Objective: To understand the mechanism of action of Mucuna pruriens in the treatment of male infertility.
Design: Prospective study.
Setting: Departments of Biochemistry, Urology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, C.S.M. Medical University, Lucknow, India.
Patient(s): Seventy-five normal healthy fertile men (controls) and 75 men undergoing infertility screening.
Intervention(s): High-performance liquid chromatography assay for quantitation of dopa, adrenaline, and noradrenaline in seminal plasma and blood. Estimation by RIA of hormonal parameters in blood plasma, namely T, LH, FSH, and PRL.
Main outcome measure(s): Before and after treatment, serum T, LH, FSH, PRL, dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline in seminal and blood plasma were measured.
Result(s): Decreased sperm count and motility were seen in infertile subjects. Serum T and LH levels, as well as seminal plasma and blood levels of dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline were also decreased in all groups of infertile men. This was accompanied by significantly increased serum FSH and PRL levels in oligozoospermic subjects. Treatment with M. pruriens significantly improved T, LH, dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline levels in infertile men and reduced levels of FSH and PRL. Sperm count and motility were significantly recovered in infertile men after treatment.
Conclusion(s): Treatment with M. pruriens regulates steroidogenesis and improves semen quality in infertile men.