Are you and your partner facing difficulties getting pregnant? Male reproductive disorders are more common than you may think. Research shows that about one in three fertility cases can be linked to male reproductive disorders. Several factors cause fertility problems in males, and while not all cases are treatable, there are certain steps you can take to improve your fertility. For instance, you may benefit from dietary and lifestyle changes. Keep reading to learn more about male fertility issues and what health factors could be associated with improved fertility.
Sperm Health & Quality
Various factors can affect the health of sperm, including quantity, structure, and movement. For most men, quantity is not usually an issue. In a single ejaculation, a man releases about 15 million sperm per milliliter. What matters is the sperm count. If there are too few candidates to fertilize the egg, getting pregnant could become a problem. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can try if you are trying to increase your sperm count.
In order for fertilization to occur, sperm need to swim from the vagina through the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes until it reaches the egg – a process known as motility. If at least 40% of your sperm has good movement, you shouldn’t have face problems.
Another factor that affects male fertility is sperm structure or morphology. Under normal circumstances, a sperm should have an oval head and a long tail that work together to propel the sperm forward. While morphology might not be as important as sperm count or motility, you might face issues if your sperm are abnormally shaped.
Causes of Male Infertility
Several health factors can cause fertility problems for males. For instance, if you have a problem with your hypothalamus or pituitary gland, you may face challenges with fertility. These brain regions send signals to male reproductive organs, instructing them to produce testosterone and sperm.
You may also have fertility issues if you have a testicular disease or any other disease that affects male reproductive organs. Such diseases can cause sperm transport disorders.
Age can also play a role in male infertility. As you grow older, the motility and morphology of sperm start deteriorating. This is commonly found in men that are over the age of 50.
How to Get Tested for Infertility
If you suspect that you might have fertility problems, it’s important to get tested as soon as possible. This way, you can figure out how to improve your situation. The best place for tests associated with male reproductive disorders is a genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinic. You can also visit a general practitioner or a sexual health clinic. One advantage of fertility testing is that every detail of your test will be kept confidential and all tests will be done only with your permission.
You can take several steps to improve your fertility, depending on the cause of the infertility problems. For instance, if a dietary issue is causing your fertility problems, you can work on correcting your diet. On the other hand, if you have a disease that affects your male reproductive organs, you may need to visit a doctor and get the problem addressed as soon as possible. In the next section of this article, we’re discussing tips on how to improve fertility.
Increasing Sperm Count
Are you thinking about how to increase sperm count? You may have problems with fertility if your average sperm count is below normal. Fortunately, several lifestyle choices can help support the hormones that control sperm production. For instance, something as simple as getting enough sleep can help aid the healthy development of sperm and therefore improve sperm count. You should also get enough exercise and avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and/or drug abuse. Research also shows that not smoking can help improve sperm count. Lastly, it’s recommended to eat more antioxidant-rich foods and increase healthy fat intake.
Exercise Regularly to Improve Fertility
Regular exercise is generally good for your health. However, did you also know that exercise can boost testosterone levels and improve fertility? Research shows that men who exercise regularly also have better semen quality. However, you should avoid excessive exercise because too much exercise can lower testosterone levels, which is not good for fertility. To minimize this risk, you can supplement with zinc.
Get Enough Vitamin C
Vitamin C has a lot of benefits, including its ability to boost the immune system. Apart from this widely known benefit, research also shows that vitamin C and other antioxidants can improve fertility. This is because antioxidants like vitamin C prevent oxidative stress in the body. When reactive oxygen levels are left to reach harmful levels in the body, they can promote tissue injury and inflammation. There is also some evidence that oxidative stress can cause infertility in men. This is why you should consume enough vitamin C to keep the levels of reactive oxygen species in check.
Manage and Reduce Your Stress
It’s generally difficult to perform sexually if you are stressed. However, there is also more to it than that. Apart from not being interested in sex, stress can also impact fertility. Research indicates that the stress hormone known as cortisol has strong negative effects on testosterone. When you always have high levels of this hormone in your body, testosterone levels will be suppressed.
There are several relaxation techniques that you can apply to avoid being stressed all the time. For instance, going for a walk in nature and getting fresh air, exercising, meditating, or having fun with friends can help you keep your levels of stress down.
Get Adequate Vitamin D
Vitamin D can also boost testosterone levels. Research indicates that men that have vitamin D deficiency are more likely to have lower levels of testosterone. On the other hand, high vitamin D levels are associated with greater sperm motility.
Maintaining Good Sperm Temperature
There is a reason why your testicles are not located inside the abdomen. This is because they need to stay cool in order to produce the best quality sperm. Ideally, testicles need to stay a little below your body temperature. You can do several things to ensure that your testicles remain cool. For instance, if you work in an excessively hot environment, it might help to take regular breaks outside.
If you work a job that involves sitting around for long periods, you should consider getting up and moving around regularly. It has also been shown that wearing tight underpants can increase testicle temperature. For this reason, it could be a good idea to switch to loose-fitting underwear like boxer shorts while trying to get pregnant.
Avoid and Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Several sexually transmitted infections, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause infertility in men. To avoid getting these infections, limit the number of sexual partners you have and practice safe sex. The best you can do is to stay in a mutually monogamous relationship with your partner and get tested to ensure that both of you are not already infected.
Male Infertility Is More Common Than You Think
Have you had any challenges with the quality or quantity of your sperm? These are some of the things you can do to improve male fertility.
Male infertility is a common problem that affects many men worldwide. If you are not sure why you are experiencing infertility issues, contact a TopLine MD Alliance affiliated physician to book a consultation. They can help you uncover the cause of your infertility issues and recommend ways to improve your situation.
The TopLine MD Alliance is an association of independent physicians and medical practice groups who are committed to providing a higher standard of healthcare services. The members of the TopLine MD Alliance have no legal or financial relationship with one another. The TopLine MD Alliance brand has no formal corporate, financial or legal ties to any of the affiliated physicians or practice groups.