Infertility in men is a rising trend. More and more couples are finding it difficult to conceive and the chances of men being infertile are 50/50. The main causes for male infertility are low sperm count and unhealthy sperms.
Acharya Charaka mentions the following causes for male infertility and unhealthy sperms.
- Old age (jara)
- Worry or anxiety (chinta)
- Diseases (vyadhi)
- Exertion (Karma Karshana)
- Weakness (kshaya)
- Fasting (anashana)
- Over indulgence in sexual act
- Strained relationship.
Old Age: The shukra dhatu in men diminishes as age advances. Quantity and quality of semen also decreases due to reduced shukra dhatu. In men, the production of male hormone testosterone starts declining after the age 35. This influences the sperms and decrease their count and motility. Thus infertility surfaces as men age. Ayurveda recommends “Vajikarana Therapy” to slow down the aging process and boost the sperm health in men whoc are above 30 years.
Worry or anxiety and Grief: Worry or anxiety cause stress which in turn lead to release of stress hormone. Stress hormone affects the functioning of testosterone and influence sperm health. Yoga and pranayama are of great help to reduce stress and they also boost secretion of happy hormones which increase the effectiveness of testosterone
Diseases : Bacterial and viral infections, sexually transmitted diseases, diseases of thyroid gland or pituitary gland all influence the strength of sperms. Immunity boosting herbs and healthy diet with good lifestyle help to keep diseases at bay
Exertion: Excessive exercise or physical work lowers testosterone and can cause male infertility. So exercise in moderation considering the strength of body.
Weakness: A person may become weak by malnutrition or chronic illness. The important nutrients like protein, minerals and vitamins will be very low in body when a person is weak. Sperm count plummets when nutrient levels are low. Eating balanced food and following dinacharya(daily regimen) and ritucharya (seasonal regimen) keeps the body strength up.
Fasting intermittently always keep us healthy. But fasting for long intervals of time or following a crash diet for weight loss may drastically lower the level of nutrients in body affecting the sperm health.
Over indulgence in sexual act: Repeated use of an organ or tissue renders it useless. Overuse increases the stress on that organ or tissue and makes it incapable of carrying out its normal function. Thus repeated ejaculations due to over sexual act lower the semen volume, sperm count and motility
Strained relationship: Strained relationships increase depression and stress. These two psychological conditions affect the effectiveness of testosterone and its function nose dives. This affects sperm count and sperm motility.