Fertile men don’t really need any treatment to have babies now, do they?  Well, logically no- But some doctors do continue treating men who are fertile. I have seen a number of men coming in with normal sperm reports, who’ve been prescribed different medications to “boost their fertility”. These are typically pills including Proxeed, Speman, Manix or CoQ and certain antioxidants.

What’s the reason behind this?

Why is it that doctors want to treat men with normal sperm counts, who don’t really need any treatment at all? In my opinion, there are a number of reasons for this:

  • Ignorance is the first factor; most doctors and sperm testing labs aren’t even aware what the normal sperm count is. I continue to see labs which print the normal sperm count range as 60 - 150 million per ml. It simply means that even those men whose sperm count is 40 million (which is normal), are then “diagnosed" as having low sperm count.
  • The other factor is patient ignorance. If men are told that they have a low sperm count, they are petrified that they will be unable to father a child and they pressurize doctors into “treating” them with medications that will boost their sperm count. This is somewhat on the lines of their desire to have a larger penis or have more ejaculate volume.

To date, I’ve failed to understand this male obsession with size and numbers. Maybe it’s the trick photography in porn films that gives men a distorted perception of what’s normal and what’s average.

The bottom line is that when men come to doctors and ask to be treated, the latter don’t want to lose their patients; so they are more than willing to prescribe medications (which in most cases are useless. They just feel it’s much better to do that, than to spend their precious time explaining to these patients that they don’t really need a prescription at all.

The Justification

It’s not difficult for doctors to justify this prescription. Most doctors say that though these medications don’t really help in any way, they do no harm either. At times, they may also recollect some anecdotal successes, where men who had normal sperm counts got their wife pregnant only after a certain medication was prescribed by the doctor. There is a distinct possibility that the couple would have got pregnant even without the man taking that medication. But then doctors are human after all, and are more than happy to take the credit.

Read more-Why don't doctors do a better job with educating their patients ?

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.

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