Erectile Dysfunction, Low Sex Drive and Mens Infertility are on the rise.
Erectile Dysunction (ED) is a multifactorial and physical condition linked closely to cardiovascular disease, lack of exercise, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and high cholesterol. ED can be due to arterial or nerve damage. There is an underlying cause that interferes with how the penis functions by reducing blood flow or affecting nerves, such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension or high cholesterol. Men with ED may experience the inability to attain or maintain an erection adequate for intercourse, delayed or absent ejaculation, and an inability to control its timing. Effects of this presentation include depression, loss of self-confidence, loss of intimacy in a relationship to reduced quality of life. Statistics show only 6% of men seek treatment for Erectile Dysfunction.
A reduction in Male Libido is associated with low testosterone. One theory pertains that excess toxic oestrogens know as xenoestrogens can disturb the natural hormonal balance. Xenoestrogens are found in processed food, plastics, chemicals, toxins and sweeteners. Other factors that can reduce natural testosterone levels include obesity, hyperinsulinaemia, chronic stress and oxidative stress. Medications for depression and anxiety such as SSRIs are also associated with sexual dysfunction by 25% of users. Signs and symptoms of Low Libido include a lack or loss of sexual desires, difficulty achieving orgasm, strong anxiety or depression.
Male Infertility is usually asymptomatic, the most obvious symptom being that patient’s partner is unable to fall pregnant after 12 months of unprotected intercourse. This occurs when the male is unable to produce or deliver fully functioning sperm to the female ovum. The sperm may be underdeveloped or abnormally shaped, not move properly, or there may be inadequate numbers. Oxidative stress or cellular damage is a common factor affecting sperm quality and quantity. Along with sperm production problems due to genetic causes, infections, medicines, and chemicals. Blockage of sperm transport, sperm antibodies, ejaculation issues, hormonal imbalances such as testosterone deficiency or oestrogen excess, stress, structural disturbances due to trauma, varicoceles, hydroceles, mumps, sperm antibody production, or increased toxic load from smoking, drinking alcohol, recreational drugs not to mention nutritional deficiencies can also occur.
So What Can We Do To Change This?
Living a cleaner, healthier life with exercise and required rest will make a tremendous difference. Ideally you would start this with a good liver detox. Along with taking some important herbs and supplements…
Chinese Herbs – Traditional Chinese Medicine has a long history, as far back as 200AD, herbs were being documented to treat infertility. According to your constitution and presentation, Chinese Herbs can help your body for example clear excess heat, move stagnant qi or warm your yang energy to place you back into balance. Best taken for 2-3 months prior to trying to conceive.
Zinc – The most critical trace mineral for male sexual function. Hello Oysters (they contain lots of Zinc)! Zinc is involved in absolutely every aspect of male reproduction from hormone metabolism, sperm count, motility and morphology to normal testicular development. Higher concentrations of zinc are found in the prostate and testes. Many studies have proven that Zinc supplementation improves not only sperm count but motility and morphology too.
L-carnitine – Is important for the spermatozoa in their maturation and semen quality. Motility of sperm correlates directly with L-cartinine content. When L-cartinine levels are low, sperm development, function and motility are reduced significantly.
Selenium – Essential in the synthesis of testosterone, production and maturation of healthy spermatozoa, and sperm motility. Without sufficient selenium, sperm are unable to swim in the right direction or may become immobile. Selenium is paramount for spermatogenesis (sperm development) and protects sperm against oxidative stress.
Mens’ Lifestyle Tips
- Enjoy alcohol in moderation.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Stop smoking.
- Exercise regularly.
- Enjoy a healthy diet including fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
- Make time for good quality sleep.
- Herbal and nutritional supplementation.
- Have a regular health check-up from your GP.
- Be grateful for the wonderful man you are and all the great things in your life.
xx Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, @Ivanhoe