Male infertility affects around 7% of men and relates to a man’s inability to impregnate a fertile female. Infertility can be a difficult topic and there is unfortunately still a stigma attached, in particular to male infertility. Look up infertile in the dictionary and words such as sterile, barren, bare, unfruitful and unproductive appear. Unforgiving words that give some indication as to the distress that this condition can cause.
Male infertility is often caused by problems with the quality of the semen, and this can be difficult for a man to come to terms with. However, infertility doesn’t necessarily mean a couple will remain childless for the rest of their days. Medical advancements mean that doctors can look at addressing the problem or offering fertility treatment. If neither of these two options are viable or successful, there is the additional possibility of finding a sperm donor.
Diagnosis of Male Infertility
To assess whether there is an issue with the quality of the sperm, the semen needs to be analysed. The man has to produce a sample, this is then checked to assess how much semen there is and to ascertain the shape of the sperm and how it moves. The test is often carried out more than once to ensure that results are consistent and the correct diagnosis is made. Once male infertility has been identified, medical professionals can talk through the situation and make suggestions for treatment and ways forward.
Aside from medical treatment, there are things you can so to help yourself if you are suffering from infertility. Changes to lifestyle can boost fertility and improve the quality of your sperm. Lifestyle changes are great for your general health, as well as improving fertility and you shouldn’t underestimate the power of looking after yourself and giving yourself a healthy makeover.
Improve Your Diet
Research indicates that the chance of pregnancy increases when the male adds antioxidants to their diet. Antioxidants have been linked to preventing cancer and heart disease and it is thought that supplementing your diet with antioxidants will result in an improvement to the quality of semen. Antioxidants can be found in many foods, Zinc can be found in oysters, poultry and beans and Selenium is provided by tuna, poultry and beef – brazil nuts also provide Selenium in abundance. Other antioxidants to aim for include Vitamin C, found in lots of veg and fruit, Vitamin E, which is sourced from seeds and leafy greens, Folic Acid – found in fruits, beans and grains and finally Lycopene which can be sourced from watermelon, apricots and tomatoes. It’s worth taking some time to identify the foods which are rich in different antioxidants, there are also supplements available which can provide a healthy dose. If you are considering a supplement it is important to explore the options with your GP, as some may not sit well with any medication you might be taking.
Enjoy Regular Sex
This will put a smile on your face, the best way to conceive is to engage in regular sexual intercourse. The most effective time to aim for pregnancy is during ovulation, but it’s easy to get hung up on calendars and timing. Too much pressure can reduce pleasure and affect performance, not to mention make sex feel like another chore on the endless to do list. The best way to improve your chances of having a baby is to be conscious of you sexual health and well-being, indulge in frequent sex, and enjoy it!
We are all aware that smoking is a bad habit, although it can be a difficult one to kick. Spending your hard-earned cash on fags not only has a negative impact on your bank-balance and general health, it’s a fact that smoking can affect the quality of your sperm. Do yourself a favour and give it up!
Watch Your Weight
Obesity is another factor that can have an impact on male fertility. Likewise, being very underweight can also have a negative effect. Both can play havoc with your hormones and lead to reduced sperm count. The best way to ascertain if you are a healthy weight is to assess your body mass index. This simple calculation will clarify whether you are the right weight in relation to your height.
Slow Down on The Boozing
Drinking too much and too often can cause damage to your fertility levels too. The more you drink, the lower your sperm count, not only that but sperm shape becomes distorted and the movement of your sperm decreases.