Let’s talk about Sperm…..
Low sperm count and infertility in men is more prevalent than most couples think. At least 40% of male factor infertility can be the cause of not getting pregnant. Whilst there are numerous tests for women to undergo to establish the cause of infertility, men have only a couple, the sperm test being the easiest.
If you have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year, make sure that both of you should go and begin getting testing. The results of a good test would be a sperm count of 20 million or more sperm with healthy mobility, motility and morphology.
Causes and Solutions
The causes of low sperm count and male infertility are many, but a many of them we do have control over and you can reduce your exposure to them. Sperm works in 3 month cycles, so remember whatever you do today, you will not see the benefits for 90 days.
Here is a list of the top culprits which many have been shown through studies to be the cause of low sperm count and male infertility and how to combat them.
- EMF’s– Electromagnetic frequencies (EMF’s) have been shown through studies to lower sperm count due to the heating of the testicles from the EMF’s. Do not keep your mobile phone in your pocket and do not place your laptop computer on your lap.
- Cigarette smoking– Smoking damages the sperm. Try to give up smoking as soon as possible, ask your GP or local pharmacy for help and support.
- Pesticides and hormones in foods– The pesticides and hormones added to the dairy and meat have a massive effect on men’s hormonal balance. Pesticides mimic estrogens in the body while the added hormones to meat and dairy are actual hormones (like estrogen) you do not want in your system. Go organic where possible and avoid processed foods.
- Soy foods– mimic estrogens in the body also. As a man these xenohormones can match up with the receptor sites that testosterone is supposed to go. And create hormonal havoc, they are best avoided.
- Alcohol– In a study of men with poor sperm quality, excessive alcohol consumption was associated with decrease in the number of normal sperm. Try to cut down or stop drinking all together.
- Briefs/ boxers– The testicles need to keep the sperm at a healthy temperature (which is less than the body’s temperature). Avoid tight underwear like briefs as they can keep the testicles from being able to hang and regulate their temperature.
- Hot tubs/ bike riding– This again is to help keep the integrity of the sperm by allowing the testicles to regulate the temperature.
- Stress– Stress can have a big impact on hormonal balance which can have an effect on sperm production. Consider a complementary therapy like reflexology or acupuncture to help with sperm production and reduce your stress levels.
- Diet – You are what you eat and so is your sperm. Go organic where possible and avoid all processed and sugary foods. Consider a high protein diet, the nutrients specifically needed for a healthy male fertility diet, they should be added to your diet as well as supplemented. Look at the following supplements and how they may benefit your sperm Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium, CoQ10, Vitamins E, C and B12 and L-Carnitine.