Unsuspected Causes of Male Infertility
There are a lot of theories floating around the Internet about male infertility. As it’s becoming more common for couples to put off having children until they’re a bit older, this is no longer a concern only for men in their twenties – you may be looking at first-time parenthood even in your forties, fifties, and beyond.
Does using a cell phone affect your fertility? How about riding a bicycle? Sitting in a Jacuzzi? How do you know what to believe when it comes to these and other male infertility warnings? Should you be changing your lifestyle to make sure you’re safe?
In today’s article I’m going to dispel some of the more common myths and help you separate fact from fiction when it comes to male infertility.
Myth: Having Too Much Sex Affects a Man’s Fertility
This is complete nonsense, but a staple of the Internet rumor machine. It’s even been the subject of mass emails about men going sterile from having sex too often. If anything, having more sex is likely to keep you more fertile. Why? Because the exercise involved in having sex is a good way to stay fit – and fruitful – longer.
Myth: Smoking Does Not Affect Male Fertility
This is one of the more blatant myths. Scientists have known for years that smoking has an adverse affect on male fertility. In fact, smoking increases the risk of infertility in men by 30%. Cutting out cigarettes has an obvious positive impact on your health, including male fertility rates. A recent study by the British Medical Association revealed that men who smoke have a 10 to 40 percent lower fertility rate than those who don’t.
American studies have shown that smoking may cause as much as 13 percent of all male infertility. Not surprisingly, the more you smoke the more it affects your fertility.
Myth: Age Has No Affect on Male Fertility
Many studies have shown that male fertility decreases with age. Researchers have found a direct connection between the father’s age and an increased risk of schizophrenia and autism in his child. They have also found that fathers pass on as much as four times more mutated genes than mothers.
If you’re older and want to be a father, you might think about having a semen analysis to get some insight into your fertility potential. Your doctor can guide you about these issues.
Myth: Jacuzzis, Bicycles, Laptops and Cell Phones Don’t Affect Semen
It turns out that heat from hot tubs and jacuzzis can damage semen quality. Heat from laptops and emissions from cell phones can do the same.
The lesson from this is to keep your phone away from your genital area. Also keep a fan under your laptop to keep it cool. Above all, keep it off your lap. Men should also try not to spend too much time on a bicycle, as this has been shown to be potentially harmful to semen quality. The culprit is the design of the modern bicycle seat. If you do a lot of cycling you should consider switching to the older, broader style seat.
Myth: Only Hard Drugs Affect Male Fertility
Not only do hard drugs pose a significant threat to your life, they also affect fertility. But it’s not just hard drugs that can cause a problem. Many prescription drugs also pose a risk to fertility and sperm quality. Drugs like high blood pressure medication, antibiotics, and others have been shown to pose a risk.
Myth: All Sperm Are Healthy in a Healthy Male
Surprisingly, only 14% of the average male’s sperm have a normal size, shape, and mobility. This might seem low, but it means there are still plenty of sperm available to fertilize the egg. And all it takes is one.
However, considering that even in a healthy male only 14 percent of the sperm are in top shape, you don’t want to risk that number dropping any lower. And that’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself following the tips in this article.
Myth: Male Infertility Is Genetically Based
It’s true that male infertility can be passed down genetically. But there are several other factors that can also cause infertility in men. These include injury, immunity problems, and certain kinds of cancer. Lifestyle choices can also affect fertility. Things like nutrition, diet, drug use, smoking, and obesity can all decrease fertility in men.
That’s both bad news and good news. It’s bad news because if you’re not taking good care of yourself, all the good genetics in the world can’t protect you. But it’s good news because it means you have a lot of ability to take charge of your own destiny. Your genetics don’t have to dictate your fertility. You can make smart lifestyle choices starting today.
Myth: Other Health Problems Don’t Affect Male Fertility
This is not true. Chronic conditions like cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, and other conditions can cause trouble. They contribute to abnormal ejaculation and retrograde ejaculation due to nerve damage. Normally, muscles in the bladder close when you ejaculate to prevent semen from entering. But in retrograde ejaculation, semen goes into the bladder because those muscles don’t operate properly. This would obviously affect your fertility.
Myth: Your Weight Doesn’t Affect Your Fertility
Besides causing lots of other issues, extra weight poses major problems with male fertility. Obesity can cause higher estrogen and lower testosterone levels. This can cause sperm count to drop dramatically. Obese men also experience a reduced libido.
The solution, of course, is healthy and sustainable weight loss. I recommend moderate regular exercise, a healthy diet, and getting outdoors in the sunshine. This will increase your energy level and get your libido and testosterone back on the right track. If you want to lose weight, do not go on a crash diet or exercise too strenuously. Those things will only backfire. Instead, aim for gentle, sustainable lifestyle changes that support greater vitality.
Myth: Your Diet Doesn’t Affect Your Fertility
Remember, you are what you eat. Studies show that men who eat a diet poor in nutrition have a lower sperm count. A more natural whole food diet has been shown to boost fertility and general health. A healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, natural fats, and proteins seems to work best.
About 2 million men in the US are diagnosed with infertility each year. By making simple lifestyle changes many of these men can boost their fertility levels. Men with infertility issues should know that they can be treated with excellent success rates.
Medical treatment isn’t always necessary. Many men can improve their fertility situation with simple lifestyle changes. Losing weight, exercising, and breaking some bad habits can all contribute to improved fertility.