Several fertility issues have been plaguing urban males as a result of hectic work schedules, stressful work commitments, lack of good amount of physical activity & faulty meal patterns. These are responsible for causing erectile dysfunction, low libido levels, low sperm count, etc. These issues are mainly crop up as a result of low testosterone levels among urban males. Often the result of low testosterone levels in males is also chronic fatigue, irritability & depression.
Testosterone therapy is an alternative measure used to tackle this issue, administered in form of injections or implants or as mouth patches or gels. But the therapy comes with its own set of side effects i.e increased risk of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), prostate cancer, congestive cardiac failure, etc. Moreover, this therapy is more often opted by athletes or bodybuilders striving to gain considerable amount of muscle mass, rather than individuals facing low testosterone levels.
Hence, a natural remedy along with incorporating good amount of physical activity, sleep& relaxation techniques can work wonders in resolving this issue.
Fenugreek seeds have been well researched upon for their glycemic benefits in stabilizing blood sugar among the diabetic population. However, this humble seed used ubiquitously since ancient times in Indian cuisine has been recently researched upon for improving fertility among males. Not many studies are yet available proving its direct implications on increasing serum testosterone levels, but studies have shown that it improves libido & maintains overall healthy reproductive function in the body of both males & females.
The Action Of Fenugreek in Improving Fertility
Fenugreek seed extract contains compounds called fenuside saponins, which have been proposed to stimulate the production of male sex hormones.
Studies have shown that fenugreek acts by inhibiting the action of enzymes responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This indirectly results in showing increased or maintained levels of testosterone in the blood.
Actually, the benefit of increasing testosterone in the body can only be experienced, as far as fertility is concerned, when it gets converted to DHT since DHT is a more potent male sex hormone than testosterone, and produces vital effects in the body enhancing fertility. Since fenugreek inhibits this conversion, it provides partial fertility benefits, so say some studies.
Formulation containing fenugreek extracts along with vital minerals were found to increase physiological aspects of male libido in one study.
Ayurvedic science too confirms that fenugreek improves the tissues of reproductive organs, in conjunction with other herbs.
Beneficial Effects on Female Fertility
Apart from proving beneficial for male fertility, fenugreek seeds also have beneficial effects on female fertility.
Fenugreek seeds extracts were found to decrease the number of cysts observed in ovaries of females with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). There was also regularity in the menstrual cycles observed as a result of incorporating fenugreek seeds extracts as a supplement in the diet of these females.
Other study showed that fenugreek seed extract supplementation improved the libido in females & also improved overall sexual health.
Several studies have shown that a daily dosage of approx. 500 – 600 mg for 6-8 weeks have shown significant results in fertility among both males & females.
Fenugreek seeds extracts are now available in capsule or tablet form of 500 or 600 mg which can be taken as a daily supplement under medical prescription & supervision.
On the whole, maintaining a healthy lifestyle consisting of regular physical activity, proper stress management, adequate nutrition, sleep & abstinence from smoking & alcohol can go a long way in improving fertility, with natural supplements as an adjunctive therapy.