Blog & News

A Few Surprising Facts About Male Fertility

Posted on January 1, 2023

When going through fertility treatment, men and their partners need to know they’re ready and able to conceive. About 15% of US couples have trouble conceiving, and over 50 percent of the time, it’s due to a male infertility issue. As multiple factors can pose harm to male fertility health, it’s important to regularly visit your doctor. Below, you’ll find some male infertility causes, including aging, poor habits, environmental concerns, and a few surprising ones. The good news? Certain knowledge and lifestyle changes may help to improve your success rate.

Sleep Well (In Moderation)

When it comes to sleep, you should think “Goldilocks,” and get it just right. Studies show that too little (less than 6.5 hours) and too much sleep (more than 9 hours) are associated with lower sperm count. Sleeping 7-7.5 hours per day was found to be the optimal range, in terms of semen volume and total sperm count. The time off day spent sleeping also plays a role, as men working night shifts are more likely to have decreased fertility.

Beware Your Underwear

Did you know that your underwear may impact your sperm health? Studies show that men wearing boxers have a 25% higher sperm concentration and a 17% higher sperm count compared to those wearing tight underwear.

Eat With Fertility In Mind

To better your conception chances, consume a diet with more whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits, especially those rich in antioxidants, while limiting excess fat, sugar, red meat and soy. As vegetarian diets reduce sperm concentration and motility, you can bolster your meals with (lean) animal protein, such as fish, which may increase sperm count.

Advice About Vices

Excessive alcohol is associated with liver disease and fertility problems. It may also lower testosterone levels, which can make it difficult to have erections. As for tobacco, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), men contributing sperm to in vitro fertilization (IVF) have a 44% reduction in pregnancy rates. Lower sperm counts are also associated with both smokers and secondhand smokers.

Such drugs as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana may impact fertility. THC, marijuana’s main component, can infiltrate your body’s fat stores, causing hormonal disruption and abnormally shaped sperm. And if you take SSRI antidepressants, consider reducing your dosage, as researchers believe there may be a risk to sperm DNA.

Be Environmentally Conscious

Certain environmental changes can benefit your fertility. For example, you may want to update your cookware, as semen with higher aluminum concentrations may be associated with lower sperm counts. Your home may also be filled with products containing chemicals linked to infertility, which pregnant women may pass on to their sons, including:

  • Bisphenol-A (BPA), found in canned goods and plastic containers

  • Phthalates, found in plastic bottles

  • Fire retardants

  • Pesticides

Stay Cool

With fertility, heat is not your friend, as sperm production decreases in hot weather. As such, if you’re trying to conceive, you should do your best to stay away from anything that warms your scrotal region, including:

  • Hot tubs and saunas

  • Activities involving sitting for lengthy periods, like long drives or bicycle rides

  • Placing your laptop on your lap for too long; instead, try using a protective device

  • Keeping your cell phone away from your genitals, such as your rear pocket.

Schedule a Consultation for Male Infertility in California

Men need to be aware and involved in their fertility health, especially when trying to conceive a child. If you have any questions or concerns, we invite you to schedule a consultation with the Fertility Center of California today.

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