4 Ways to Increase Male Fertility
Infertility is a problem which affects 10 to 15% of couples. It is a health problem which many patients are not initially aware of because male fertility problems may go unnoticed for years; until they decide it is time to try for a pregnancy. Many factors such as age, genetics and lifestyle choices can affect the health of your sperm and predispose you to infertility. While you can neither alter your genes or roll back the years, there are certain habits that can help increase male fertility.
1. Balanced Diet
Sperm cells divide very rapidly which also means they need a good amount of fuel to divide and grow. Eating a well-balanced diet that contains protein, carbs and plenty of green, leafy vegetables is good for sperm function. Many chemicals found in red meat, as well as in vegetables have been shown to support healthy amino acid and DNA, providing the building blocks for producing vibrant high quality sperm. Alongside a balanced diet, limiting alcohol consumption, not smoking (both tobacco and marijuana) and avoiding recreational use of steroids are some other diet-focused lifestyle changes that can help increase your male fertility.
2. Exercising Regularly
Obesity takes a toll on the body, including sperm health, as obesity has shown to lower sperm volume, concentration and mobility. By combining a healthy diet with routine exercising, not only do you help tip the scale in your favor of maintaining an ideal weight, but you’re simultaneously doing what’s needed for your body to maintain a healthy testosterone level. We know that testosterone directly affects sperm production, so to keep producing healthy sperm, you need high levels of testosterone. Exercising regularly, with breaks every week to give your body time to recover is recommended. If you exercise too much, you risk injuries and fatigue which can reduce your testosterone levels. This makes your exercise days almost equally important as your rest days.
3. Keeping a Good Sleep Hygiene
A good’s night sleep has a positive effect on memory and brain function, our immune system, digestive health and general well-being. But here’s a reason why sleep is important that a lot of guys don’t know about: there’s a direct connection between the amount of sleep you get and your testosterone levels. The recommended 7-9 hours of sleep is necessary for maintaining a high semen volume and total sperm count given that testosterone is only produced by the testicles at night. Sleeping for six hours or less can reduce sperm count by 30% while oversleeping can also negatively affect the number of viable sperm you produce.
In addition to the amount of sleep you get, good sleep hygiene also involves how you prepare for bed and the quality of sleep you get. Research has shown that watching too much TV before bedtime can lead to the production of substantially lower amounts of sperm.
4. Re-Think Your Briefs
Heat and sperm are a bad mix if you want to head down the road of fatherhood. And while you may think the big question – boxers or briefs? – is a choice based on your own style or comfortability, it can actually impact male fertility.
The reason that testicles hang from the body is that the sperm-making Sertoli cells of the testicles don’t work effectively unless they maintain a temperature a few degrees cooler than the body’s. So when the testicles are warmed up more than a few degrees and for more than a few minutes, sperm production temporarily shuts down.
To help your sperm thrive, it’s important to keep your testicles in cool conditions, which means allowing them to hang from the body for efficient cooling away from the heated core of the body. Unfortunately, if you choose briefs over boxers, you’re creating an adverse environment by pulling your testicles in closer to the body and restricting air flow.
If you are heading towards fatherhood and are concerned about your fertility, and you’re in the New York area, please contact Dr. Harry Fisch for a consultation.