Infertility resulting from sperm dysfunction is a serious health problem leading to psychological, economic, and medical implications worldwide. Borassus aethiopum is a plant that has been used as an aphrodisiac. This study evaluated the effect of hydromethanol hypocotyls extracts of B. aethiopum on the sperm and gonadal indices of male Wistar rats. The extract was prepared and administered orally at doses of (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) to 40 male Wistar rats, divided into four groups; three experimental groups and one control group (distilled water). Sperm parameters (count, motility, viability and morphology) and gonadal indices were determined. Testicular tissues were examined histologically for evidence of morphological changes. The extract increased significantly sperm count in a dose-dependent manner across all treatment groups (p<0.05). Sperm viability was significantly increased in the treatment group after 7 days but was unaffected after 28 days of treatment. The histological examination of the testicular tissue showed evidence of increased spermatogenesis. Photomicrograph of the testes showed spermatogonia at different stages of maturation. Some areas of focal necrosis and evidence of spermatogenic arrest in the segment biopsied at the highest dose (1000 mg/kg) after 28 days of extract administration were observed. The results of this study suggest that the extract increases sperm count, motility and spermatogenesis at the doses tested and is likely to be beneficial in the management of male infertility.
Key words: Male infertility, Borassus aethiopum, sperm indices, aphrodisiacs.
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