“Natural remedy to boost your sperm and end watery sperm,” reads a message posted on a Nigeria-based Facebook page.
The “remedy” is given as a mixture of bananas, plantains, tiger nuts, dates, garlic, ginger and a range of other ingredients.
The post provides directions on how to make and use the remedy. It also urges Facebook users to phone a Nigerian Airtel number for advice on other medical conditions.
Technical names for low sperm count are oligozoospermia and oligospermia. According to the British National Health Service, it is where there are fewer than 15 million sperm per millilitre of a man's semen. This may lead to difficulty in conceiving naturally, but successful pregnancies can still happen.
Watery semen is thin and clear, and may be an indication of low sperm count.
But will this remedy boost sperm count? We checked.
Treatment only after doctor investigates cause
Dr Ademola Popoola, a consultant urologist and senior lecturer at the University of Ilorin in western Nigeria, said several factors could lead to a low sperm count or watery sperm. He said the post was “not correct”. Instead, people should see a doctor.
“There is no one medicine or cure for low sperm count,” Popoola told us. “A patient has to be examined. You can't just make a mixture and say it will work for all patients with low sperm count.”
He added: “We need to find out why the patient has the condition first. Once the cause has been identified we can then give effective treatment.”
Popoola said some men may not have any sperm at all, a condition known as primary testicular failure. There are no drugs to treat this, he said.
Some men’s testicles might have structural abnormalities, the doctor told us. These include varicoceles – enlarged veins in the loose bag of skin that holds the testicle – which can be treated with surgery.
Africa Check has previously investigated a claim that bitter kola powder, honey and ginger will cure low or no sperm count. It, too, was incorrect.
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