In our society, the words infertility and IVF are very widely associated with female infertility. While it is true that aging is an unavoidable cause of infertility for all women, males are just as susceptible to fertility problems, most notably due to low sperm count, problems with healthy sperm motility, or defective sperm DNA.
In fact, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility affects men and women at equal rates.
The following tips can help to increase male fertility, which gives a healthy and mature female egg a better chance of being fertilized.
7 Tips for Boosting Male Fertility
Don’t wait for too long.
- While it is common knowledge that as women get older, the harder it is for them to get pregnant. But for some reason, most people don’t realize that it’s the same for men. Male sperm motility and DNA is directly affected by their age.
- Studies have shown that sperm motility (their ability to swim), sperm morphology (their physiological shape and function), as well as semen volume, are all negatively affected by age. Sperm deterioration is most prevalent after the age of 35 and the partners of older men are also more likely to experience miscarriages.
Maintain a healthy BMI.
- Male obesity is linked directly to low sperm count. The lower the sperm count, the harder it is for a healthy sperm to reach the egg..
- The ideal BMI (Body Mass Index) for both men, and women, is 18.5 and 24.9. However, these calculations are run using your gender, height, weight and lifestyle.
- If your BMI is 25 or higher, make sure you lose weight safely, and with the guidance of your healthcare professional.
- While this may not seem surprising, what you eat really affects your health. Eat a well-balanced meal, full of colorful fruits and vegetables, fiber, whole-grains and lean meats.
- The less processed your foods are, the better. Antioxidants have also been shown to boost healthy sperm counts, so consume antioxidant rich foods for optimal results.
Invest in pesticide-free products.
- Pesticides are proven to cause reproductive problems for men and women. Anything with organic labels are safe, but many small farmers and food producers can’t afford the costs with the labeling requirements. Therefore, look for any products labeled pesticide and chemical free.
Keep your sperm temperature regulated.
- Any situations that elevate testicular temperatures can affect sperm count and motility. While hot tubs and saunas are obvious culprits, working with anything hot directly on your lap, like a laptop, for extended periods of time can also cause issues. Avoid items like tanning beds, and try to keep your testicles within a normal temperature.
- Smoking, and recreational drug use, damages sperm, and you. If you have a tobacco or drug addiction, work with your healthcare professional or another trusted resource to quit. Second and third hand smoke are linked to serious health consequences for your unborn baby and other children, as well as anyone who lives with you. The healthier you are, the better parent and partner you will be.
Take time to relax.
- Stress, depression, anxiety and poor sleep habits are all damaging to fertility. While they may not have a direct effect on your sperm count or morphology, they can affect male fertility in terms of libido issues or an inability to get an erection.
- The ideal scenario for fertility involves two partners who are both healthy in mind and body.
- If you suffer from chronic stress or depression, adjust your routine, diet and exercise for a situation that helps foster your mental health. Make sure you seek a healthy work life balance as well. If you feel you can’t handle this on your own, seek professional help from a mental healthcare professional.
Conceiving takes teamwork. Use these tips to help your male partner stay in good shape, and make sure you both are doing what it takes to upkeep your health.