Habits to Help Boost Male Fertility
Some time ago we talked about certain habits that are detrimental to fertility, related to our lifestyle and current diet, which you should avoid if you want to get pregnant. Today it’s their turn, as male fertility in reproduction also matters a great deal and will have an impact on, together with the woman’s fertility, successful results.
When discussing male fertility, the following question comes up: what guidelines, or habits, can improve sperm quality? These are the same whether we are talking about trying to get pregnant naturally or by using assisted reproduction techniques. These recommendations will be very useful to you.
Develop healthy eating habits
Not long ago we discussed myths and truths about foods that improve female fertility. And, of course, we also focused on males to learn more about the relationship between food and male fertility, pointing out different products that help to improve it.
To summarise, the main piece of advice we always give at URE Centro Gutenberg is that a healthy, balanced Mediterranean diet which is low in fat will improve sperm parameters and favour fertilisation.
Do away with (or at least limit) alcohol and tobacco consumption
Several studies indicate that alcohol and tobacco consumption have a negative impact on fertility. In fact, we know that sperm count, as well as sperm motility and morphology, are affected due to an increase in sperm DNA fragmentation, among other reasons.
It is worth pointing out that these effects are completely reversible once the male stops consuming tobacco or decreases his intake of daily alcoholic beverages. Thus, it’s never too late to quit!
Keep in mind your age if you want to have children
We know that as of the age of 45 sperm count and motility can decrease, and that after the age of 60 the testicles become smaller. This leads us to believe that male fertility also decreases with age, though later than in women.
On the other hand, we also know that as males age, oxidative stress increases in spermatozoids (DNA fragmentation), and fertilisation capacity decreases.
A study published a few months ago in Human Reproduction warned about reduced sperm quality in males in the Western World.
The rise in obesity, together with greater environmental exposure to chemical products, seems to be the combination of factors responsible for this decline in fertility.
Watch your weight
The sperm of obese males is of lower quality than of males with a normal body mass index. That fact is that being overweight or obese is a serious obstacle for those who want to become parents, both for males and females.
Specifically, several studies have confirmed that the concentration of spermatozoids in semen is between 10% to 20% lower in obese assisted reproduction patients.
Stay away from wearing tight clothes
Have you ever asked yourself why the testicles are on the outside of the body? The reason is simple: it is because they require a lower temperature (between 1 to 2 degrees less), than the body’s temperature so that spermatogenesis, or sperm formation, can properly take place.
Thus, wearing tight clothing means that the testicles will be closer to the body and, as a result, will reach body temperature as well.
Stay away from your mobile phone and computer
No, this does not mean you need to stop using them! But continuing on with the causes that increase the temperature of the testicles, you should keep in mind that keeping your mobile phone in your front pocket or working with your laptop on your lap can also lead to this temperature increase.
Just as we explained before, this increase in temperature affects the process of sperm formation, which is why we recommend keeping these guidelines in mind when using these devices.
Get regular physical activity
Practicing any sport, or at least maintaining some type of physical activity, always translates to benefits for your health and, of course, your fertility.
According to a study, six months of physical activity can increase the number and motility of spermatozoids, and running 30 to 45 minutes a week is the best way to improve sperm quality.
Adjust the use of medications
Taking certain medications may have an impact on fertility. Among the medications which are most detrimental to your spermatozoids are immunosuppressant drugs, chemotherapy drugs, anti-epileptic drugs, hormones, antidepressants… If you are taking one of these medications, don’t forget to tell your fertility specialist.
Illegal drugs, as you can understand, won’t have any benefit for your reproductive system. Thus, you should completely forget about taking drugs if you’re trying to become a parent, as their effects may be irreversible after a certain amount of time.