Boosting male fertility facts
- Male factors are often a cause of a couple’s infertility, and there are things they can do to boost their fertility before turning to infertility treatment.
- These involve everyday lifestyle decisions anyone can do on their own.
- Some involve things not to do, like taking supplements to address low-T (testosterone), which can actually cause permanent infertility.
- Other actions are things a man should be doing, such as eating a healthy diet and maintaining proper weight.
- Our fertility specialists can help men in evaluating what steps would be good for them to take.
Tips for boosting male fertility
Many individuals assume that the term “fertility” relates specifically to women.
However, nearly 40% of all infertility cases are related solely or in part to male factors such as low sperm concentration, poor motility, and abnormal sperm shape. While some men require treatment for their infertility, there are a number of things you can do on a daily basis to boost your male fertility naturally.
Avoid extreme physical activity
It’s no surprise that exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle. However, too much exercise may interfere with your fertility. In fact, a 2009 study showed that intense exercise may impair sperm count, motility, and morphology. For this reason, experts recommend that men not exceed one hour of moderate exercise three times per week.
Don’t under do it on exercise either. Exercise helps men loose fat and regulates hormones that can help improve fertility. Cardiovascular exercise and weight resistance are good forms of exercise for men looking to boost their fertility.
Eating a healthy diet helps in boosting male fertility
Certain foods have been shown to increase fertility in men by promoting the development of healthy sperm. Consider incorporating more antioxidant-rich foods into your diet, such as avocados, pomegranates, tomatoes, and other fresh fruits and vegetables. Filling up on pumpkin seeds is also a great way to boost fertility, as they contain substantial amounts of zinc and therefore can help increase testosterone and sperm count.
Healthy eating also reduces the chance of being overweight or obese, which can affect sperm quality and male fertility. Too much weight has hormonal effects that alter sperm health, count and delivery during sex.
Beware of testosterone treatments or supplements
Men should be aware that testosterone treatments to boost testosterone levels, often called low-T treatments, increase their testosterone but can harm their fertility. In fact, these testosterone treatments and testosterone supplements are effectively a form of male birth control. They stop the man’s production of sperm or reduce it.
Testosterone supplements, creams and injections can cause infertility that can’t be reversed. If a man wants to father children, he should not start testosterone treatments or supplements without talking to one of fertility specialists.
Don’t take anabolic steroids
Anabolic steroids are drugs men take to build muscles and lower body fat. But anabolic steroids affect male fertility the same way testosterone does – testosterone is an anabolic steroid. The two act the same way in the body, which is disrupting the signals of the hormones that help produce sperm. The dose and duration of taking anabolic steroids factor into the amount fertility damage done.
Once a man stops taking anabolic steroids, his sperm production returns to normal anywhere between 3-12 months. And men should beware of muscle-building supplements, as some disreputable varieties contain anabolic steroids.
Overheating of the testicles is a major cause of infertility in men, resulting in impaired sperm production and function. You can reduce the risk of overheating and infertility by avoiding frequent use of hot tubs or saunas, wearing tight clothing, or sitting for long periods of time.
Smoking cigarettes, cigars, and using other tobacco products has been linked to male infertility. In most cases, the nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke can lead to a lower sperm count.
Don’t drink to excess
A good way to prevent low sperm counts is to avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Limiting your alcohol intake can also help decrease the risks of low testosterone levels, decreased sperm production and erectile dysfunction. Liver disease from excessive drinking can also damage male fertility.
Being exposed to certain pesticides, chemicals and painting materials can lower sperm count. Exposure to radiation can decrease sperm production, and high doses of radiation can cause permanent reduction of sperm. Men exposed to heavy metals or lead can become infertile.
Whether you and your partner are struggling with male factor infertility, female infertility, or are interested in in vitro fertilization (IVF), the team at Dallas IVF is here to help. Contact our infertility clinic online or call (214) 297-0020 to get started.