Much is written about how women can improve their fertility if they are having problems conceiving, but what about the male half of the partnership? The man can certainly improve the chances of conception by making a few simple lifestyle changes of his own. This article is intended to offer a number of suggestions for the male half of any couple experiencing problems conceiving.
Even if doctors and specialists have already determined that the woman has fertility problems, it is not unheard of for a couple to get pregnant anyway (even against the odds), so it surely can’t hurt for the man to do everything he can within his own abilities to improve the chances of success.
I hope this article helps many couples who have been trying unsuccessfully for a baby to finally succeed, or at least improve their overall odds of finally being able to hold a baby of their very own in their arms at last.
General Lifestyle Changes.
In about 40% of cases the cause of infertility lies with the males, therefore it is vital that the man is willing to make changes in his lifestyle in the same way as the woman has to. At the end of the day ‘you can’t light a candle with an empty lighter ‘, so to ensure your ‘lighter ‘ is full of gas you need to start with the basics:
1) Stop smoking.
2) Throw away tight underpants and change to boxer shorts, (or no underwear at all). If your testicles are too warm your sperm will die.
3) Keep your showers and baths to gentle temperatures for the same reasons as above.
4) Drastically reduce, or completely cut out drinks heavy in caffeine, such as coffee, tea, Red Bull type energy drinks etc.
5) Stop alcohol intake, or at the very least only have a very small amount per week, e.g. a couple of pints of a product like Guinness that is at least rich in iron.
7) Reduce your stress levels as much as possible.
8 ) Consult your Doctor about any prescription drugs you are on to determine if they can effect your sperm count.
9) Avoid using laptop computers on your lap , as these will generate heat in the vicinity of your testicles that can again destroy your sperm.
10) Ensure you are eating a healthy diet with plenty of vitamins (see relevant section below).
11) Get your weight down or up to within your BMI (Body Mass Index) range. Being underweight is just as bad as being overweight, so you should be aiming for a BMI of 20-25 for optimum sperm production.
12) Don’t masturbate or indulge in oral sex, instead save your semen for sex with your partner, but don’t leave it too long or the semen can go past its best, (new studies now say daily sex is best when trying to conceive).
13) Stop taking anabolic steroids if you use them.
14) Avoid exercises such as cycling that may contribute to far too much heat being generated in the testicle area.
15) Avoid using your mobile phone too often, as although not totally scientifically proven, electromagnetic fields given off by cell phones could potentially impair sperm, ( quote from Ashok Agarwal, director of andrology at the Glickman Urological Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio).
16) Get some sunshine, the sun has been linked to increased levels of testosterone, which in turn affects the production of healthy sperm. Sunshine has also been linked to lower production levels of melatonin, which is known to reduce male fertility.
1) Include plenty of zinc in your diet as this is essential for healthy sperm production. You can take this in the form of supplements, or you can make sure you eat foods high in zinc such as:
Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, crabmeat, salmon and lobster.
Milk, cheese, peanuts, beans, pumpkin seeds, yoghurt, wholegrain cereals, brown rice etc.
Do not exceed 11mg of zinc a day as a male, or 8mg per day as a female.
2) Ensure you are consuming sufficient amounts of Vitamins C, E and B6 and minerals such as magnesium. These can increase zinc absorption in the body. So, it is important to add these to your daily vitamin and mineral intake.
3) Drink plenty of water each day to keep your system flushed out, (approx 2-3 litres).
4) Avoid junk foods and foods high in saturated fats such as chips, burgers, sausages etc.
5) Eat plenty of Brazil nuts which are rich in selenium, a mineral that seems to help boost sperm production and improve their swimming ability.
6) Tomatoes contain lycopene, a nutrient that research suggests helps in the production of healthy, agile sperm.
7) Eat natural fruits and vegetables, and by natural I mean produce that has been grown organically, without pesticides or artificial fertilizers. Antioxidants, like those found in fruits and vegetables, may help prevent damage to sperm that causes them to become sluggish and lose the ability to fertilise an egg. In particular, the antioxidants glutathione and cryptoxanthin, which are abundant in brightly colored produce such as leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers and oranges, are associated with strong, healthy sperm.
8 ) Drink Green teas and take ginkgo, both of these have been linked to male fertility enhancement. The benefits of green tea are numerous. Green tea boosts overall energy and health, while gingko increases circulation to the capillaries, resulting in improved sexual energy as well as improved sexual performance.