In this Article
- When Should Men Use Fertility Drugs?
- How Do Fertility Medicines Work in Men?
- What Are The Different Fertility Medications Available for Men?
- How Long do Men Have to Use These Medicines?
- What Are The Chances of Conceiving when Using Male Infertility Medicine?
- What Are The Side Effects of Fertility Drugs in Men?
- Tips to Increase Male Fertility Naturally
- How Can You Prevent Infertility?
- What is The Cost of Infertility Drugs?
A man’s fertility depends on the quantity and quality of his sperm. If a man’s sperm quantity and quality are low, it will either be very difficult for him to impregnate a woman or he will not be able to do it at all. Around one in every 20 men have fertility problems, mostly concerning a low sperm count, while only one in every 100 men will not be able to produce sperm at all.
When Should Men Use Fertility Drugs?
A condition called secondary hypogonadism affects around 2% of men, making them infertile. This happens when the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus do not function properly. The changes in hormones stand in the way of normal sperm and testosterone production. Secondary hypogonadism is the only condition that causes infertility in men that can be treated with fertility drugs.
How Do Fertility Medicines Work in Men?
Not all fertility drugs work in the same way. Here are a few ways in which drugs to increase male fertility work:
1. Hormone Production is Stimulated
The pills and injections used to treat infertility contain hormone-like substances or synthesized hormones that form the balance between the different hormone that is responsible for increasing testosterone and reproduction.
2. Semen Production is Improved
For those men whose genitals are unable to produce semen, the drugs increase the production of healthy and independently moving semen. It can also increase the production of seminal liquid.
3. Blood Sugar Levels Normalize
There are cases where the increase in blood sugar levels can cause infertility in men and women. For these cases, the medication will help to keep the blood sugar levels under control, preventing infertility as well as diabetes.
4. Blood Flow is Stimulated
Poor blood circulation in the genital area can also cause infertility in men. Not only can fertility medication restore the activity but also the blood flow in the reproductive organs.
5. Increased Libido
As fertility medications also contain some properties of aphrodisiac, the sexual drive of the man will improve as well.
What Are The Different Fertility Medications Available for Men?
The best medicine for male fertility really depends on what is causing the fertility to occur in the first place. Some over the counter male fertility drugs are:
1. Follicle Stimulating Hormone
More commonly known as FSH, this hormone is naturally produced by men’s bodies and helps in stimulating sperm production. The drug form does the exact same thing. It is administered through subcutaneous injection.
This non-steroid can be used to boost the testosterone in men by increasing the FSH and LH hormone production. Low testosterone levels result in unhealthy sperm, and this naturally leads to infertility. Since this medication boosts testosterone, it helps to promote healthy sperm that will improve fertility.
Gonadotrophins and LH stimulate the testes and therefore are used to boost the production of testosterone and sperm count.
Available in the form of pills, Letrozole helps to restore normal testosterone levels in men with obesity-related hypogonadism. It falls under the category of aromatase inhibitors and is a medical innovation to treat infertility in men that is more user-friendly than the others.
This is recommended for those men who have very low sperm count or no sperm at all. Its main use is for the treatment of retrograde ejaculation in men. Imipramine is a non-hormonal tricyclic antidepressant that increases sperm count and makes men fertile.
Infertility caused due to hyperprolactinemia can be treated with this dopamine agonist. It stops the release of the prolactin hormone from the pituitary gland. This medication is best for men who have an abnormal sperm count. When the prolactin is decreased due to the medication, the testosterone levels increase, and more sperm is produced for fertilisation.
7. Antibiotics And Fungal Treatments
The reproductive system can sometimes get infected by bacteria or fungi. Use antibiotics and fungi medicines to treat the same.
How Long do Men Have to Use These Medicines?
Every drug does not have the same course during treatments, and so the use of the medicines will depend upon the individual’s case. Here are a few to consider:
This treatment requires the pill to be taken only once a week.
This treatment is used over a period of four weeks on average. It requires an individual to take five to ten milligrams per day.
Usually taken three times during the week, each of the cycles of treatment will run a course of three to six months. The drug can be safely taken in low doses over a period of two years in order to improve fertility conditions as the hormone levels stabilize.
The treatment involves the individual having to take two or three injections a week. Most of the time, the treatment will only last for six months, but if the individual shows little or no improvement after this, they will need to continue with the treatment for one or two years with the hMG regimen added into the mix in order to bring hormone levels back to normal.
What Are The Chances of Conceiving when Using Male Infertility Medicine?
Sometimes fertility pills can boost the sperm count to up to 15 million per millilitre of semen. This is considered the average as any number below that is thought to be low. Hormonal medications can have an effect on your body and so it is always best to consult with a doctor as to how much you need and for the correct dosage. The chances of these medications working really depend on your condition and if you are taking the correct amount for your particular situation. Some drugs like clomiphene are sometimes effective, but sometimes they are not. Gonadotrophins are a more effective medication as it increases sperm production in around 90% of the cases.
What Are The Side Effects of Fertility Drugs in Men?
Every drug is different and will present their own side effects. Some of these are discussed below.
1. Synthetic Testosterone
Some of the problems that synthetic testosterone can lead to are:
- Mood fluctuations
- Liver problems
- Low energy levels
Some of the problems that clomiphene can lead to are:
- Vision changes
- Weight gain
- Breast enlargement
- Changes in libido
Some of the side effects that gonadotrophins can lead to are:
- Breast enlargement
- The site of injection will be sore
Some of the side effects that Bromocriptine can lead to are:
- Liver problems
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal body movements
Tips to Increase Male Fertility Naturally
There are three ways in which fertility is affected; namely environmental, dietary and lifestyle. Here are some ways that you can help boost your fertility through incorporating a few changes in your diet and lifestyle:
- Regular Exercise: Exercising on a regular basis can help to boost your fertility as it helps to increase the testosterone levels in your body. Men who exercise on the daily have better quality of semen and better testosterone levels. Exercising for about 45 minutes every day for at least five days of the week paired with a healthy and balanced diet does a fantastic job of improving fertility.
- Balanced Diet: Nutrient deficiency prevents sperm production due to impaired hormonal functioning. This can lead to unhealthy and abnormal sperm. Improving your nutrition and diet to include more balanced meals will allow your body to get the required amounts of minerals, vitamins and iron. Fresh vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts and seeds are great foods to include in your diet to help to get the bare necessities of nutrients.
- Nutritional Supplements: Supplements can help to improve male fertility by increasing sperm count or motility of the sperm. Vitamin C helps in motility of the sperm as it prevents them from sticking; Zinc supplements can help in boosting motility of the sperm, testosterone levels and sperm count. The ideal amount of zinc to include in your diet is 100 to 200 milligrams per day. Some other natural sources of Zinc are oysters, turkey, organ meat, wheat germ, legumes and nuts.
When protein is digested, it produces something called arginine, which is needed in order to produce sperm cells. A natural way to include this in your diet would be through fish, poultry, meat, dairy, nuts and chocolate.
Some other nutrients that improve sperm count if taken daily and in the right amounts are copper, with a daily dosage of 2mg; chromium, with a daily dosage of 1000mcg; vitamin B12, with a daily dosage of 1000mcg; essential fatty acids, with a daily dosage of 9 to 12 gm a day; selenium, with a daily dosage of 200mcg; coenzyme Q10, with a daily dosage of 400mg daily.
- Herbal Supplements: Herbal supplements have been known to improve blood circulation in the reproductive system, sexual desire and they improve reproductive health in general. Some of the herbs that help with male fertility are ginseng, which is also known as a male tonic; Siberian ginseng; saraspallia; astralagus; saw palmetto; maca root; Ashwagandha; Fenugreek; and puncturevine.
How Can You Prevent Infertility?
Infertility that is caused due to lifestyle can be prevented by taking certain measures. Here are some ways in which infertility caused through lifestyle can be prevented:
- Sperm motility and morphology are affected by alcohol, nicotine and other drugs. Try avoiding these.
- Putting on too much weight can cause the sperm cell morphology to become affected.
- Cycling, using saunas, taking long and hot baths, and wearing tight and confining clothing are things that affect the testicular temperature by raising it, thus resulting in the fertility to become affected as well.
- Stress affects sperm-production so try some deep breathing to calm down if you feel stressed.
- Pesticides, heavy metals and other toxic agents can affect the body, and so you should avoid overexposure to these things.
- The radiations that emit from laptops and mobiles have a negative impact on sperm. Try to limit the use of these things.
- Avoid promiscuous sex as it can lead to sexually transmitted diseases, something that will most certainly affect your fertility and life.
- Plastic can cause hormonal imbalances, and it is always best to avoid storing food in plastic containers.
- Choose the un-bleached versions of coffee filters, paper, toilet rolls and tissues as they have fewer chemicals in them which will negatively impact fertility and are safer for use.
- Avoid using chlorinated tap water as it will negatively impact fertility.
- Consume organic food to avoid ingesting any pesticides
- Hormonal imbalances are caused due to synthetic cosmetics and deodorants
- Try avoiding animal products that have too much fat in them
- Fried foods, barbequed and charcoal-broiled cooking techniques can have a negative impact on fertility.
What is The Cost of Infertility Drugs?
Depending on the brand picked, the prices of the drugs for male infertility can differ. Clomiphene in India can be priced anywhere from Rs 30 to 100 for a strip of 5 – 10 tablets, depending on the dosage. Gonadotrophins are costlier, coming to an average of Rs 500 for a vial containing 5000iu. Bromocriptine medications will fall under Rs 200. The cost of imipramine is under Rs 100. Letrozole medications cost an average of Rs 1,200.
The same drugs used to treat female infertility can be used to treat men who suffer from infertility as well; however, they will not work as well in men as in women. Hormonal drugs can be used to treat male infertility that is caused due to an imbalance in the hormones. For those whose infertility is caused due to an infection, antibiotics are the way to go. Supplements can also be added to treatments in order to help in boosting fertility in men.