It’s clear that we are future people living in a world where anything is possible. Cars are going to be making life and death decisions. Drones are taking pictures of everyone’s roof. And there are pills to cure pretty much anything — at least according to the most trusted AM radio stations and late-night infomercials.
But is there a pill to cure male infertility? If you did a Google search you’d probably think there was, considering the flood of miracle cures that would flood your screen. But, as per usual with reality, the cold facts are a bit harsher than fiction. Here’s how to separate them.
The Down-Low On Fertility Supplements
Male infertility can cause stress and depression in men who are trying to conceive, and the cost of many Assistive Reproduction Therapies (ART) can be prohibitive. So, it’s not surprising that companies see a huge, willing market of men looking for a cheap and easy way to boost sperm motility and number.
The problem is that the bulk of supplements have very little scientific study to back them up. In fact, because they’re not regulated by the rules required to create medications, they don’t need to prove effectiveness at all. That reason in and of itself should cause you to pause before dumping a grip of Testicle-Blast 5000 (TM) down your gullet.
There are a few other ways to spot the scams:
- Sales pitches are pushy or over-excited
- Claims seem too good to be true (they are)
- Cited research can’t be corroborated by a web search
- Prices and deals are shockingly low
- Forum posts are too enthusiastic and are repeated across sites
What harm could come of taking cheap untested supplements? There are plenty. For instance, megadoses of certain vitamins can cause toxicity. Also, there are plenty of herbs that can cause severe drug interactions. And finally, there could be issues with impurities that could cause health concerns. If you’re not sure about a supplement, start here.
Legitimate Male Infertility Drugs
There are really only a couple of classes of pharmaceuticals that are commonly used to treat male infertility, and interestingly they are the same drugs used on women. That’s not surprising when you consider the hormones that determine the creation of both sperm and eggs are pretty similar for you and your lady. The big difference is that the 2 drugs are administered in different cycles. They are:
Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid)
This is a common drug used to treat infertility in women. In men it causes the pituitary gland to release the hormones that stimulate your testicles (but not in a fun way) so they produce more testosterone and sperm. Dosage is generally one pill a day, costing up to $500 per month.
Gonadotropins And Associated Hormones
This is another treatment option common to women. The injection of gonadotropins and hormones associated with them are often used in men with infertility linked to hyper- and hypogonadism. Much like Clomid, it is used to increase testosterone and sperm production. Injections run about $200. 6-to-12 months of monthly shots are usually recommended.
Do They Work?
The good news about these drugs is that they work pretty well … for women. While there is enough data to support their continued medical use for men, they simply aren’t as effective. And it’s possible that the results they do give you will fail to outweigh the possible side effects of breast enlargement and tenderness, weight gain, and vision issues.
What To Do Instead
If you’re struggling with fertility, there is research to suggest that a diet rich in certain nutrients may increase sperm health. However, the most important thing to do is simply live a health-conscious lifestyle. That means eating meals chock full of veggies and fruits, maintaining a healthy body mass index, laying off the booze and weed, and getting in some exercise. But not too much exercise. That strong lifestyle may be just what you need to turn keep from driving you nuts about your nuts. At least until you can get a miracle pill … delivered to you by a self-driving car.