Lifestyle factors and its impact on Male Infertility


Lifestyle factors and its impact on Male Infertility


While it is commonly known that stressful lives and high flying lifestyles do contribute to male infertility as anecdotal and informal conversational as well as popular culture descriptions make it clear, in recent years, there has been research which indicates the causal link between Smoking, Intake of Alcohol, Substance Abuse of Recreational Drugs, and usage of hormones and steroids for muscle growth. Indeed, the numbers of research studies that correlate these factors with low sperm counts, impaired mobility of sperms, and the poor quality as well as quality of sperm counts, has increased along with a concomitant focus by Andrology Specialists on their efforts to treat infertile couples, especially with regards to advising men who are attempting to conceive. For instance, studies have shown that smoking reduces the levels of antioxidants in the body thereby increasing the chances of the sperm being attacked by “free radicals” and in turn, decreasing the quality as well as quantity of sperm produced in men. Further, many Andrology Clinics report that among infertile couples seeking treatment, the chances for success are lower when the male is a smoker and the problem exacerbates in case of heavy smokers.

Apart from this, alcohol is known to lower the testosterone levels among men and lead to lower libido and impotency. In this respect, it must be noted that while popular and informal discourse tends to emphasize how consumption of alcohol leads to “better sexual performance” as it lowers inhibitions and corresponding mood elevation, research has shown that excessive consumption of alcohol is directly correlated to decreased chances of fertility. Moreover, there are other adverse consequences for couples seeking to conceive when either or both partners drink, and these relate to decline in health of not only the partners, but also the unborn fetus, which increases the chances of impaired pregnancy. While there are many who believe that a fit and healthy body guarantees a virile male, there are recent studies that point to how excessive steroid and hormone usage for muscular growth can have the opposite effect than intended. This is because anabolic steroids tend to interfere with the hormone signals that are needed to produce sperm and thereby leading to impairment of sperm quality and quantity. Indeed, while building a strong and muscular physique is indeed important for men and more so for those seeking to have a good sex life, caution must be exercised (literally as well as figuratively), lest it does more harm than good. Another noticeable trend in the present times is the increasing instance of substance abuse among men and that too, in their teens and early twenties. While it might be good for a “high” and a source of “quick fix”, medical studies have shown that testicular architecture and the reproductive axis as well as sperm concentrations might be impacted in the process. This means that with each high, there are chances of a new low as far as conception and the ability to be fertile among men are concerned. In addition, even party drugs that are popular among the Millennials are shown to have negative impacts on male fertility due to their impacts on the Testosterone levels.

With our lives becoming ever busier and stressful, it is natural that men and women seek palliatives to ease the stresses and strains of everyday life. However, it is also important to note that in our quest for temporary relief and instant gratification, we must also not lose sight of the effects of smoking, alcohol consumption, substance abuse, and use of hormones and steroids on men and their ability to produce high quality and larger quantity sperm.

This is the reason why specialty treatment clinics such as Andrology Center often focus on lifestyle causes of male infertility and base their treatments on eliminating, if not reducing the impacts of such stressors in their approach.

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