There are a number of things you need to know about male fertility. It takes two to get pregnant! So while you are doing all you can to improve your health and well-being and making positive lifestyle changes – can your partner say the same?
The health and well-being of a prospective father is just as important as a prospective mother. This post provides some general information on male fertility. Please seek professional medical advice when needed.
Below are some of the ‘changeable’ lifestyle factors that pose a threat to fertility in men. Some require more research but for now, it is not worth taking the risk.
Causes of Male Infertility
1. Being Excessively Overweight or Underweight
Maintaining a BMI in the healthy weight range is ideal. If you have a BMI that is too low or too high then this has been associated with a reduction in sperm concentration and total sperm count.
Your male partner should also participate in a healthy living program pre pregnancy to ensure they are also getting fit and healthy.
2. Stress and Male Infertility
We all know how stress is a major contributor to various health issues. Stress can also affect the sperm count of some men. Stress has been shown to have an impact on the quality of sperm of men in couples undergoing IVF.
3. Heat Can Cause Male Infertility
Working, exercising or performing any activity in a hot environment can raise testicular temperature thus affecting or causing abnormal sperm count or semen quality. Testicles produce the best quality sperm when they keep their cool.
4. Laptop Use
The way that using a laptop on your lap negatively affects fertility is that the heat generated from the laptop can lead to increased scrotal temperature.
5. Electric Blankets Can Affect Male Fertility
Prolonged use of electric blankets also have the same impact in raising scrotal temperature.
6. Bicycle Seats
Impotence has been reported to be a potential side effect of cycling. Erectile dysfunction can occur from cycling due to the damage caused to arteries and nerves. Recreational cycling should not be an issue.
What is an issue is if you cycle for extended periods of time during a week. Cycling and exercise has numerous health benefits so you should not decide to stop cycling all together.
You should just restrict your cycling time to a few short rides each week and try to avoid sitting down on the seat for extended periods.
7. Sustaining an Injury to Your Genitals
Suffering an injury to your genital area could impair your ability to produce sperm or to ejaculate. If you are involved in activities or certain sports (football, rugby, MMA) you should always wear protective gear to prevent permanent damage
8. Smoking Can Affect Male Fertility
For many years now we have heard about all the health risks associated with smoking. Smoking can also damage the quantity and quality of sperm.
From your own health perspective, you do not want to be breathing in smoke from your partners smoking habit.
The risks to your unborn baby are just not worth taking the risk so speak to your doctor now about how you can quit smoking.
9. Medications (Prescription or over-the-counter medicines)
Certain medications can affect semen quality and cause an extremely low sperm count. This can also include long term-daily use of some antibiotics.
Some medications, such as beta-blockers and psychotropic drugs may lead to impotence so speak to your doctor about all medications you are on and how they may affect your fertility. Take your doctor’s advice on this one.
10. Recreational drugs
Recreational drug use is also another major contributor to causing damage to sperm. This includes all drugs (marijuana, cocaine, anabolic steroids) so don’t try to justify the use of some just because they are commonly used.
Unavoidable – Chemotherapy Impacts on Male Fertility
Cancer patients will often undergo chemotherapy and there is not a lot you can do about this form of treatment.
Chemotherapy treatment can induce azoospermia which is the complete absence of sperm and unfortunately for many men this can be permanent.
What you can do though is speak to your doctor about collecting several semen samples for storage in a sperm bank before beginning chemotherapy.