Ways to improve male fertility
Fertility issues are sometimes a problem and now everyone is aware that either or both partners can be the contributors. If male infertility has been diagnosed and treatment begun, it is best for those men to continue with the specialist’s medical care. For those who have not yet attempted to conceive but are wondering about their fertility, the best way to start is to have a semen analysis, which will provide details of underlying fertility/infertility.
The health of the sperm
is important and this depends on the quantity (amount discharged in a single ejaculation), motility (movement of the sperm) and morphology (structure of the sperm). Sometimes, the sperm is unhealthy due to medical conditions such as secondary hypogonadism (the testicles are normal but there is a problem with the pituitary which produces the hormone testosterone
which is essential for fertility). Obstruction of sperm transportation due to congenital disorders, surgical obstruction and testicular or sexually transmitted diseases can be another cause of unhealthy sperm.
However, there are ways to improve the quality of sperm which, in turn, will help male fertility.
Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight range is important. Obesity and a high BMI (body mass index) is one of the causes of decreased quantity and motility of sperm.
Diet: Eating healthy food with fruits and vegetables containing antioxidants may improve sperm count. On the contrary, it has been found that junk food can affect sperm health by decreasing the quality and quantity.
Exercise: Ensure that sufficient exercise is included in your daily routine. Physical activity can raise levels of antioxidant enzymes which in turn help sperm quality. However, too much exercise, such as excessive cycling, should be avoided, as it can affect the quantity and motility of the sperm.
Avoid heat and toxins: Spermatogenesis depends on temperature. Increase in temperature in the scrotum or testicles reduces the quantity and quality of sperm. Hence, heat in the groin area should be avoided, such as laptops resting on thighs, cell phones in pockets, use of spas or hot tubs, tight fitting underwear, etc. If the work environment involves toxins, care should be taken to minimise contact, such as wearing masks or goggles, protective clothing and avoiding skin contact with chemicals.
Stress: Rather difficult to accomplish, but stress reduction will result in healthier sperm. Try to relax as much as possible, do an enjoyable activity (read a book, listen to music, paint) for even a short period each day to de-stress; even meditation will help. Stress can decrease libido and affect the quality of sperm.
Lifestyle changes: It is amazing how changes in lifestyle can contribute to better health in general. Reducing alcohol and smoking: Giving up would be best but even a reduction would show improvement. Cigarette smoking results in decreased quantity of sperm, while drinking alcohol reduces production of testosterone resulting in low sperm production.
Avoid lubricants: While it is still being debated whether lubricants decrease the rates of pregnancy, it is best to avoid lubrication during intercourse. Sperm motility is affected, as it reduces the movement of sperm towards the egg.
Medications: Certain medications can worsen fertility issues. It is best to speak to your Doctor if you are taking any opioids, calcium channel blockers, anti-androgens, anabolic steroids or tricyclic antidepressants, and see if you can change the treatment.
Prevent STI (sexually transmitted infections): Infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can result in infertility. Always using protection for sex and limiting the number of partners could help. A monogamous interrelation with an uninfected partner would be ideal.
Conclusion: So, there are ways to try and improve male fertility. The first option would be to have the sperm analysed. We, at Andrology Center, perform the semen analysis test. We also offer sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI) testing, which shows any damage to the sperm DNA and the level of such damage. We have high quality equipment and are the only authorised laboratory in India to carry out the SCSA (sperm chromatin structure assay) test. With the advanced level of technology involved, genuine results are guaranteed.