Understanding the Male Reproductive System
The male reproductive system consists of the following structures:
Fig: Anatomy of male reproductive system
Prostate gland: It is a muscular gland placed immediately behind the urinary bladder.
Cowper’s gland: They are paired glands place behind the urethra. They gradually diminish in size as age advances.
Penis: It has root, body and glans penis. The glans penis is a conical structure containing the opening of the urethra.
Testes: These are two glandular organs, which secrete semen. They are surrounded by the scrotum (not shown in the diagram). Testes secrete testosterone, the male sex hormone responsible for secondary sexual characters.
Epididymis: It is a duct of narrow mass lying along the inner side of each testis. Its main function is to transport the spermatozoa away from the testes.
Vas Defrens: It is the excretory duct of the testis and is the continuation of the epididymis.
Seminiferous tubules: These are minute tubules lying within the testes where the sperms are produced.
Spermatozoa are minute, thread like structures, which are integral part of the semen. They combine with ovum and the process is known as fertilization. The process of formation of spermatozoa is known as spermatogenesis.
Impotence (Erectile dysfunction)
Incidence: Erectile dysfunction is a very much prevalent condition among men all over the world. Diabetes mellitus is emerging as a major cause of erectile dysfunction among men of India. A recent study demonstrated that about half of Indian men above the age group of 40 years suffering from erectile dysfunction are of diabetic origin.
Cause: Erectile dysfunction refers to an inability on the part of the male partner to get erect posture of the penis. With advancing age the testosterone levels of the body decreases and male approaches erectile dysfunction naturally.
Psychiatric disorders like depression present with erectile dysfunction. Antidepressant drugs and antihypertensive drugs are associated with the incidence of erectile dysfunction.
Diabetic patients may present with erectile dysfunction because of the effect of elevated levels of sugar on the integrity of the nerves.
Res of the causes are as follows
- Cardiovascular disease,
- metabolic syndrome,
- pelvic surgery,
- neurological disorders,
- symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia,
- Psychological and interpersonal problems.
The groups of drugs used in treating sexual disorders like erectile dysfunction are known as aphrodisiacs. These are also known as sex-stimulating drugs. They increase blood supply to the vital part resulting in erection.
Ayurvedic formulations have been used for treating sexual diseases since antiquity. There are drugs which increase the sperm count, better known as spermopiotics. In Ayurveda these are known as shukra-janan (semen promoters).
Stress is also blamed as a causative factor for loss of libido. Under such circumstances antis stress herbs are indicated.
Ashwagandha churna one teaspoonful (5g) of the powdered drug with warm milk, twice a day, has anti stress activity.
Mineral preparations are used with effect in treating sexual diseases. Shilajeet has been described as best aphrodisiac in Ayurvedic texts. One capsule, twice a day, with water helps in boosting stamina and sperm count.
Low sperm count (Oligozoospermia)
Remedies: Kiwancha is the drug of choice. Two teaspoonfuls (10 g) of the powdered drug are recommended thrice a day, with warm milk. Alternatively, Vrahta-vangeshvara-rasa, one tablet thrice a day with butter and milk is helpful in boosting sperm count. Manamanth rasa, one tablet, with warm milk, twice a day is used for six months for increasing sperm count.
Spermatorrhoea (Premature ejaculation)
Cause: Ejaculation without intercourse is known as premature ejaculation. It is common in adolescents and the reason is physiological.
Remedies: In most of the cases, counselling is sufficient to cure the patient. Kawacha-pustika is the drug of choice. One teaspoonful with warm milk twice a day is helpful in preventing the disease.
The patient must take a mild laxative at night to ensure normal bowel movement. Sukhavirechana churana, one to two teaspoonfuls with warm milk, acts as a gentle laxative.
Ayurvedic Pre-clinical study
- Vanga Bhasma in reference is found to have testicular regenerative potential on cadmium induced testicular degeneration in albino tats, when administered orally.
- Shilajit was administered orally to 7-week-old rats over a 6-week period. In the male rats, the number of sperms in the testes and epididymides was significant higher than in the control. A histological examination revealed an apparent increase in the number of seminiferous tubular cell layers in the testes of the treated rats.
- Oral administration of Pushpadhanwa Rasa-A, B, C was given in 10 mg/kg dose along with Solanum xanthocarpum methanol extract solution for 60 days. 3 samples of Pushpadhanwa Rasa were prepared to assess their Spermatogenic effect. Pushpadhanwa Rasa-A, B, C show significant result.
The spermatogenic effect was further supported by reversal of S. xanthocarpum methanol extract induced histopathological changes. Pushpadhanwa Rasa – B proved better efficacy than the other two. Overall analysis of the histopathological observation indicates that Pushpadhanwa rasa-C has the potential of producing moderate toxicity in liver, heart and kidney on long-term administration.
(Pushpadhnwa rasa-A): Prepared traditionally with herbal triturating drugs
(Pushpadhnwa rasa-B): Prepared with extract of herbal triturating drugs
(Pushpadhnwa rasa-C): Prepared without herbal constituents.
Ayurvedic Clinical study
Virya Sthambhak Vati was effective both clinically and statistically in terms of increase in the coital duration, reduction in mental stress and improvement in penile rigidity. The drug showed no adverse effect and therefore can be continued for longer duration also.
- National Institutes of Health Web site. Impotence. NIH Consensus Statement. 1992; 10: 1–31. Available at: http://consensus.nih.gov/cons/091/091_statement.pdf. Accessed 5/15/2004.
- Nusbaum MRH. Erectile dysfunction: prevalence, etiology, and major risk factors. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2002; 102(Suppl 4): S1–S6.
- Rosen R, Altwein J, Boyle P, et al. Lower urinary tract symptoms and male sexual dysfunction: the multinational survey of the aging male (MSAM-7). Eur Urol 2003; 44: 637.
- Kinsey AC, Pomeroy WB, Martin CE. Sexual behavior in the human male. WB Sanders, Philadelphia, 1948.
- Meuleman EJH, Mulders PFA. Erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy: a review. Eur Urol 2003; 43: 95–102.
- Saksena,S. & Dixit,V.K. 91987), Role of the total alkaloids of Mucuna prurita Baker in spermatogenesis in albino rats,Indian J. Natl. Prod 1987; 3:
- Randhir, Sharma LN. Clinical study of early ejaculation and its management with Virya Sthambhak Vati. J Res Ayur Siddh 2010; 31:23-34.
- Nagaraju V, Joshi D, Aryya NC. A study on the vrysa property (Testicular regenerative potential) of vanga bhasma. Anc Sci Life 1985; 5: 42-8.
- Park JS, Kim GY, Han K. The spermatogenic and ovogenic effects of chronically administered Shilajit to rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2006; 107: 349-53.
- Dash M, Joshi N, Dwivedi LK, Gupta RS. Spematogenic activity of Pushpadhanwa Rasa on Solanum xanthocaropum induced infertility w.s.r histopathological study. J Drug Res Ayur Sidd 2010; 31:1-18.
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