Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.
Trying for a baby with your partner can be difficult, especially if you’re having trouble with either your performance or your fertility.
If you’re going to increase your fertility, you need to understand what it is that causes you to have such troubles in the first place.
In this article we shall cover the following points:
- What is ashwagandha?
- Male fertility
- How's it taken
- When to avoid it
- What else can you do?
What is ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a shrub that grows only in Asia and Africa and has a multitude of uses, most commonly to reduce stress.
It contains components that have shown to reduce stress related blood pressure in studies, making it the perfect tool for calming your body - but there’s a lot more to it than that.
If you’re unsure about the herb, it’s important to know that it’s been used for thousands of years and is used in Ayurvedic medicine.
Simply put, it was used as a calming herb that was meant for encouraging longer lives, improving health, and keeping the mind calm.
Aside from helping with stress and anxiety, it’s also said to help with the following:
While not fully proven, a study from 2019 examining the effects of ashwagandha and depression among a group of individuals with the results reporting a reduction of symptoms.
The reason this is significant is that depression can put a strain on your own sex drive. Not only this, but some depression medications will also decrease your sex drive, so if herbs like ashwagandha are able to help alleviate your symptoms of depression, it can aid your attempts at pregnancy.
As ashwagandha has certain calming effects on the brain, it also helps to reduce your blood pressure, preliminary evidence looks like it can help in reducing inflammation.
While it may not be the most effective anti-inflammatory you can get your hands on, it can still help when it comes to treating infections.
A number of studies have shown that ashwagandha can increase fertility in men, and this is for multiple different reasons.
The number of health benefits that this herb can bring effects multiple of the factors that determine your sperm health, which make it an effective herb for use when trying to increase your own fertility.
Studies taken show that those who have consumed the herb have shown a significant increase in testosterone levels.
As a hormone imbalance is something that can put a strain on your sexual health, it’s encouraged that you seek to medicate that imbalance. As ashwagandha is a trusted and healthy herb, you may count it as one of your options.
Studies have also shown that on top of increasing your testosterone levels, consuming ashwagandha can also significantly increase both your sperm count and motility.
This means that your sperm is able to perform better, and won’t be lacking in number. Both motility and count can play a huge role in your fertility, so any benefit can help.
Stress is another factor that plays a role in your sexual health, and if you’re frequently under too much stress, then your body isn’t going to function as it should. High levels of stress are associated with reduced semen quality as outlined in this paper published during 2014.
How it’s taken
Typically, the herb is taken as a typical capsule that you would see with many other powder-based drugs or herbs.
You can take it at any time of the day, but it is recommended that you take it at night. Due to the calming effect, you might notice that it helps you get a good night’s sleep. On the other hand, taking it at any point in the day may help to reduce stress.
If you notice any discomfort when taking the capsule, you should consider changing how you take it. With water, and possibly with a meal if you’re looking to achieve the most comfort possible. Neglecting to take it with water can cause complications with digestion, as pills have sometimes been noted to get stuck in the oesophagus, which can cause extreme discomfort.
Like with most medications, it’s suggested that you’re consistent with your consumption, and the research has demonstrated that 675mg per day for a period of 3 months is effective at improving sperm count, motility and semen volume.
When to avoid it
It’s important that with all medications, you consult your doctor beforehand. You need to know if it’s going to conflict with any of your current prescriptions or health concerns. Your doctor will tell you whether or not you should take it in your current state.
If you’re scheduled to have surgery, you should make sure you haven’t consumed any ashwagandha within two weeks of the appointment.
Overconsumption of the herb can cause you to vomit, have diarrhoea or at the very least have an upset stomach, however, overall ashwagandha has shown to be transient and side effects minimal.
You should also speak with your doctor if you’re currently experiencing any of the following health conditions: cancer, diabetes, any kind of ulcers, or issues with the thyroid.
What else you can do
Your sperm health is affected by a number of things, and ashwagandha isn’t going to be effective if you ignore the other problems.
Cut down drinking
Drinking too much alcohol is often the cause of low sperm count and infertility. If you can moderate your drinking, you should see more promising results after a short time.
Improve your diet
Supplying your body with the nutrients it needs means your sperm is seeing those benefits. Motility and sperm count should both benefit from a balanced and nutritious diet, you can read our guide outlining the foods which can improve your reproductive health.
Overall, numerous studies have demonstrated that ashwagandha can significantly increase your sperm count if you’re having trouble with fertility, however, you should not see it as a cure-all.
Ashwnagandha can be used alongside a healthy lifestyle and features in our male fertility product.