MALE FERTILITY OR INFERTILITY
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In about 40% of infertile couples, the cause of the infertility lies with the males. There are many reasons for male infertility. For couples who are trying to conceive, it only makes sense to have an evaluation done on the males fertility health when conception hasn't occurred after 6 months.
My husband underwent a Vasectomy Reversal in December 2000. We conceived 10 months after the reversal. His sperm count, motility, mobility, morphology, etc. were within normal range at 6 months post reversal. We had him on the supplement stated below.
Should we have intercourse everyday or every other day?
Source: The Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Center
There has been a tremendous amount of misinformation about the best way to time intercourse to increase the chance of conception. Most of this misinformation has come from physicians who have confused obtaining a standard semen analysis with promoting conception. It has been clearly shown, both with normal sperm counts and low sperm counts, that daily intercourse during the fertile period produces the highest pregnancy rates. You cannot "save it up" and you cannot have intercourse too often. The fertile period starts 6 days before ovulation and ends the day after ovulation.
It takes approximately 72-90 days to produce mature sperm. Sperm is produced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
There are many factors that can decrease or cease sperm production. Here are a few:
Excessive alcohol consumption
Street and certain Prescription Drugs
Some over the counter medications
Injury to the testicles
Blockage in the Vas Deferens
Excessive Heat to the testicles
Varicocele:a varicose enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord that may cause infertility through a significant decrease in the quality and quantity of the sperm. More Information on correction of Varicocele
Normal semen values as outlined by the World Health Organization are as follows:
| Volume (mL)
| Sperm Concentration (million/mL)
| Motility (%)
| Forward Progression (0-4)
| Normal Morphology (%) (WHO)
| Normal Morphology (%) (Strict)
| Total Sperm Count (million)
| Total Motile Sperm (million)
| Total Functional Sperm (million)
Morphology-Normal and Abnormal Forms
| Normal Forms
|| Abnormal Forms
Improving Male Fertility
There are natural ways to improve male fertility.
There are few common rules to start with.
1. Limit or eliminate caffeine intake.
2. Stop smoking
3. Stop Recreational Drugs
4. Wear Loose Underwear (boxers)
5. Stay out of Hot Tubs
6. Quit drinking alcoholic beverages
Guaifenesin (Plain Robitusson-no letter extensions) can improve motility by thinning out the semen allowing for your guys to swim up stream easier. Vitamin C and Zinc can also help.
Morphology less than 30%: Pycnogenol® for Improving Morphology
The following natural treatments are widely recommended for male infertility, but they have not been scientifically proven effective at this time:
Researchers have found that L-carnitine is found in much greater amounts in sperm tissues than other cells. Preliminary studies suggest that L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine may be able to stimulate sperm motility in certain situations. The role of L-carnitine on sperm maturation and sperm quality however, is still unclear.
Several clinical studies have evaluated the effect of L-carnitine on men with a low sperm count, a reduction/loss in sperm movement, or men with both conditions. These studies have evaluated only small numbers of men who took oral carnitine supplements for varying lengths of time. Some patients enrolled in these studies experienced increased sperm counts and/or increased sperm motility, however it is still too early to determine the benefit of L-carnitine supplementation.~
PRODUCTS THAT MAY ENHANCE FERTILITY IN MEN
L-Arginine -- studies indicate that this amino acid may improve sperm motility
is an essential nutrient for proper sperm production. A deficiency may result in lowered testosterone levels.. The usual recommended dosage of zinc is about 15 to 30 mg daily, coupled with 1 mg of copper for balance. Too much zinc can be toxic. Do not exceed a dose of 15 to 30 mg daily
This mineral is found in great amounts in the outer layer of sperm and plays an important role in the production of the hormone testosterone.
Anti-Oxidants are necessary for good sperm health.
Pycnogenol® for Improving Morphology
Vitamin E, Supplementation with this antioxidant has been shown to increase sperm motility and to enhance the ability of the sperm to penetrate the egg in test-tube studies.
Dose: 400 IU daily. Talk to your doctor prior to starting Vitamin E, particularly if you are currently taking aspirin or other blood thinners.
Vitamin C - research suggests it may prevent sperm from "clumping" together and that it increases sperm count.
* Superoxide dismutase and glutathione - research shows that these and other antioxidants may improve sperm quality.
The importance of a healthy diet cannot be overstated. To function properly, the reproductive system requires the proper vitamins and minerals. Nutritional deficiencies can impair hormone function, inhibit sperm production, and contribute to the production of abnormal sperm.
- Eat a natural foods diet that focuses on fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
- Drink ½ of body weight in ounces of water daily (e.g., a 150 lb man would drink 75 oz of water).
- Eliminate processed and refined foods (e.g., white flour), junk food, sugars, alcohol, and caffeine.
- Avoid saturated fats and hydrogenated oils (e.g., margarine); use olive oil.
- Pumpkin seeds are naturally high in zinc and essential fatty acids which are vital to healthy functioning of the male reproductive system. Eat ¼ to ½ cup a day of pumpkin seeds to help maintain a healthy reproductive system.
The following supplements have been shown to increase sperm count and/or motility. Allow 3-4 months for the supplements to work.
- Arginine—Take 4 gr daily. Needed to produce sperm. If the sperm count is below 10 million per ml, arginine probably will not provide any benefit.
- Coenzyme Q10—Take 10 mg daily. Increases sperm count and motility.
- Flaxseed oil—Take 1 tbsp daily. Is a source of essential fatty acids.
- L-carnitine—Take 3-4 grams daily. Required for normal sperm function.
- Multivitamin-mineral—Buy a high-quality product and take one serving size (differs from brand to brand).
- Selenium—Take 200 mcg daily. Improves sperm motility.
- Vitamin B-12—Take 1000 mcg daily. A B-12 deficiency reduces sperm motility and sperm count. Even if no deficiency exists, B-12 supplementation may help men with a sperm count of less than 20 million per milliliter or a motility rate of less than 50%
- Vitamin C—Take 500 mg 2 times daily. Is an antioxidant.
- Vitamin E—Take 400 IUs 2 times daily. Is an antioxidant and improves sperms’ ability to impregnate.
- Zinc—Take 15 mg 2 times daily. Required for a healthy male reproductive system and sperm production.
Resources on the Web
My Wife Was Fertile—I Wasn't
A couple's difficult journey towards having
The male factor;Fertilitext
INVF.com: Male Infertility Overview
How to Enhance Your Fertility
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) This is where the sperm
IVF with ICSI - for Men with Azoospermia
Center For Male Reproductive Medicine
Dr. Michael Werner, MD
Columbia University Urology Page
Vasectomy Reversal Movie Clip
Referral Service for Vasectomy Reversal Surgeons
New Beginnings: A Vas Reversal Resource Page
America's Leading Vasectomy Reversal Center http://www.vasdoctor.com
Worldwide center for vasectomy reversals. Offers a free redo if pregnancy does not occur within 2 years of surgery.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Aspermia: No semen ejaculated
Hematospermia: Blood present in semen
Leucocytospermia: White blood cells present in semen
Azoospermia: No spermatozoa found in semen
Normozoospermia: Normal semen parameters
Oligozoospermia: Low sperm concentration
Asthenozoospermia: Poor motility and/or forward progression
Teratozoospermia: Reduced percentage of morphologicall normal sperm
Necrozoospermia: No live sperm in semen
Globozoospermia: Round headed acrosome-less sperm
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