Ayurvedic Treatment and Remedies of Male Infertility due to Oligospermia and Varicocele
Ayurveda, the Science of life has given due importance to the process of procreation. Infertility is one of the major issues faced by couples in the modern era. It is defined as the inability to achieve pregnancy after one year of regular sexual intercourse without any contraception.
Current data reveals that about one-third of all infertility cases are due to male factor defects. Male infertility can be defined as any health issue in a man that lowers his chance of impregnating a fertile female partner.
According to Ayurveda, Oligospermia can be correlated with ‘Shukra Kshaya”.Low sperm count, also known as oligospermia, is one of the common causes of infertility in men which is characterized by a low sperm count in their semen. It is defined as a condition of suboptimal concentration of spermatozoa in the ejaculated semen to cause successful fertilization of an ovum.
Ayurveda recommends a very effective, holistic, and wide range of treatment modalities for curing Oligospermia. Hundreds of formulations, herbs and recipes, a variety of Panchakarma, and rejuvenation therapies are advocated to achieve the qualities of semen.
Symptoms Of Oligospermia
Some of the symptoms of oligospermia are given below:
- Swelling, pain, or lump in testis.
- Sexual functioning issues like the inability to maintain an erection during sexual intercourse or erectile dysfunction.
- Low facial and body hair growth and other signs of chromosomal abnormalities and hormonal imbalances.
- Thick discharge.
- Enlarged and swollen veins in the scrotum.
Causes for Oligospermia
As per Ayurveda, oligospermia may be correlated with Kshina Shukrata. In this condition the sperms are not able to fertilize the ovum. Kshina Shukra (weak sperm) or Shukradushti (Impaired sperm) may arise due to the vitiation of doshas, especially Vata.
Some of the possible causes of oligospermia, including the following:
Varicoceles are also a common cause of low sperm production and decreased sperm quality, which can cause infertility in men. In Ayurveda, varicocele is described as Siragranthi (Swelling of veins in the sac). It is caused due to the vitiation of Apana Vayu and Rakta Dhatu. Varicocele occurs when veins in the scrotum become enlarged. Every vein has a valve that prevents blood from flowing backward, but sometimes the valve fails. This causes blood to flow back, damaging the vein and causing swelling.
- Hormonal imbalances
The hormones required for sperm production are produced by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. The sperm production gets impaired if any alteration occurs in these hormones.
- Ejaculatory problems
When semen instead of flowing out of the penis, reverses back to the bladder, then it is known as retrograde ejaculation. This condition can reduce sperm counts and cause infertility in men.
- Undescended testicles
Men born with this condition are unlikely to be fertile. If during fetal development, the testicles do not descend from the abdomen into the sac that forms the scrotum, then the fertility of that person gets hampered.
- Anti-sperm antibodies
Certain immune system cells known as anti-sperm antibodies tend to kill the sperm cells by mistakenly identifying them as harmful invaders causing low sperm count.
- Chromosomal abnormalities
Certain genetic disorders like Klinefelter's syndrome, Kallmann's syndrome, and Kartagener's syndrome can cause abnormal development in the male reproductive organs.
Obstruction is one of the major causes of oligospermia. The tubes that carry sperm, if blocked by some abnormal developments like cystic fibrosis or any injury due to prior surgeries and infections, can lead to a low flow of semen.
- Trauma or injury
Some surgeries like vasectomy, hernia repair surgery, scrotal surgeries, prostate surgeries, etc. can reduce the sperm count in your ejaculate.
- Certain medications
Certain medicines like antifungal, antibiotic, ulcer medicines, chemotherapy drugs, testosterone replacement therapy, etc. can impair sperm production in one's body.
- Environmental factors
Exposure to chemicals, radiation, and heavy metals can reduce sperm production.
The major causes of oligospermia include Varicoceles, Hormonal imbalances, Ejaculatory problems, Undescended testicles, Anti-sperm antibodies, Chromosomal abnormalities, Obstructions, Trauma or injury, certain medications and some environmental factors.
Herbal Remedies to Cure Male Infertility
- Mucuna Pruriens (Kawach)
A medicinal plant, which has been mentioned in the treatises of ancient Indian texts such as the Charaka Samhita’ and the ‘Susrutha Samhita’. The plant is a vigorous climber, bears purple or white flowers, and has turgid S-shaped pods. The medicinally valuable parts are the seeds, though studies have revealed the presence of active components in stems and leaf too.
An excellent restorative and rejuvenating tonic, it ensures good physical performance for the individual and leads to balanced and harmonious health. It balances debility, general fatigue and provides strength to muscles and bones.
- Safed Musli
The dried roots of Safed Musli (also known as asparagus) are used in Ayurveda as an aphrodisiac. Its tubers are used in Ayurvedic medicine preparations. White Musli or Safed Musli is primarily used as a tonic to rejuvenate the reproductive system. The regular use of this herb is valuable in premature ejaculation and low sperm count in men. As it is very rich in glycosides, it works very well in curing impotency and low sperm count.
This is a very effective medicine for male infertility. It corrects metabolism and helps to provide proper nutrition. It is effective in mental disorders. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. It is a tonic for the nerves and helps in neuritis. It is helpful in sexual disorders like erectile dysfunction and Oligospermia.
Ayurvedic Treatments for Male Infertility
Ayurveda is an ancient and holistic approach to treat various diseases properly. Similarly, male infertility due to Oligospermia is one among them. Some of the Ayurvedic treatments are the following:
Panchakarma treatment for Male Infertility
Panchakarma treatment has shown to bring the deranged doshas back on track. A few panchakarma treatments for male infertility are:
- chikitsa (cleansing therapy).
Exercises and Yoga
Regular exercise, yoga, and eating balanced meals help in keeping the mind, body, and soul balanced. Include the following Yogasanas in your daily yoga practice.
- padmasana (lotus pose).
- paschimottanasana (seated forward bend).
- bhujangasana (cobra pose).
- sarvangasana (shoulder stand).
- praivritta trikonasana (twisted triangle pose).
Ayurvedic Medicines for Male Infertility
In Ayurvedic terms, Dravya denotes the medicine or drug used for treatment. For male infertility, certain Dravyas are used to provide Balya (those which increase the strength of the body), Brumhana (those which provide necessary nutrition to the body), and Vrishya (those which increase fertility).
Some of the recommended Dravyas are the following:
- Cow’s milk.
- Cow’s ghee.
- Musali Pak.
- Kushmanda Avaleha.
- Rasayana Vati that are known to help maintain sexual wellness.
A special branch of Ayurveda developed to treat infertility issues is Vajikarana. Some of the Vajikarana Dravyas include:
- Semen enhances Dravyas – milk, ghee, Shatavari, ashwagandha, etc.
- Semen purifying Dravyas – sugarcane, Kushtha, etc.
- Dravyas promote the fertilization capacity in semen- Brahmi, Shatavari, Guduchi, etc.
- For libido increasing- Kesar, garlic, long pepper, Lavagna (clove), etc.
- Dravyas prevent premature ejaculation- nutmeg, ashwagandha, Chandana, etc.
Prevention to Fertility
To protect your fertility, avoid known factors that can affect sperm count and quality. They are:
- Don't smoke.
- Limit or abstain from alcohol.
- Avoid illicit drugs.
- Talk to your doctor about medications that can affect sperm count.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid heat.
- Manage stress.
- Avoid exposure to pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins.
Foods that can Boost Sperm Count
There are a lot of foods that can boost sperm count and some of them are listed below:
Eggs are a healthy option to increase sperm count as they are filled with protein. Eggs also protect the sperm from damaging free radicals and improve motility. The nutrients present in an egg, help in the production of stronger and healthier sperm and improve fertility.
Folic acid is integral for the healthy development of sperm. Leafy vegetables are a rich source of folic acid and spinach is an ideal supplement to include in your diet. Higher levels of folic acid also reduce the number of abnormal sperms in the semen thereby increasing the chances of successful penetration of the sperm into the egg.
Vitamins such as A, B1, and C in bananas help the body manufacture healthier and stronger sperm cells. The sperm count also depends on these vitamins. Bananas are rich in these vitamins and contain a rare enzyme known as Bromelain. This enzyme prevents inflammation as well as helps the body improve sperm quality and count.
- Maca Roots
Maca roots are known to increase sperm counts and fertility. Men who consume this herb as a supplement tend to have an increased volume of semen as well and also possess sperms of better motility.
Asparagus is a vegetable that is high in vitamin C and has several positive effects on sperm. It fights free radicals as well as protects the testicular cells, paving the way to better sperm counts, increased motility, and sperm quality.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is loaded with an amino acid named L-Arginine HCl which is proven to contribute to higher sperm counts and volume. Consumption in limited quantities can improve sperm counts to an extent.
Nuts are a good source of healthy fats and protein. Healthy fat is required for the production of the cell membrane for sperm cells. These omega-3 fatty acids also help boost the volume of sperm by promoting blood flow to the testicles. The arginine content in walnuts contributes to the increase in sperm count. The antioxidants present in walnuts also help in removing toxins in the bloodstream.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Phytosterol, which is known to improve testosterone production in the body, is a component that is present in pumpkin seeds. This helps in the increase of sperm count and fertility. These seeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids that improve blood circulation and increase semen volume.
Zinc-rich Foods with Production of Sperm cells
Zinc plays a huge role in the production of sperm cells. Foods such as barley, beans, and red meat are rich in zinc and should be included in your diet to have a higher sperm count. The deficiency of zinc can even lead to a decrease in sperm motility, reducing fertility.
The following foods are beneficial in the treatment of varicocele:
- Whole grains.
- Poultry, Fish, and fish oil.
- Olive oil.
- Essential fatty acids.
- Flaxseed oil.
- Fresh fruit.
- Fresh vegetables.
- High-fiber foods to help digestion and prevent constipation to avoid pressure on the veins near the bowels and the pelvic floor.
- Food containing flavonoids to strengthen the blood vessels.
- Organic Foods.
- Fluids and water to remain hydrated.
In Ayurveda, Oligospermia is a pitta-related condition. When the pitta gets imbalanced, it leads to excessive loss of Shukra Dhatu. The treatment pacifies the aggravated pitta dosha and the supplements naturally increase the number of healthy sperms and their mobility, to allow a male to father a child.
The above-mentioned information is collected from various Ayurvedic resources. The treatment rules may change based on a person's body nature. So always take the advice of an Ayurvedic practitioner before starting any Ayurvedic techniques and diet.
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