by Angie Best-Boss, Contributing Writer
No one knows why, but many researchers agree sperm counts have been declining for decades. Problems with fertility can range from hormonal imbalances, to physical problems, to psychological and/or behavioral problems. Fertility reflects a man’s “overall” health. Men who live a healthy lifestyle are more likely to produce healthy sperm and increase male fertility.
Increase Male Fertility – Get a checkup
Make sure there’s no underlying infection getting in the way. A clean bill of health gets you off on the right start.
Don’t ditch the dentist
Who knew? Men with fertility problems (identified as sub-fertile) have had improvement in sperm motility, morphology and density after participating in regular dental cleanings! Oral bacteria can create a bacterial infection in the male reproductive system. Here’s a good reason to regularly brush and floss your teeth!
Increased body mass may be associated with fertility problems in men. Obesity creates relatively high levels of the female-associated hormone estrogen.
Deficiencies in nutrients such as protein, vitamin C, selenium, zinc and folate may contribute to infertility. Eating and drinking right can increase male fertility.
• Eat fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
• Drink half of body weight in ounces of water daily (e.g., a 150 lb man would drink 75 oz of water).
• Eliminate processed and refined foods (e.g., white flour, junk food, sugars).
• Avoid saturated fats and hydrogenated oils (e.g., margarine); use olive oil.
• Pumpkin seeds are naturally high in zinc and essential fatty acids which are vital to healthy functioning of the male reproductive system. Eat 1/4 to 1/2 cup a day of pumpkin seeds to help maintain a healthy reproductive system. All helpto increase male fertility.
No, you don’t have to learn yoga. But stress does lead to the release of adrenalin and other hormones which can restrict blood flow to the testes and inhibit sperm production. Plus, it leads to the release of chemical by-products called free radicals, which damage sperm. Take an anti-oxidant supplement with zinc, selenium and vitamin C.
Keep ‘em Cool
Frequent use of saunas or hot tubs can elevate your core body temperature. This may impair your sperm production and lower your sperm count. According to the Mid-Missouri Reproductive Medicine & Surgery Center, long-haul truckers frequently have quite depressed semen parameters; this may be due to the fact that they sit in constrained positions in hot cabs for long time periods. You ditched the briefs already, right?
Don’t light up
The American Society of Reproductive Medcine studied the effects of smoking on men and the results are clear. Men who smoke will have a lower sex drive, poor sperm quality, poor male fertility and are less likely to participate in sex. Dr. Panayiotis Zavos, professor of reproductive physiology and andrology, University of Kentucky, Lexington. “The cheapest and most efficient way of improving infertility difficulties is to quit smoking. And if couples stop smoking immediately, that would probably be the first gesture they could take to increase male fertility and towards treatment for infertility.”
Stop the Steroids
Anabolic steroids can permanently shrink the testes and cause infertility. They trick the body to stop producing testosterone – which you need for baby-making.
Too many toxins
Exposure to environmental hazards and toxins such as pesticides, lead, paint, radiation, radioactive substances, mercury, benzene, boron, and heavy metals are all proven to impact male fertility. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and endocrine-disrupting chemicals from normal, everyday plastics are reported cause reproductive damage, as documented in Theo Colborn’s book, “Our Stolen Future.” To the extent possible, limiting your exposure to these will only help.
To Learn More about Increase Male Fertility
American Social Health Association (ASHA)
The American Social Health Association is a trusted, non-profit organization that has advocated on behalf of patients to help improve public health outcomes since 1914. We are America’s authority for sexually transmitted disease information.
P.O. Box 13827, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Jensen TK, Carlsen E, Jorgensen N, Berthelsen JG, Keiding N, Christensen K, Petersen JH, Knudsen LB, Skakkebaek NE. (2002). ‘Poor semen quality may contribute to recent decline in fertility rates’. Hum Reprod. 17(6): 1437-40.
Kunzle R, Mueller MD, Hanggi W, Birkhauser MH, Drescher H, Bersinger NA. (2003). ‘Semen quality of male smokers and nonsmokers in infertile couples.’ Fertil Steril. 79(2): 287-91.
Curtis KM, Savitz DA and Arbuckle TE (1997). ‘Effects of cigarette smoking, caffeine consumption, and alcohol intake on fecundability’. American Journal of Epidemiology, 146 (1): 32-41.
Tsujimura A, Matsumiya K, Takahashi T, Yamanaka M, Koga M, Miura H, Nishimura K, Takeyama M, Fujioka H, Okamoto Y, Iwamoto T, Okuyama A. (2004). Effect of lifestyle factors on infertility in men. Arch Androl. 50(1): 15-7 Ensslen et al., “Male subfertility and oral bacterial diseases” Zentralbl. Gynaekol. (1990) 112(13):823-825.