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Male Infertility Or Impotency: Symptoms, Causes, Tests, Treatments And Prevention

Last Updated: Feb 29, 2020

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What is Male Infertility or Impotency?

Impotency and male infertility are problems that affect the sexual health of a man. Male infertility is an inability to release or produce sperm, while impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction refers to difficulty in sustaining and getting an erection.

Male infertility can be caused by diabetes, use of steroids, genes, varicocele, sexually transmitted disease, injury or surgery of reproductive system, etc. Whereas, impotency is caused by depression, stress, obesity, alcohol use, high blood pressure, nerve damage, high cholesterol and heart disease.

How much sperm does a man produce in a day?

Testicles perform the process of spermatogenesis to produce new and fresh sperm. Spermatogenesis takes around 64 days. A million sperms are made by the testicles every day, around 1,500 every second.

After the full sperm generation cycle, sperm can be recovered up to 8 billion. This may appear excess, yet in a single milliliter of semen, a normal male human ejaculate somewhere in the range of 20 to 300 million sperm cells. Human body keeps up a surplus to guarantee there's a fresh supply for conception.

What are the signs and symptoms of infertility in males?

There are many signs and symptoms of infertility in males:

  • Firm or small testicles: It indicates potential issues that should be treated by a doctor.
  • Problems in maintaining an erection: It could be linked with hormone levels, which may result in trouble.
  • Ejaculation issues: Early or inability to ejaculate should be treated by a doctor.
  • Swelling or pain in testicles: The reason may vary but it contributes to infertility in males.
  • Change in sexual desire: Change in libido is linked with hormone and indicate issues with fertility in a man.

What causes male infertility?

Causes for male infertility may include:

  • Irregular sperm production or capacity because of undescended testicles, hereditary deformities, medical issues, for example, diabetes and diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhoea, mumps or HIV.
  • Extended veins in the testicles (varicocele) can likewise influence the nature of sperm.
  • Issues with the delivery of sperm because of sexual issues, for example, untimely discharge; certain hereditary diseases, for example, cystic fibrosis; basic issues, for example, a blockage in the testicle; or harm or damage to the regenerative organs.
  • Overexposure to certain chemical elements, for example, pesticides and different synthetic substances, and radiation. Cigarette smoking, liquor, cannabis or taking certain medicines, for example, select antibiotics, antihypertensives, anabolic steroids or others, can likewise influence fertility.
  • Damage due to cancer and its treatment, including radiation or chemotherapy. Treatment of disease can weaken sperm production.

How can a man tell if his sperm is fertile?

  • Medical examination: Doctor will ask you about past medical history, exercise habits, medications you take and most importantly your lifestyle. In a discussion, the doctor might ask you about your sex history as well.
  • Semen analysis: An expert will check the shape, movement, and other characteristics include sperm count as well.
  • Physical examination: If in case, a doctor found varicoceles, which is an abnormal formation of veins above the testicles, it can be corrected with surgery.
  • Genetic testing: It can help doctors to know the problem.
  • Not to have vas deferens: It is also known as the main sperm pipeline and it’s a genetic problem. Some man are born without it.

What a semen analysis can detect?

Male infertility tests:

Semen analysis or sperm check test is commonly known as sperm count. It tells the health and suitability of a man's sperm. A semen examination estimates three main considerations of sperm health: 1. The quantity of sperm. 2. The state of the sperm. 3. The development of the sperm, otherwise called "sperm motility".

Specialists will conduct a few separate sperm analysis to get an idea of sperm's health. For monitoring the health of the sperm, the tests ought to be held between the duration of a week separated. It should happen throughout the course of a few months. Sperm counts can fluctuate regularly. Taking a normal sperm sample can give a most satisfying idea regarding the test.


How to treat male infertility?

An exact reason for infertility is unknown. Regardless of whether the reason is clear or not, your specialist may almost certainly suggest medicines or techniques for treating infertility.

Medications for male infertility include:

  • Surgery: A varicocele can be corrected or an obstructed vas deferens is fixed. In situations where no sperm is available in the discharge, sperm can frequently be recovered legitimately from the epididymis through sperm-recovery systems.
  • Treating diseases: Anti-infection treatment may fix a disease of the regenerative tract, however, doesn't generally reestablish fertility.
  • Medications for sex issues: Taking medicines or having counselling can help you improve infertility or sex life.
  • Hormone treatments and meds: Your specialist may suggest hormone replacement or medications in situations where infertility is brought about by high or low level of specific hormones or issues with the manner in which the body utilizes hormones.
  • Assisted reproductive technology (ART): ART treatments include getting sperm through normal discharge, surgical extraction or from donor people, contingent upon your particular case and wishes.

How long does it take for a man to refill sperm?

Males produce sperm consistently and a full sperm recovery cycle which is known as spermatogenesis takes around 64 days to completely fill out the testicles. Spermatogenesis is the finished cycle of sperm generation and development.

Can erectile dysfunction make you infertile?

Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which a person can produce sperm, but he has trouble keeping an erection. Whereas, infertility is a condition in which a person doesn’t have an adequate sperm count. Erectile dysfunction also indicates that you may have cardiovascular or nerve problems. In some cases, it is also seen that due to certain medications, this problem took place. When it comes to infertility, it is something where a person is not been able to deliver semen.

Can male infertility be cured?

Treatment for male infertility includes - surgery, treating infections, sexual intercourse problems, hormone treatments, and medications, etc. Before starting any of these procedures, the doctor will do a general physical examination and medical history, semen analysis, hormone testing, genetics test, testicular biopsy, sperm function test, etc. It is advised to adopt a lifestyle change and use home remedies to cure infertility in men.

Can a man go from infertile to fertile?

In the case of infertility in men, patients can opt out for the treatment which includes:

  • Treating infections - Treating infection of the reproductive tract restore fertility in some cases. Antibiotic treatment cures infection easily.
  • Counselling - In case of sexual intercourse, problems like premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction can be treated through medications and counselling.
  • The help of supplements - In case of deficiency, patients can take help of supplements which include - folic acid, zinc, black seed etc. Make sure you are taking them after doctors consultation only.

How to increase sperm count by food?

Here are some of the food through which the sperm count can be increased:

  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Bananas
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Pomegranates
  • Walnuts
  • Garlic
  • Zinc Rich Foods

What are the home remedies to treat male infertility?

  • Having sex at the time of ovulation - It is the middle time of the menstrual cycle when chances of getting pregnant are high.
  • Have sex frequently - This might increase the chances of pregnancy in your female partner.

How to prevent male infertility?

  • Exercise and rest: Losing weight and doing exercise in obesity can increase sperm count.
  • Reduce stress: A healthy diet and exercise may reduce stress.
  • Quit smoking: A recent report investigating the aftereffects of more than 20 distinct examinations with a sum of almost 6,000 participants discovered smoking reliably decreases sperm count.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol use and drugs: The number of studies investigating the connection between sperm health and drugs is limited, given ethical considerations. Nonetheless, a few scientists have connected the overall utilization of liquor, pot, and cocaine to diminished sperm production.
  • Avoid several prescription medications: Some physicians say that taking allopathy medication can decrease the sperm count. When an individual quits taking the medication, his sperm counts should come back to ordinary or increase
  • Get enough vitamin D and calcium: Consuming low vitamin D appears to relate to low sperm counts.
  • Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is known as Indian ginseng. It's been utilized in customary meds as a solution for a few types of sexual dysfunction.
  • Increase healthy fat intake: Having healthy fats in diets such as omega-3 and omega-6, are pivotal to a great improvement in sperm production.
  • Get enough folate and zinc: Consuming folate and zinc together has been appeared limited studies to increase sperm health, including sperm concentration or the complete count.


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Written ByDr. Ajay Kumar Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)Sexology
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