By: Erin Stair, MD, MPH
Supplements for male infertility and erectile dysfunction are very popular, because they are serious issues. Male infertility not only impacts one’s desire to have a child, but it can also destroy relationships and lead to mental health issues. Erectile dysfunction impacts a man’s ability to have sex, which can also ruin relationships and lead to mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. I’m a woman, so I don’t know a lot about supplements for male infertility or erectile dysfunction, but I do know that men with these issues regularly seek them out. Men may also avoid seeing a health care provider about their infertility or sexual dysfunction issues, because they’re embarrassed, nervous or committed to solving the problem themselves, thereby making supplements a viable option. I did have one boyfriend who liked to “experiment” with erectile dysfunction pills from 7-Eleven. Yes, some men will try to solve their sexual woes at a mini mart versus going to a doctor.
The problem is, as with all supplements, there is little oversight or regulation. Anyone can make and sell a supplement for male infertility or erectile dysfunction and claim they work, without having to test or prove it. If the supplement company has a good marketing team, regardless of efficacy, its supplements can become both popular and profitable. To me, it’s sad. It’s duping people with real issues who need help. I know the pharmaceutical industry has its issues ( and I write about them often in my blog and talk about them often on my podcast), but that doesn’t mean the supplement industry is any more ethical.
Still, I’m not an “all” or “none” type of person. There are quality supplements out there. There are supplement companies that value honesty and transparency, as much as they value profit, but sometimes they’re hard to find. I wrote a blog about my recommendations for choosing a supplement, and you can read that here.
I wanted to do a podcast on supplements for male infertility and erectile dysfunction, because several people have written me through my website, asking me about them. It’s not a genre of supplements I’m familiar with, so I did some research and reached out to Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy. He is the Director of Male Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at the University of Miami in Florida and also an Associate Professor in the Department of Urology. He specializes in male infertility and sexual dysfunction. He has published over 100 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, including two recent papers on supplements for male infertility and erectile dysfunction. In short, he researched the most popular commercial supplements for male infertility and erectile dysfunction and analyzed them for effectiveness. Luckily, he agreed to take time out of his busy day to do the podcast. I called him on Skype one afternoon and we had a great and super informative conversation. You can listen to my podcast with Dr. Ramasamy here on Causes or Cures. It’s a great podcast for any males struggling with infertility or erectile dysfunction. And if you’re struggling, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Lord knows, you’re not alone, and there’s real help available…although it may not be in the form of a commercial supplement. If you listen, pay attention to what he says about multiple active ingredients in one supplement, and why that doesn’t mean much. Also, on a bright and intriguing note, listen to what he says about marijuana’s impact on sperm count and erectile dysfunction. I found that part of the podcast fascinating, and if you smoke pot, you’ll want to listen to it, trust me! It’s not bad news, by the way.
If you do listen, please consider subscribing to the podcast. Please consider sharing it. For the record, I do all the podcasts from my apartment in New York City. I’m not sponsored by anyone, just me. It’s low-budget, authentic, and I promised I thoroughly research every topic before doing each show. I’m also always open for podcast ideas related to the idea of “Is this a Cause, or is this a Cure?” It’s an open-ended question that can be applied to health topics in various ways. 😉
If you’re interested in other podcasts or blog posts on supplements, consider checking this one out on the newest and greatest microalgal “Superfood,” Spirulina and Chlorella.
If you’re interested in the wellness industry in general, and why the conventional healthcare system is the wellness industry’s best marketing tool, I really hope you read or listen to my new comedic parody: Yours in Wellness, Krystal Heeling: Letters from the Wellness Industry. No idea if any of you like C.S. Lewis, but it was inspired by The ScrewTape Letters. 😉
Thanks guys. Stay safe out there.