Fertility drugs for men are believed to improve testosteroneiXMale sex hormone produced in the testicles that plays a vital role in reproduction and growth levels by balancing the hormones. Thus, these drugs improve sperm health and may enhance men’s fertility. However, not much research has been conducted on how these fertility treatments affect men. Moreover, there are only a few drug options available that help in enhancing sperm production. Nonetheless, some research explains how the drugs can improve the condition of men with pituitary glandiXA small gland attached to the base of the brain -related hormonal disorders (1). Keep reading the post to understand what reproductive medicines are available for men, how they act in the body, and their side effects.
Different Fertility Drugs For Men
Most of the conventional fertility drugs prescribed for women are also used to treat infertility in men as the same hormones control reproduction in both. Here are some of the common fertility drugs that doctors prescribe:
- Clomiphene is a non-steroid medication that is used to boost the production of pituitary hormones, the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)iXA hormone produced by the pituitary gland that is crucial for sexual development , and the luteinizing hormone (LH)iXA sex hormone produced by the pituitary gland that affects the functioning of reproductive organs . They direct the testicles to secrete testosterone and produce healthy sperm (2).
Research studies on Clomiphene citrate are limited and have mixed results. While some studies have shown no effect, some have shown little improvement in pregnancy rates (3).
- Gonadotrophins such as Human Chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG) stimulate the testes to produce testosterone and sperm. They are sometimes used in combination with assisted reproductive technologies (ART) (4).
- Letrozole is used to treat sperm issues related to obesity. This is known to increase testosterone levels in the body. Letrozole is usually a one–pill-a-week treatment (5).
- Bromocriptine prevents the release of prolactiniXA hormone that is responsible for lactation hormone in the body, as it causes a reduction in testosterone levels. This may be prescribed for men who have sperm impairment due to hyperprolactinemiaiXA condition characterized by excess production of the hormone prolactin (6).
- Imipramine is used for treating ejaculatory disorders such as retrograde retrograde ejaculationiXOccurs when sperm ejaculates into the bladder instead of coming out through the urethra . It might revert the abnormal ejaculation of sperm from the bladder into the penis (7).
- Anastrazole (Arimidex) is usually suggested when the estradioliXA hormone produced by ovaries during reproductive development levels are higher, and testosterone levels are lower. It may be prescribed for improving sperm production (8).
- Synthetic testosterone pills, injections, or gels were considered earlier, as they were believed to replenish the low levels of natural testosterone in the body. However, recent studies say it may have adverse effects on fertility (9). You should consult your doctor, though.
Remember that these medications cannot be used for fertility unless prescribed by a doctor or a fertility specialist. Hormonal medications can have side effects that may change how your body works.
How Do Fertility Drugs Work In Men?
Fertility drugs are likely to work in the following ways (10):
1. Stimulate hormonal production
Infertility-treating pills and injections contain synthesized hormones or hormone-like substances. They establish a balance between different hormones responsible for reproduction and increase testosterone levels in men.
2. Improve semen production
The primary factor that affects men’s fertility is the inability of the genitals to produce semen. In such cases, the medication may increase the production of healthy and motile sperm. In some cases, it might also increase the production of seminal fluid.
3. Normalize blood sugar levels
Sometimes, elevated blood sugars might cause infertility in men and women alike. In such cases, the drug might help keep the blood sugar levels under control and prevent diabetes as well as infertility.
4. Stimulate blood flow
Fertility drugs may not only restore the activity of reproductive organs but also stimulate blood flow. They help in conditions where infertility is a result of poor blood circulation in the genital area.
5. Increase libido
Fertility medications also contain aphrodisiac properties. They might help boost men’s sexual drive, therefore, improving the sexual life of the couple.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Fertility Drugs In Men?
Side effects may not be the same for every drug. The unpleasant implications of some of the commonly prescribed medications are discussed below (11).
Clomiphene side effects are usually mild and include:
- Weight gain
- Vision changes
- Changes in libido
- Breast enlargement
GonadotrophinsiXHormones that stimulate the sex glands can cause side effects, such as:
- Soreness at the site of injection
- Changes in libido
- Breast enlargement
Bromocriptine side effects include:
- Liver problems
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal body movements
Therefore, discuss your issue with the doctor and let them prescribe the right medicine for you.
Can You Boost Male Fertility Naturally?
Any fertility problem should be discussed with a qualified medical practitioner, an Andrologist or a Reproductive endocrinologist for the best advice. There are no quick, natural treatments for improving your fertility, but you may follow these healthy practices.
1. Improve nutrition and diet
A balanced diet will raise your chances of conceiving. Make sure your food has the required amounts of minerals, vitamins, and iron. Nutritional deficiencies can impair hormonal functioning, prevent sperm production, and lead to abnormal and unhealthy sperms.
- Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts, and seeds as they help boost fertility.
- Drink water and keep yourself hydrated.
- Try to maintain a weight that is ideal for your age and height.
Dr. Laura Purdy, a US-based board-certified family medicine physician, says, “There are no specific foods that directly improve sperm count. However, it is important that the man is living a healthy lifestyle. They should have a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet and limit the intake of caffeine, alcohol, drugs, and other substances, such as cigarettes to have the healthiest body and sperm.”
2. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise may improve testosterone levels. Studies show that men who exercise regularly have better semen quality and higher testosterone levels (12).
However, you should avoid excessive exercise as that can have an opposite effect on fertility. If you are not sure about what exercises to do, talk to a trainer. They may be able to help you with the right exercise regimen.
3. Include nutritional supplements
If your doctor sees the necessity, they may prescribe nutritional supplements that might help increase sperm count and/or motility (13).
- Vitamin C helps prevent the sperm from sticking together and improves the chances of fertility.
- Zinc supplements may help increase testosterone levels, sperm motility, and count.
- The body produces arginine upon protein digestion. Arginine is needed to produce sperm cells. You may have meat, poultry, dairy, fish, nuts, and chocolate to obtain this compound.
Dr. Purdy recommends, “If the cause of male infertility is low testosterone, men may find that taking Asheville, Gonda, vitamin D, or zinc could be beneficial for naturally improving their testosterone levels. However, for people who have a severe deficiency, this will not be helpful. It is important to check in with your urologist so that the best most targeted treatments can be picked out for you, including supplements and vitamins.”
Treatment methods ensure that infertility is cured or mitigated. But there are ways of preventing infertility too.
Can Male Infertility Be Prevented?
It is possible to prevent only lifestyle-related fertility issues.
- Abstain from nicotine, alcohol, and illicit drugs: they affect sperm motility and morphology
- Avoid being overweight: there will be alterations in the sperm cell morphology
- Avoid things that raise testicular temperature such as wearing heavy/tight clothing, taking long and hot baths, using sauna, cycling, etc.
- Do not overstress; you could try meditating if you get stressed easily
- Avoid exposure to heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxic agents
- Avoid mobile and laptop radiations as they result in less sperm motility
- Avoid sexually transmitted diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2.5 million cases of syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea were reported in 2021.
- Avoid using plastic containers for storing food, wraps, utensils, and bottles as the chemicals in the plastic cause hormonal imbalances
- Use only non-bleached paper, coffee filters, toilet tissues, and napkins as they are safe
- Avoid chlorinated tap water
- Prefer organic foods to avoid pesticides and herbicides
- Avoid synthetic cosmetics and deodorants as they contribute to hormonal disruption
- Avoid animal products with high-fat content
- Avoid fried, barbecued, and charcoal-broiled forms of cooking
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an ideal sperm count for conception?
Research studies suggest that a motile sperm count of nearly or more than 40 million per ml falls under the fertility bracket. Semen analysis can determine the motility, morphology, and concentration of sperm in a given sample. Likewise, with a sperm count of less than 13.5 million per ml, the chances of conception drop significantly (14).
2. Can infertility in men be cured?
When the underlying issues are identified early or even when there is no specific cause, infertility in men is manageable (in most cases). In addition to medicines and supplements, there are also surgical methods for treating infertility (15).
3. Does masturbation cause low sperm count?
“Frequent ejaculation from any method could potentially result in a sperm count that is not high enough to cause a pregnancy if the man already has a low sperm count at baseline. For other men, the frequency is irrelevant, and they will be capable of having enough sperm count to conceive, even if they are having frequent ejaculations, from intercourse or from masturbation,” opines Dr. Purdy.
Infertility in men is an issue that can affect mental peace. But fret not, as there is hope for its management with some of the most commonly used infertility drugs for men and effective home remedies. Certain factors can cause infertility, and you may start by working on them and avoiding such practices. Remember to consult your doctor before resorting to any medicines, as these may sometimes induce negative impacts if taken without a prescription.
Infographic: Natural Solutions To Problems With Male Fertility
Various natural herbs are said to have a positive impact on male fertility. However, before trying them, please consult a certified herbal medicinal specialist or your healthcare provider. The same goes for different yoga poses considered good for improving fertility. The infographic below discusses some natural solutions.
- The critical factors of male infertility are considered by doctors from different angles.
- Male infertility can be caused by hormonal imbalances, medical conditions, and other factors.
- Fertility drugs such as Clomiphene, Gonadotrophins, Imipramine, and others can help improve testosterone levels in men.
- Controlling weight gain and restricting drug or alcohol consumption can prevent male infertility.
Drugs can have a negative impact on male fertility, affecting sperm production and quality. Learn more about how to cope with these effects through this informative video.
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