What is male infertility

For thousands of years, it was wrongfully believed that the responsibility to procreate was the woman’s alone, and if a couple was infertile, it was for sure the woman’s fault. Women have been punished, divorced, repudiated and have suffered abuse due to the couple’s inability to conceive, pretty much in all cultures. 

Aside from the lack of education and lack of access to scientific information we have nowadays, the reason behind this belief is very much connected to society and culture. 

Male fertility and men’s capacity to perpetuate their family lineage was strongly connected with the idea of virility and masculinity.  

Today we know that in fact, 1 out of 6 couples struggle with infertility, and male infertility accounts for 50% of the cases. 

We also know that male infertility is not necessarily a synonym of virility and surely not one of masculinity. 

Male infertility is a health problem that is sadly increasingly common, and studies show us that sperm count rates have been in a constant decline in the past century. 

From polution to unhealthy diets, lack of exercise and genetic diseases, the causes for male infertility are multiple and the solutions need to be adapted. 

Luckily, medicine evolved too, and in this day and age we have ways of treating infertility that would have been inconceivable even decades ago, let alone earlier. 

But even so, any boost, any help, any change, however small, is welcome in trying to restore our overall health and thus, improve our chances to conceive, either naturally, or with medical help. 

What causes male infertility?

The good news is that, unlike in the case of women, who are born with their ovarian reserve and are unable to create new oocytes throughout their reproductive life span, men produce new sperm. 

In charge of this 64-day process, called spermatogenesis, are the testicles, and they create about 1500 sperm per day, up to 8 billion sperm by the end of a full cycle. 

So what does this mean? Mostly any “damage” on your fertility which is due to poor life choices could be remedied, if you’re willing to help your body “do better”. 

Now let’s take a look at what damages male fertility: 

Sedentarism-it’s no longer a secret that sport is vital for our overall health. Men who exercise regularly have been found to have better hormone levels and a higher sperm count and quality, than man lacking exercise. Mind you though! Just like in women extreme workouts result in higher levels of cortisol and lower fertility rates, male sperm is also negatively affected by very intense and sustained physical activity. As with anything, moderation is key. 

Obesity is bad in general, and thus, bad for fertility, for both women and men. Men who are overweight, consistently have lower sperm counts than men who have normal BMIs. And it’s not just the sperm count, but also the testosterone levels that suffer. Not to mention that bad quality sperm is not just responsible for infertility, but it can also cause miscarriage. 

Smoking affects male fertility on several plans. With over 4000 kinds of constituents in tobacco smoke, studies have found that hormones are impacted, the sperm quality is severely diminished, the oxidative stress is superior than in non-smokers and to add insult to injury, smoking impacts blood circulation and therefore, erection. 

Alcohol is bad for the sperm too, especially when we’re talking daily drinking. By inhibiting the Vitamin A metabolization in the liver, alcohol prevents sperm from properly developing. The good news is this kind of damage is reversible and most patients have normalized semen counts 3 months after stopping alcohol. 

Clothing may come as a surprise reason, but in reality, testes do not perform well under high temperatures. Tight and very warm clothing may have a negative effect on your semen production which is why it is ideal to favor boxers to tight underwear. Same goes for favoring showers to hot baths and never working with your laptop on your ….lap! 

Certain sports are known to at least damage if not completely supress sperm production. We’re talking about competitive cycling, and horse riding, especially on a hard and badly adjusted saddle. 

 Exposure to toxins is damaging for overall health and therefore can impact your hormonal balance and your testicles’ capacity of producing healthy sperm. New research has shown that microplastics have been found in every human testicle analyzed. These tiny environmental toxins have been previously found in human lungs, blood and even in the brain. 

Are there any natural ways to boost male fertility?

There certainly are. And once you’ve made sure that you’re mindful of all the causes we discussed above, you can give your testicles a boost of healthy nutrition and vitamins, to help them produce viable little swimmers. 

A healthy diet is shown to improve both number and sperm quality. Say no to fast food and processed meats. Say yes to fiber, good fats, fruits and vegetables.  Green leaves and legumes are also great anti oxidants and they are full of Vitamin C and lycopene. Not only is a healthy diet good for sperm but it may also help you get rid of those extra kilos you’ve been trying to battle at the gym! 

Since a lot of infertility cases have been attributed to oxidative stress, it makes sense to believe that supplements reducing oxidative stress could help your semen parameters. There are many supplements on the market, claiming almost miracles, but when you choose your supplements, make sure they’re organic, and that ideally they contain a healthy dose of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and CoQ10 

How can male infertility be treated?

If all else fails, medicine is here to help and we, at ART fertility center offer you access to the best specialists in human reproduction, so you can make your dream of parenthood come true. 

From IUI to IVF with ICSI and genetic testing, from varicocele surgery to surgical sperm extraction, ART puts clinical excellence in the service of the patients. 

If you are having any questions and doubts regarding your fertililty, book an appointment and lets us accompany you in this journey.