A Look at Male Fertility

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Lifestyle

Research demonstrates male fertility is greatly influenced by many facets of lifestyle. While factors like metabolism can impact each individual differently, every male should be aware of how their actions may affect their ability to father children.

Sexual activity. Stating its importance may seem unnecessary, but it has to be included for reasons beyond the obvious.

The possibility of pregnancy is heightened when there is intercourse in the three days leading up to and including ovulation. This is referred to as the fertile window. Manage ovulation periods through a basal temperature chart or with an ovulation predictor kit that can be purchased over-the-counter.

Intercourse frequency during this window appears to be irrelevant. There are studies that imply frequent intercourse may help. Other studies report that abstinence for several days before ovulation can increase sperm count.

When hoping to impregnate, stay away from artificial lubricants like K-Y Jelly and Replens. They are toxic to sperm.Overindulgence in alcohol is known to impair normal sperm, regardless of nutritional supplements. If you want strong sperm, it is advised males stay clear of alcohol, taking in no more than one drink a day.Extensive studies have directly linked smoking to lower sperm counts, motility (sperm’s ability to move) and morphology (size and shape of sperm). Cigarettes also minimize the semen’s oxidative stress. This can result in damage to the DNA of sperm and create genetically abnormal sperm.Managing a healthful diet is critical. There should be plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nutritional supplements to encourage male fertility and sperm production. One also needs to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.Nutritional supplements can be good for one aspect of the system and bad for others. Products that provide DHEA (andro) and other hormone-like components can actually stop sperm production. These – especially products designed to build muscle mass – should not be consumed if you want to ensure fertility.You’ve probably heard many stories about cool testicles if you want to produce strong, reliable sperm. This has included avoiding restrictive undergarments.

There is some validity to this. Risks like varicocele on sperm are believed to be the result of warming in the crotch caused by dilated veins. And while there is no scientific proof to boxers-over-briefs, it is advised males looking to father children keep their testicles loose, as well as out of hot tubs and prolonged baths. Males should also be cautious about leaving heating laptops on their laps and high temp work areas.If your lifestyle brings you in contact with pesticides, organic fumes, solvents, radiation or other environmental dangers, there is a chance your sperm count is being impaired, diminishing fertility.As being fit is good for the entire body, moderate exercise – at least 30 minutes most days of the week – will help. Running, walking, cycling, swimming, anything that gets the juices pumping. The right nutritional supplements can help metabolism.Caffeine is detrimental to the nervous system. It is suggested male fertility is better off if you limit yourself to one serving of coffee or soda a day.If you’re taking medication or nutritional supplements, talk with a urologist or specialist about its impact on fertility. Chemotherapy drugs and cancer radiation treatments are hazards to fertility.

Nutrients & Antioxidants

Certain nutrients can improve male fertility. Antioxidants have been found to increase birth rates, odds of pregnancy and sperm motility in subfertile males.

Lycopene, found in tomatoes, is a powerful antioxidant and plant pigment. As a phytonutrient, the testes of normal males have high levels of lycopene. Infertile males taking lycopene supplements have seen improvement in sperm parameters.Though not studied extensively, zinc is believed to play its part in sperm formation, cell motility and testosterone metabolism. Zinc supplements increase sperm count, testosterone levels and sperm motility.The amino acid, L-Carnitine, is a derivative the body produces to transport fat for transformation into energy. The element is said to have antioxidant properties, improving energy in sperm, thereby increasing sperm motility.Vitamins C and E protect cells from damage like free radicals and oxidative stress. Vitamin C contributes to healthy sperm, protecting DNA from free radical damage. It also improves sperm count, motility and morphology. As a fat-soluble, vitamin E protects sperm cell membranes. Vitamin C regenerates vitamin E. You can strengthen these components with the right nutritional supplements.

Males that took vitamin E supplements over 12 weeks saw improvement in low fertilization rates. It also increased pregnancy rates compared to participants that took placebos in studies.Selenium functions as an antioxidant. As a trace mineral and supplement, it increases sperm motility. Taken with vitamin E, the combination has decreased free radical damage and improved motility in infertile males.Folate, or folic acid, is a B vitamin necessary for DNA synthesis. Decreased sperm count and motility have been associated with low levels of folic acid. Taking zinc and folic acid showed increases in total normal sperm count in subfertile males by almost 75 percent.Coenzyme Q10 is important to cellular energy production. It is a naturally occurring antioxidant, produced by the body and found in some foods in small amounts. Coenzyme Q10 is at its highest levels during the male’s first two decades of life with production decreasing with age.

Results in studies have shown that six months of Coenzyme Q10 supplementation helped males with unexplained infertility to show improvement in sperm motility. Another study demonstrated Coenzyme Q10 increased sperm motility, density and morphology.
An estimated 10 to 15 percent of couples experience some kind of infertility. The medical community defines this as no less than one year of unsuccessful attempts to conceive. While this may not always be the result of the male’s sperm, no male should disregard how their actions could be playing a part. Talk with a specialist and consider the content here to understand how your actions affect fertilization.