Top 10 Male Fertility Killers
The heartache of infertility affects everyone.
Both men and women suffer when the dream of trying to conceive a child, doesn’t seem to be coming true.
While this occurs, many women will find themselves in many a specialist’s office, in efforts to determine exactly where the problem lies.
How about the guys?
It has been shown that 40 to 50% of couples experiencing infertility will have a male factor, that is a problem with the quality, quantity or movement (also known as motility) of the sperm.
Low sperm counts, infection, erectile dysfunction, and other health problems should be evaluated by a physician early in the fertility work up to identify and correct simple problems or identify more serious problems.
What is certain however is that male factor can significantly effect decisions couples make regarding their family planning.
If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for six months or more without success, both of you need to be fully evaluated to determine if and where problems exist.
If you and your partner have suffered multiple miscarriages or previously failed In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) cycles, the problem can also be male related.
The Top 10 Factors Which Can Affect Male Fertility
Nicotine slows sperm cells swimming speed and damages their precious cargo, the DNA that ultimately combines with eggs’ to make embryos.
Smoking also damages specific proteins called protamines. Protamines play an important role in the development of sperm – they are necessary for the process that results in the formation of chromosomes during cell division – and, therefore, have an effect on subsequent male fertility.
Worse yet, nicotine blocks blood flow to the penis and damages the spongy tissue inside that expands to cause an erection.
Alcoholics often have problems with achieving and maintaining an erection.
Additionally, because alcohol damages the liver, men who regularly drink large amounts of alcohol are more likely to have higher levels of oestrogen in their body, which can severely suppress sperm production and sperm mobility.
Alcohol abuse has been linked with damaged sperm and reduced sperm counts.
3. Excess Weight
Along with the known health risks of being overweight (risk of high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke) being overweight can also effect sperm production. Adipose tissue (fat) can store excess amounts of the female hormone Oestrogen.
This hormone can be responsible for hormone imbalances causing a decrease in the production of testosterone, the primary male hormone needed for sperm production.
Excess amounts of oestrogen can give the appearance of man breasts and also interfere with the arousal phase required for erection and ejaculation.
4. Bad Diet
To make sperm, the body needs a steady flow of nutritious food – especially protein, folate-rich leafy green vegetables, and brightly coloured vegetables with antioxidants.
Pizza, burgers and beer alone won’t do it.
5. Bisphenol A
A compound found in all sorts of consumer items, from some plastic bottles to cash-register receipts. One thing it seems to do is act like oestrogen in the body.
If enough of the stuff finds its way into a guy’s blood, sperm are likely to decline in number and in their all-important swimming ability.
6. Recent illness
In order for a sperm cell to be mature enough to fertilise an egg it take about 3 months to develop. A fever or illness can affect newly developing sperm.
Also, medications such as antibiotics can interfere with sperm production. Tell your Emed Practitioner all of the medications you have taken in the last 3-month, that includes over the counter medications.
Some jobs, by their nature can affect fertility potential.
If you are exposed to chemicals or toxins on a regular basis, you may need a male fertility workup with advanced testing to see if these chemical or toxins have affected the DNA in your sperm.
Avoiding exposure to known toxins would be important while you are trying to have a baby.
Prolonged sitting or jobs that generate a lot of body heat can cause the groin area to be subjected to higher temperatures and be potentially harmful to developing sperm.
The scrotum is design to keep the testes protected from extreme temperatures, hot or cold, allowing the testes to be moved closer or further from the body depending on the temperature.
8. Recreational Drugs
Marijuana, Cocaine, Methamphetamines or any recreational drug are unhealthy and potentially dangerous. Drug use can also be a sign of excess stress and inappropriate coping.
THC (the chemical found in marijuana) mimics testosterone, so smoking marijuana exposes sperm to a hormonal imbalance that can stop sperm production, causing sperm counts to fall.
If you are using drugs, stop.
If you are having problems with stress, anxiety or depression, talk to your healthcare practitioner. It is better to take care of yourself now so that you will be healthy, and sober when the new baby arrives.
9. Hot tubs and baths
Excessive heat to the groin area has been linked to poor sperm quality. Keep the temperature comfortable.
Avoid excessive heat while you are tying to conceive. Loose comfortable clothing (yes, Boxers) can allow the groin area to be less heated.
10. Mobile Phones
Keeping a mobile phone on talk mode in a pocket can decrease sperm quality.
A 2008 study found that men with the highest mobile phone usage (more than four hours per day) had significantly lower sperm counts, motility rates, and morphology (normal shapes).
They concluded that when semen is exposed to the radio waves emitted by cell phones can result in damage to sperm.
We believe that these devices are used because we consider them very safe, but it could cause harmful effects due to the proximity of the phones and the exposure that they are causing to the gonads.
Recommendations for Male Fertility & Sperm Health
Sperm Friendly Foods:
- Oats, rye, wheat, buckwheat
- Egg yolks
- Fish, oysters, sardines, shrimp, anchovies, haddock, tuna
- Bananas, bilberry
- Butter beans, green peas, black beans, parsley
- Liver, chicken
- Brazil nuts, coconuts, almonds, cashew nuts, chestnuts, hazel nuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, walnuts, almonds
- Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Fennel, garlic, turnip, potato, carrot
High-zinc foods such as oysters (this is rumoured to be why Casanova was such a fabulous lover; he was said to consume three-dozen oysters a day), sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and tahini.
Every time a male ejaculates, he loses 5mg of zinc. This is why zinc is one of the most essential nutrients involved in male fertility.
Click Here for Emeds Best Zinc Supplements.
Selenium-rich food is important, too. Selenium is a potent antioxidant. Its highest concentration (among the reproductive organs) is in the testes.
Selenium protects DNA and the nervous system. It also preserves cells. Forty percent of sperm damage is due to collision with molecular fragments, called “free radicals”.
By mopping up and neutralising free radicals, a man can increase the quality of his sperm.
Bioceuticals Selenium Drops provide an easy to dose, absorbable form of selenium.
When sperm cells clustering together, they swim slower, making conception less possible. Vitamin C prevents sperm agglutination, increases sperm count and can help reduce oxidative damage caused by smoking.
Click here for Emed Best Vitamin C Supplements.
CoQ10 is usually thought to help with heart health and the cardiovascular system but CoQ10 is present in seminal fluid and its concentration has a direct impact on sperm count and motility.
Therefore supplementing while trying to conceive will make sure that sperm count optimal and sperm motility is increased.
Click Here for Emeds Best CoQ10 Supplements.
Essential Fatty Acids
Fish oil may improve sperm motility, because of the fact that healthy sperm tails are teeming with DHA.
Since male fertility issues are often correlated with an omega-3 deficiency, fish oil may reverse this deficiency and help this particular male fertility problem.
Also, an excess of cholesterol in the sperm cell membrane is associated with male infertility and therefore taking fish oil for lowering cholesterol may help this male fertility problem, as well.
Click Here for Emeds Best Fish Oils.