Does Ashwagandha Improve Sperm Count and Male Fertility?

Several ashwagandha capsules in a small glass bowl and spread out on a table

6 Ways Ashwagandha May Improve Male Fertility

Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a widely recognized herb with a reputation for a range of potential health benefits, particularly those pertaining to anxiety management. From improving overall well-being to influencing fertility, this adaptogenic herb has gained attention for its holistic effects on the body.

Research suggests that it may play a significant role in regulating hormones, enhancing sperm production, and potentially impacting libido. While early studies have shown promising results, it’s important to acknowledge that the scientific evidence is still developing and inconclusive.

It’s also worth noting that much of the research has been conducted on animals rather than humans. As the understanding of ashwagandha’s impact on fertility continues to evolve, it remains an area of interest for further exploration and study.

Here are six ways that ashwagandha may boost male fertility and sexual function, according to current research.

1. Improves Erectile Dysfunction

Limited research suggests that ashwagandha could potentially be beneficial in addressing erectile dysfunction by targeting various aspects such as stress reduction, hormone regulation, and improved circulation.

Although specific studies in this area are lacking, ashwagandha is believed to have an impact on hormone levels, including testosterone, which plays a vital role in sexual function, libido, and erectile capacity.

Research using male rats experiencing stress and diminished sexual activity has shown a possible benefit of ashwagandha in boosting sexual arousal and the ability to achieve and keep an erection. This improvement is believed to be due to the influence ashwagandha has on biological pathways associated with sexual function and the body’s response to stress.

While further research is necessary to validate these findings in human subjects, these preliminary indications provide insight into the potential benefits of ashwagandha for erectile dysfunction.

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2. Increases Sperm Count and Motility

Ashwagandha is believed to have the potential to improve both the quantity and motility of sperm. Sperm count refers to the number of sperm cells present within semen, while motility refers to their ability to move effectively.

According to a 2018 review, ashwagandha may influence fertility by positively impacting sperm quality parameters such as motility and count. For example, one study conducted in 2013 showed that just three months of ashwagandha supplementation increased sperm counts by 167%, motility by 57%, and semen volume by 53%.

Scientists propose that these improvements are likely associated with increased enzyme activity in semen and reduced oxidative stress.

See Also: Best Supplements to Increase Sperm Count & Male Fertility

3. Boosts Testosterone Levels

One of ashwagandha’s standout attributes lies in its capacity to elevate testosterone levels appreciably. This boost may be attributed to its potential to enhance the performance of the body’s innate endogenous antioxidants. Consequently, it emerges as a valuable adjunct for enhancing male fertility.

A recent small-scale 2022 study in men with reduced sexual desire revealed a notable increase in serum testosterone levels after taking 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily. It’s worth mentioning that healthy testosterone levels can have positive effects on sperm production, mental well-being, and energy levels.

4. Improves Progesterone Levels

While there isn’t a large body of research directly linking ashwagandha to progesterone levels, a 2016 study on male rats addicted to opioids found that ashwagandha was associated with increased progesterone levels, which in turn stimulated other sex hormones.

Moreover, the study also observed positive effects on testosterone, estrogen, and luteinizing hormone levels as a result of ashwagandha supplementation.

5. Enhances Sex Drive

Ashwagandha’s potential benefits for libido and sex drive can indirectly contribute to supporting fertility through its impact on hormones, stress reduction, and mental well-being.

A recent 2023 study conducted on male rats experiencing stress and reduced sexual activity has hinted at the potential of ashwagandha in enhancing sexual arousal and the ability to develop and maintain an erection. The observed improvement is linked to the influence of ashwagandha on biological pathways associated with sexual function and the body’s response to stress.

6. Reduces Cortisol Levels

Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, plays a significant role in influencing stress levels and can impact various aspects of life, including sleep, fertility, and sexual function. Ashwagandha has been studied for its potential to reduce stress and alleviate anxiety.

A small study conducted in 2019 found that ashwagandha may lower serum cortisol levels, leading to a significant decrease in stress levels and an improvement in overall quality of life. Additionally, the study showed a notable enhancement in sleep quality among participants who took either 250 milligrams (mg) or 600 mg of ashwagandha root extract daily.

Ashwagandha Dosage For Male Fertility

Ashwagandha has been shown to have a positive impact on fertility and reproductive health, particularly in men. According to a study involving 75 males dealing with infertility, daily consumption of 5 g of ashwagandha over a 3-month period resulted in increased sperm count and motility.

Similarly, another study found that highly stressed men who took 5 g of ashwagandha per day also experienced improved sperm quality, with 14% of their partners achieving pregnancy by the end of the 3-month study. Additional research studies have reported similar findings with consistent dosages.

Other research shows that consuming 675mg of ashwagandha daily for three months can significantly improve semen parameters and increase levels of beneficial hormones. This includes a 167% increase in sperm count, 53% increase in semen volume, and 57% increase in sperm motility. Additionally, testosterone and LH levels were both elevated after the 90-day period, indicating the effectiveness of ashwagandha as a male fertility supplement.

Overall, the evidence suggests that taking 5 g of ashwagandha daily can potentially enhance male fertility in a relatively short period of 3 months.

Final Thoughts

Research into ashwagandha’s potential in addressing fertility, libido, hormone levels, and sexual function is ongoing, showing promising developments. Additionally, it may offer benefits in enhancing overall well-being, including mood, vitality, and sleep quality.

It’s crucial to recognize that the effects of herbs and supplements can differ from person to person. If you are considering incorporating ashwagandha to improve fertility, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before making any changes to your routine. They can offer personalized guidance tailored to your specific health profile and requirements.

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References
  1. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.04.046
  2. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/571420/
  3. https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(09)01014-0/fulltext
  4. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2011/576962/
  5. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hsr2.741
  6. https://www.cureus.com/articles/118730-efficacy-and-safety-of-ashwagandha-withania-somnifera-root-extract-for-improvement-of-sexual-health-in-healthy-women-a-prospective-randomized-placebo-controlled-study#!/
  7. https://www.cureus.com/articles/25730-adaptogenic-and-anxiolytic-effects-of-ashwagandha-root-extract-in-healthy-adults-a-double-blind-randomized-placebo-controlled-clinical-study#!/
  8. https://www.ijfs.ir/article_45384.html
  9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874123008395?via%3Dihub
  10. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2018/4076430/
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