New Treatment for Male Infertility:
Jacob Schor ND FABNO
August 11, 2012
Summary: Ubiquinol, a new form of coenzyme Q-10 on the market, is useful in treating male infertility.
A new study published in the August 2012 issue of the Journal of Urology reports that Ubiquinol, the reduced form of coenzyme Q-10, could be useful in treating male infertility.
Infertility, the inability to conceive affects about one in six couples. The male partner is to blame in 40%, of cases.
Learning a few new words will help explain this study. Scientists seem to use big words when describing causes of male infertility. For example, oligozoospermia simply means the man does not make enough sperm, in the case of this study, less than 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen. The term asthenozoospermia means the sperm are not swimming hard enough, in this study half were not swimming at all. When both problems are combined, not enough sperm and too many just ‘treading water’, the condition is called oligoasthenozoospermia.
A total of 228 infertile men were enrolled in this study. All of them had oligoasthenozoospermia on at least 2 semen samples obtained 1 month apart prior to starting treatment. Randomly divided into two groups, 114 men took 200 mg of ubiquinol each day for 6 months while the other 114 men took placebo. Their semen was analyzed at the start of the study and then every month while taking the ubiquinol and for three more months after stopping treatment.
Sperm counts in those taking the supplement increased steadily during treatment. After two months sperm concentration had increased by 15%, after four months by 44%, and after 6 months by 82%. Sperm motility, a measure of swimming prowess, increased by 18% after 3 months, 27% after 5 months and by 32% after 6 months. Sperm morphology, that is the shape of the sperm also improved steadily during the course of treatment. Once the men stopped taking the ubiquinol, these improvements gradually faded away. No improvements were seen in the men who received placebo.
While this study did not measure the bottom line, whether the partners of these men became pregnant while they were taking Ubiquinol, it certainly suggests that taking it will eventually prove useful. These men stopped the treatment after six months, just at the point that their sperm were looking healthy.
Given these positive results and the lack of any danger associated with taking Ubiquinol, infertile couples now have a new safe option of treatment. These results also suggest patience, the improvements were steady, but slow.
[Safarinejad MR, Safarinejad S, Shafiei N. Effects of the Reduced Form of Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiqionol) on Semen Parameters in Men with Idiopathic Infertility: a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Study. J Urology 2012 Aug; (188): 526-531.]