Fertility simply means the capability to produce the progeny. The word is generally thought in a concept to infertility, an opposite case. Infertility is the inability to conceive even after one year (minimum) of unprotected sexual intercourse. Male infertility refers to a man who is not able to make the woman pregnant.
Here, the period of one year holds its importance since most of the couples conceive within this phase; health care providers recommend that the couples should only see infertility specialists after having tried for one year or more. In men, hormone problems, illness, reproductive organ trauma and/or any obstruction, and sexual dysfunction may temporarily or permanently impact the production of sperms and then result in infertility. Some health ailments are very difficult to treat if left untreated for a longer duration.
Development of sperms
Sperm development is medically known as spermatogenesis. The process takes place in the ducts (called seminiferous tubules) of the male reproductive organs – testes. Cell division will produce mature sperm cells (spermatozoa) containing one-half of an individual’s genetic code. Each spermatogenesis cycle comprises of 6 phases and takes about 16 days to get completed. About five cycles are required to produce 1 fully mature sperm. Energy-generating organelles (mitochondria) present in the sperm provide motility so that it swims to the ovum (female egg) once ejaculated inside the vagina.
Because sperm development requires approximately 2 months, any of the health ailment that was present while sperm’s first cycle can affect its maturity regardless of an individual’s health at the time of sperm analysis.
Incidence and Prevalence
According to the National Institutes of Health, male infertility is seen in about 40 per cent of the 2.6 mo infertile married couples only in the US. Moreover, 50 per cent of these men are turned to be the case of irreversible infertility and cannot become a father. However, rest of them can be treated using various infertility techniques.
Main causes that affect male fertility:-
2. Defect or obstruction in the reproductive system
3. Diseases such as Sickle Cell Anemia, sexually transmitted disease STDs etc.
4. Hormonal mal or dysfunction
5. Infections (such as orchitis)
6. Trauma or injury to any of reproductive organs; internally or externally
7. Medications (such as medicines used to treat high blood pressure, depression etc.)
8. Metabolic disorders like hemochromatosis
9. Retrograde ejaculation (a condition wherein the semen flows backwards)
10. Systemic diseases (such as hyperpyrexia, severe renal/hepatic impairment)
11. Cancer (as in testicular) or other conditions such as varicocele
Treatment to restore male fertility
There are many treatments available to restore the male fertility. For that, one needs to carry out the real cause. Treating the root-cause helps curing infertility. Hormone therapy is useful in any deficiency of hormones and if the fertility is altered due to any chronic illness; that is treated first.
Holistic exercises and treatments are also said to be beneficial in restoring male fertility.
Yogasanas, pranayamas and herbal products containing Ashwagandha, Kuchala, Kapikacchu, Shilajit are said to boost virility in a natural way.