Sperm Health & Sexual Performance

Sperm Health & Sexual Performance

Men's sexual health issues can be stressful to deal with, but in many cases, natural medicines and a healthy diet and lifestyle can help to improve the situation

Symptoms

  • Erectile dysfunction, sometimes referred to as impotence, is the inability to get or sustain an erection for sufficient time for sexual intercourse to occur
  • Low libido is an unusually low level of interest in sex for the individual concerned, bearing in mind that everyone's sex drive is different, and that sexual interest tends to rise and fall as a natural part of life
  • Conception difficulties may arise if sperm count is low, or if the sperm are not of high quality

Causes

  • Factors involved in erectile dysfunction may include:
  • Reduced blood flow to the penis
  • Nerve damage (e.g. during surgery or due to illness)
  • Alcohol abuse and some prescription drugs
  • Stress, Low moods or Anxiety
  • Relationship problems
  • Factors involved in male infertility may include:
  • Anatomical abnormalities (e.g. blockage or scarring in the penile tissue)
  • Hormonal problems (e.g. low levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, FSH)
  • Exposure to environmental toxins, especially heavy metals (e.g. lead), pesticides, and paint fumes. Aside from their toxicity, many such compounds have oestrogen-like effects in the body
  • Exposing the testes to heat (e.g. by working in high-heat environments)
  • Weight problems
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Infection
  • Deficiency of key nutrients

Nutritional & Herbal Support

  • Take a high potency multivitamin that provides a broad spectrum of antioxidants and nutrients to support energy production and help combat nervous tension and Stress. A formula containing Korean ginseng may be particularly beneficial, because this herb has traditionally been regarded as tonic for the male libido, and used in the management of erectile dysfunction
  • Zinc is an antioxidant and important nutrient for the male reproductive system. Supplementation may be beneficial for those looking to optimise their reproductive health. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include impotency, reduced production of both sperm and testosterone, and impaired fertility
  • Taking Grape Seed extract, Bilberry or Ginkgo may help to improve the health of the capillaries and other blood vessels, improving peripheral circulation and encouraging blood flow to the penis. 

Diet & Lifestyle advice

  • Severe, persistent or recurrent difficulties with sexual performance or conception may be indicative of underlying disease, and require medical investigation
  • Remember that occasional periods of erectile dysfunction are perfectly normal, and nothing to be ashamed of
  • Avoid working or exercising in an environment that exposes you to air pollution, solvents (e.g. paints), heavy metals, pesticides or other chemicals
  • Keep your scrotal temperature cool by avoiding high-heat environments such as saunas and spas. Choose cotton, boxer-style underwear, and avoid tight jeans or other restrictive clothes. Don't perform strenuous exercise while wearing synthetic fabrics
  • Reduce your exposure to environmental oestrogens by choosing organic food where possible. Pesticide residues may have oestrogenic effects in the body and may contribute to low sperm counts
  • Reduce your consumption of animal foods, and instead choose vegetable sources of protein, such as soy products (e.g. tofu and tempeh), legumes (e.g. soy beans, chickpeas, lentils), and nuts and seeds (especially flaxseeds). The phytoestrogens these foods contain block oestrogen-receptor sites, helping to redress any hormonal imbalance that may be present
  • Limit your consumption of saturated fats (from animal products such as meat and dairy products) and increase your consumption of omega-3 fats (from fish, nuts and seeds)
  • Fibre has the capacity to bind to oestrogen and Cholesterol, allowing them to be excreted from the body. For this purpose, soluble fibre is the most effective form of fibre; good sources include psyllium, oats, barley and fibre from legumes and pulses
  • Physical inactivity increases your risk of sexual health problems. After seeking your doctor's approval, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most or all days of the week. A brisk walk is a great start, and will also help you to manage Stress, weight problems, Blood pressure and Cholesterol
  • Learn and practice meditation or relaxation techniques in order to improve your ability to cope with Stress
  • Massage, especially with aromatherapy oils, can be a pleasurable way to relax with your partner and let go of tension. Aromatherapy oils can also be used in the bath or in an oil burner. Try lavender, bergamot or rose geranium oils, all of which have relaxing properties
  • Many relationship difficulties can be resolved through honest and open communication. If necessary, seek counselling either on your own or with your partner
  • Don't smoke or binge drink - all of these may exacerbate your problems

If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional. Information provided is of a general nature and should not replace that of your healthcare professional.

Greenridge is an Integria Healthcare brand, a manufacturer and distributor of quality herbal formulations and supplements.
Find out more about Integria Healthcare and their range of brands at integria.com.