Male infertility-An Introduction
Fertility means a person’s ability to reproduce without medical assistance.
When a man has a poor chance of making his female partner pregnant, it’s termed Male infertility. It is usually dependent on the quality of his sperm cells.
Occasionally infertility can be linked to sexual function, and at other times it could be linked to semen quality.
Most couples who are ready to conceive or have been trying for a long time, probably think often about their fertility and if there is anything that can be done to improve it.
Fertility issues related to the female reproductive system are most difficult to treat, but most of those associated with male infertility can be managed by changing health habits and lifestyles.
Causes of Male Infertility
Male infertility is usually linked to sexual function or to semen quality.
Libido: Also known as sex drive, libido is related to a person’s desire to have sex. Foods or supplements that can increase libido are called aphrodisiacs.
Erectile dysfunction: When a man is unable to develop or maintain an erection, it is termed erectile dysfunction or impotence.
Sperm count: The concentration of sperm cells in a given amount of semen is an important aspect of semen quality.
Sperm motility: The ability to swim is an essential function of healthy sperm cells. Sperm motility is calculated by the percentage of moving sperm cells in a sample of semen.
Testosterone levels: Low levels of male sex hormone or testosterone can also be responsible for infertility in some men.
There can be multiple causes of Infertility and it may depend on genetics, general fitness, diseases, and dietary adulterations.
Antioxidants: Well-known for fighting the free radicals in our bodies that cause cancer and other diseases antioxidants can also help in boosting male fertility. Taking it in a supplement form can reduce the amount of damaged sperm. The best sources of antioxidants for sperm health are zinc, vitamin C, selenium, vitamin E, folic acid, Coenzyme Q10, and carnitine.
Quit smoking: Fertility is one more reason to quit smoking other than many more. Smoking reduces sperm count, sperm motility, alters its shape, and can also cause DNA damage. Quitting will not only improve all of this but also your general health.
Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can boost testosterone levels and improve fertility. Studies indicate that men who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels and better semen quality than those who don’t. But also be careful to avoid too much exercise, as it can have an adverse opposite effect and potentially reduce testosterone levels.
Having sex frequently: Getting pregnant requires couples to have sex around the time of the woman’s ovulation. But having regular sex for the rest of the month can also help improve the sperm. Studies show that the sperm performs best after one day of abstinence. So, having sex every few days can help improve the sperm-health.
Reduce soy intake: High amounts of soy in men’s diet tend to lower the sperm count. The amount of reduction though not huge can make a difference in men who already have a low sperm count. Overweight men react more strongly to soy and need to limit it more than the men with normal weight.
Keep Cool: Sperm can be damaged by high temperatures (over 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Sperm should be protected from harmful heat by avoiding the hot tub and long hot baths. Staying in the same position for a long time like at a desk working can also raise the scrotal temperature. Sitting with a laptop on your lap also produces more heat. Always try to keep the computer on a desk and get up and move around at regular intervals to cool things off.
Weight Management: Over or underweight men can have imbalanced hormones in the body and affect sperm. Obesity has a great negative effect on testosterone levels and fertility in both men and women. If you are overweight, start an exercise regimen and get your BMI within a normal range.
Limit alcohol: Heavy drinking can affect fertility. Restrict your intake to a few drinks per week. When it comes to choice, wine is the smartest option as it’s less fattening and comes with a fee of its own health benefits.
Get enough sleep: Inadequate sleep can increase cortisol levels in the blood, lowering testosterone. Try to get at least seven hours of sound sleep every night for good health, general well-being, and vitality.
Avoiding Certain medications: Healthy sperm production can sometimes be decreased by some prescription medications like antibiotics, anti-androgens, anti-inflammatories, antidepressants, anabolic steroids, etc. Seek the consultation of Dr. Shivani Bhutani if you think that a medication you are currently taking may be reducing your sperm count or affecting fertility.
Treat Underlying Medical Conditions: Few Medical conditions and infections also affect fertility. One of the causes of infertility in men can also be undiagnosed or untreated infection of the reproductive system or urinary tract. Sexually transmitted infections can also lead to reduced sperm motility. Always be honest to your doctor about your current and past health history.
Male infertility is mostly linked to lifestyle and few underlying conditions. Few lifestyle modifications in consultation with a good fertility specialist can help overcome these conditions.
Dr. Shivani Bhutani has been for many years successfully treating couples with infertility issues. Contact to book appointment