Male infertility is defined as male's inability to cause pregnancy in a fertile female. Infertility affects up to 15% of reproductive-aged couples worldwide. According to World Health Organization’s estimate the overall prevalence of primary infertility in India is between 3.9 to 16.8%. Most common causes of male infertility include erectile dysfunction, low sperm production, pre-existing genetic conditions, hormone disorders, injury to the groin area, previous surgeries such as hernia repair or vasectomy, infections like STDs, urinary tract infections or mumps infection after puberty.
Treatments for male infertility include counselling and medication. Counselling can help improve fertility in conditions such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. Hormone replacement therapy or medications can be useful when infertility is caused by hormonal imbalance or problems with the way the body uses hormones. Obstruction in sperm transport can be corrected surgically. Artificial insemination is advised when sperm count is low. In vitro fertilization is another treatment option for male infertility in which egg and sperm are fertilized in laboratory and then fertilized egg is placed in female’s uterus.
Ayurveda has addressed Male Infertility and its management in great detail and a separate clinical branch termed as Vajikaran chikitsa (Eugenics & Aphrodisiacs) has been developed by ancient Ayurvedic physicians for treating infertility and for birth of healthy progeny.
The healthy state of the Bija i.e. Shukra (sperm) and Aartava (ovum) is the most essential entity for conception.. In Ayurveda, the terms Retas, Beeja, Veerya are used to describe Shukra Dhatu. The Shukra Dhatu which is unctuous, dense, slimy, sweet, non-irritating (mild) in nature and crystal white like sphatik/alum is termed as Prashasta. Acharya Charak has described eight types of Retodosha/Shukra Dushti (seminal abnormalities) namely Phenila, Tanu, Ruksha, Vivarna, Puti, Pichhila, Anya dhatu upasamsrushta and Avasadi.. The terms Shukra Dosha, Alpa retasa, Kshin retasa and Shukra doshaja klaibya are used to denote Male infertility. It can be caused due to Bija upatapa (Congenital abnormalities) and Shukra Dhatu Dushti caused by Ativyavaya (Over indulgence in sexual activity), Ati Vyayama (Over exertion), Avyayama (laziness) Asatmyanam cha sevanat (eating over spicy, salted, sour, frozen foods, foods with low nutrition and lack of hygiene), behavioural habits like sleeping very late at night, hectic lifestyle, addictions like alcohol and tobacco and mental factors like stress, fear, grief etc. This leads to disparity of Rakta and Pitta Dosha, ultimately causing Shukra kshaya i.e. deficit in Shukra Dhatu (Semen) qualitatively and quantitatively.
Ayurvedic treatment of Male infertility:
Ayurveda advises Kaya shuddhi (generalised detoxification of the body) followed by medicinal treatment for Shukra shodhan and Shukra Janan for effective management of Male infertility.
Depending upon dominancy of vitiated doshas, Shodhan chikitsa is advised. Vaman is advised in Kapha dushti, Virechan is advised in Pitta dushti and Basti is advised in case of Vata dushti. Uttar Basti treatment strengthens the muscles of urinary tract and reproductive system. Abhyanga (massage), Shirodhara and Nasya are useful for physical and mental relaxation. Herbs such as Shatavari, Bala, Musali, Ashvagandha, Amla, Gokshur, Yashtimadhu, Kapikachhu are used to treat male infertility. Ayurvedic medicines such as Chyavanprash, Musali paak, Kushmand Avleha, Shatavari kalpa, Shilajatu Rasayan, Swarna Bhasma etc. are used as internal medicines for male infertility. Ayurveda has also prescribed Dinacharya, Ritucharya, Ratricharya, Traya upastambha palan, Achara Rasayana and Sadvritta palan as adjuvant to medical treatment.
Since last 30 years, Dr. Kohli has been successfully treating patients suffering from male infertility of varied aetiologies. The customized treatments for male infertility include Panchakarma and internal medications. The customized treatments help increase secretion of androgens, reduce free radicals, nourish sperm, correct erectile dysfunction, decrease stress and depression. Several patients are able to conceive a child after having customized treatments.