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Dr Clare Morrison

Article by Dr Clare Morrison

Six Simple Tips To Combat Male Infertility


Infertility is on the rise in men. Sperm counts in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have dropped by half in less than 40 years – and the rate of decline is not slowing down. Falling sperm counts have been linked to factors such as exposure to certain chemicals and pesticides, obesity, stress and smoking.

However, there’s no need to panic – here are six simple steps you can take today to combat male infertility…

Avoid stress

Stress has long been identified as having an influence on health, and research suggests that men’s reproductive health may also be affected by their social environment.

Anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression are all common causes of erectile dysfunction and high levels of stress in the body can also lead to the release of chemicals that produce destructive oxygen species which results in cell damage.

Stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption

Male smokers are 30 percent more likely to struggle to conceive. As well as this, excessive alcohol lowers testosterone levels and sperm quality and quantity in men, as well as causes impotence and a reduction in libido.

Take supplements and vitamins

Zinc supplementation (100-200 mg daily), has been shown to increase testosterone levels, sperm count, and motility. You can take supplements or get your zinc naturally from foods such as oysters, lamb, and liver.

Another vitamin commonly linked to fertility is Vitamin C. This helps to prevent sperm from sticking together, improving the chances for fertility. B-Complex vitamins (B12), chromium, copper and Vitamin E also improve sperm counts.

Exercise

Moderate exercise is a good way to boost fertility by keeping body weight at normal levels and relieving stress and anxiety. However, too much can lead to testosterone deficiency and low sperm count, so don’t go overboard!

Improve diet

According to some reports, eating plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains can help boost fertility. Obesity can be associated with low sperm count and impotence, potentially because of higher temperatures caused by excess fat near the testes.

Reduce chemical exposure

It’s believed that exposure to xenoestrogens (PCBs, DDT, other pesticides and plastics) that mimic the effects of oestrogen has reduced the quality and quantity of sperm in the average man. You can prevent the impact of xenoestrogens on your health by avoiding plastic containers for food storage, using only non-bleached coffee filters, avoiding chlorinated tap water, eating organic food, avoiding alcohol and caffeine as well as fried food.

Infertility affects many men around the world. None of these tips are guaranteed to work; but if you are suffering from infertility ensuring you live a healthy lifestyle could well help. Good luck!

 

Dr Clare Morrison
Dr Clare Morrison
Experienced General Practitioner in Hampshire since 1995, with particular interest in Nutrition, Obesity and Smoking Cessation.
Originally published April 24 2018, updated October 06 2018