. The men in the study had a 37% success rate of impregnating their partners versus men who took a placebo. Those in the placebo group had a 13% success rate. A study by the World Health Organization several years ago did not show a great increase in fertility in men taking Clomid vs a control group taking a placebo, so it appears that the combination of vitamin E and the Clomid hormone makes the difference.
Natural Fertility Treatments
In many cases, natural fertility treatments can be performed at home such as changes in diet, exercise routines and general health will increase a man’s sperm count and motility.
Decrease temperature of sperm
Sperm do not thrive in constant, overly warm temperatures. Therefore, a man trying to conceive should avoid hot tubs, prolonged warm temperatures and heated blankets. Also, avoid sitting with a laptop on your lap for long periods. (Purchasing a cooling fan that fits under the laptop and runs on power from the PC will protect your sperm count and your computer.)
Many medical professionals say the “boxers or briefs” choice makes little difference, but like many natural treatments, switching to boxers while TTC couldn’t hurt.
In general, any lifestyle changes that positively impact a man’s health can also impact his sperm production. Quitting smoking, limiting alcohol, avoiding illegal drugs, keeping your weight in check, and engaging in moderate exercise can all help increase sperm production and energy levels.
Excessive bicycling – for more than three hours a week – on a narrow bicycle seat can lead to reproductive problems. Avid cyclists need not give up their habit, though, as cycling is a healthy lifestyle choice. Simply invest in a wider, cushioned seat, and stand frequently to shift your weight.
Certain vitamin deficiencies can lead to low sperm count and motility. For improved reproductive health, men should take vitamin supplements and eat a diet rich in the following nutrients:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B12
- Flaxseed oil
You may find a blend of these vitamins in natural fertility supplements designed for men.
Herbs can increase sperm production
As herbal remedies grow in popularity, more reputable companies are introducing herbal supplements. However, herbs have no FDA regulation, and you can’t always determine the potency or reliability of an herbal supplement. Do your research to insure you’re purchasing from a reputable source and you’re not just wasting your money on what are, essentially, sugar pills.
Additionally, take herbs with caution, following the manufacturer’s recommended dosage. As with any medicine or supplement, do not take more than the recommended dose. Pay close attention to your body and stop taking the supplement if you experience any unusual side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about any interactions between herbs or with any prescription drugs.
Popular herbs to improve fertility in men include:
- Ginseng or Panax Ginseng
- Saw palmetto
Coping with infertility can lead to additional stress on top of life’s everyday stressors. A couple trying to conceive can learn methods to cope with stress together. If you recently experienced a major, life-changing event that causes stress, such as a death in your family, job loss, purchasing a home or moving, you may want to cut back on the TTC efforts for a while. In other words, “stop trying,” have sex regularly and only when you feel like it for fun, and wait until the emotional ordeal passes to renew your efforts.
Author: Dawn Allcot
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