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Do Younger Men Need to Care about Their Fertility?
Conversations about fertility consideration and care begin early for women, who often start to hear comments and receive questions about family-planning goals in their early 20s, but these same conversations rarely (if ever) extend to young men.
It’s true that there is a stronger correlation between fertility and age for women, but this does not mean that men are off the hook. Just as young women who wish to have children are advised to care for their fertility from a younger age, their male counterparts should also be aware of how their decisions can impact future family planning.
So, what are things young men should keep in mind to help aid in protecting their fertility?
Overall Health: Your overall health plays a significant role in the quality of your sperm, which of course, equals the quality of your fertility. Obesity, tobacco use, illegal drug use, and heavy alcohol consumption are all lifestyle choices that are known to cause fertility issues. If any of the above are concerns for your lifestyle, it’s important to connect with a physician to discuss ways to help get on track with a healthy, balanced, day-to-day experience.
Exercise Intensity: Men who engage in consistent, high-intensity workouts should discuss with their physician whether this can have a negative impact on fertility. Of course, exercise is generally encouraged in order to help ensure a healthy weight/lifestyle, but doctors often warn patients that doing so in the extreme may have negative long-term health effects, including lowered fertility.
Preventing Injury (whenever possible)
Of course, the majority of injuries that occur over the course of a lifetime are probably the result of an accident. However, there are basic precautions you can take to prevent injuries, specifically ones that can impact fertility – injuries of the groin. Extreme sports and high-risk activities have been known to result in groin injuries, and some of these cannot be reversed to solve any fertility issues that stem from them. Protect yourself if you choose to engage in any activity that could result in a groin injury by exercising good judgment and wearing a protective cup.
Your physician will always advise that you engage in safe sexual activity during every sexual experience. In addition to other side effects of STDs, fertility could be negatively impacted as well. Certain STDs can cause infections and scarring/construction issues that could make it difficult to conceive naturally. If you believe you’ve engaged in unsafe sexual behavior, please contact your physician to undergo testing as soon as possible so treatment can begin if needed.
If you have any questions about male fertility, please contact the Fertility Center of California today.