Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its actionon the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonadal axis

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 nor-
adrenaline 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 nor-
adrenaline 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. prurienssignificantly 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.
(Fertil Steril 2009;92:1934–40. 2009 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.)
Key Words: Male infertility, testosterone, Mucuna pruriens, dopamine, catecholamines, follicle-stimulating