The following advice is really relevant only after a year of unprotected and well-timed intercourse has been attempted, although the concepts hold true at any time.

Approximately 30 per cent of infertility arises from inadequacy of the sperm. Sperm are created in the testicles and passed into seminal fluid that is produced in another part of the testes and the prostate gland. This fluid provides nutrition for the mobile unit carrying the male’s genes (correctly known as the spermatozoa). In addition rare pathological problems, such as testicular tumours and hormonal imbalances, can occur in a man and infection may sometimes cause decreased sperm production and motility.


Provide a sperm sample after three days if not ejaculating.

Ensure that loose boxer shorts and trousers that are not tight-fitting are worn.

Korean, Chinese or Tibetan ginseng (2g twice a day).

Believe it or not, half a dozen oysters, lean red meat and crab may help. They all contain a high level of zinc, which is essential for motility and production of sperm. Alternatively, try 5mg of zinc per foot of height before sleep at night.

The following may be taken daily with food, in divided doses per foot of height: beta-carotene (3000iu), vitamin C (lg) and vitamin E (lOOiu).

Stress reduction . Adrenaline reduces sperm production.

Reflexology can be of benefit. Gentle pressure should be applied to areas on the feet representing the testes and adrenal and pituitary glands.

Allow for lengthy foreplay before ejaculation.

Infertility beyond one year should be assessed and treated by a complementary medical practitioner with knowledge of the subject.

Assuming that all is well with the male then the investigations turn to the female.