Are you worried you’re experiencing a male fertility problem? According to the National Infertility Association RESOLVE, male fertility challenges are the primary concern in at least 30% of cases where a couple struggles to conceive. Men need healthy sperm, balanced testosterone, vibrant circulation, and strong reproductive organs for optimum fertility health.
Watching your body signs and symptoms can provide valuable information on areas where you need reproductive support. Yet, if you suspect you have a challenge, it’s important to reach out to your healthcare provider. Medical testing and evaluation are needed to have a full understanding of male fertility health.
Major Male Fertility Health Issues
Here are four major male fertility concerns men should not ignore and the resources for learning what to do about them.
1. Low Sperm Count/ Abnormal Sperm Morphology- Low sperm count and abnormal sperm morphology are two of the biggest fertility concerns affecting men today. Sperm count is considered low if you have less than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Some men test normal for sperm count but have abnormal sperm morphology. Abnormal sperm have a misshapen head, or a crooked or double tail, and are unable to successfully fertilize an egg.
You will need a complete a semen analysis from a medical doctor to know for sure where you stand with your sperm health. Ejaculatory fluids often seem normal when the sperm count is low or morphology is abnormal.
Good news: Most men with low sperm count or problems with sperm morphology can still father children, but it may take more time. If your tests reveal a problem, ask your doctor for recommendations and explore natural therapies for support:
Increasing Low Sperm Count and Improving Male Fertility
Male Fertility Health: Encouraging Healthy Sperm Morphology.
2. Low Testosterone/ Elevated Estrogen- Hormone imbalances regularly affect male fertility. We most commonly hear about low testosterone. It’s estimated that about 5 million men in the US have low testosterone. For fertility purposes, testosterone supports male libido, erectile function and overall reproductive health.
A decline in testosterone often comes with age. As men reach their 40s, production of testosterone is reduced while estrogen and PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels may rise.
I recommend having hormone testing to be sure, but here are body signs your testosterone could be low: hot flashes, mood swings, low energy and libido; diminished erections; reduced muscle mass; increased fat storage; hair loss, or a reduction in the size of the testis.
Important: Keep in mind that if testosterone is low, estrogen is probably elevated. In fact, many of the symptoms of low testosterone in men are consistent with elevated estrogen.
Natural therapies to encourage testosterone production:
- Follow a Male Fertility Diet for the nutritional building blocks.
- Regular exercise restores energy and libido, and can boost testosterone production.
- Consider herbs like Maca (Lepidium meyenii) and Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris) which encourage normal testosterone production.
3. Varicocele/ Atherosclerosis of the Penile Artery- Varicocele is a varicose vein in the scrotum, which can impact sperm production and health. Varicocele is a suspected factor in about 40% of male infertility cases according to Fertility and Sterility. Large, palpable varicoceles often benefit from a surgical approach, but success can be limited for smaller varicoceles.
Atherosclerosis of the penile artery is also common and can decrease male fertility. Body signs and symptoms to watch for that indicate you may be at risk: erection problems; high blood pressure; high cholesterol; being overweight; smoking.
Natural therapies for reproductive blockages and varicocele:
- Avoid smoking, consuming excess alcohol or foods high in saturated fat, such as non-organic meat and dairy, and processed foods.
- Consider antioxidants like Ubiquinol to protect sperm from damage.
Resources on varicocele:
Varicocele: Guidelines for Prevention and Recovery
Natural Treatment Options for Varicocele.
4. Erectile Dysfunction, Low Libido and Premature Ejaculation- Problems with male sexuality clearly influence fertility problems. Male sexual health concerns have diverse causes. Stress, relationship problems, hormone changes, lifestyle choices, reproductive blockages, and weight issues can all influence a man’s sexual vitality and performance.
Start with stress management therapies if there is no known physical cause for a sexual issue:
- Spend more time in nature to decompress.
- Schedule a regular massage or acupuncture treatments.
- Consider counseling if you’re struggling with anxiety, depression or infertility stress.
- Explore resources to nurture your relationship and yourself: Fertility Health: Natural Ways To Reignite the Relationship Spark.
Rebuild Your Body, Rebuild Your Fertility
While addressing a male fertility concerns can be tough, many men can restore their fertility health through education, and simple changes in diet and lifestyle. For more stubborn fertility health challenges, IVF is an effective option for men that are producing at least some sperm. If you’re concerned, reach out to your doctor or other health professional. Find out where you stand, and take action to protect yourself and your fertility.
- Willett, E. (2019, Jan.). 3 of the Most Common Fertility Issues Men Experience. Retrieved from: https://natural-fertility-info.com/common-fertility-issues-men-experience.html
- Male Hormone Restoration. (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.lifeextension.com/protocols/male-reproductive/male-hormone-restoration/page-01
- Report on varicocele and infertility: a committee opinion. (2014, Dec.). Fertility and Sterility, Volume 102, Issue 6, 1556 – 1560. Retrieved from: https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(14)02234-1/fulltext
- Atherosclerosis and Erectile Dysfunction. (1996-2018). Retrieved from: https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=114356