In our last blog, we explored the very real concept of male infertility and pointed out that 3 out of every 10 infertility cases are caused by problems with the male partner. We also noted that there are a number of things that men can do to improve the health of their sperm, considering that low sperm counts are often the culprits for the fertility issues. Those things include eliminating cigarette smoking and keeping the testicle area cool.
“The testicles need to keep the sperm at a healthy temperature (which is less than the body’s temperature),” explains holistic healthcare practitioner, Hethir Rodriguez on Natural-Fertility-Info.com, “It is thought that this may be in part why the male reproductive organs are external. Heat is known to damage sperm, so it may be best to avoid repeated exposure to activities that may elevate the temperature of the testicles.”
But what else can men do to improve fertility? Here are three simple ways:
1. Reduce your saturated fat intake. The ongoing debate between meat eaters and vegetarians will likely go on forever. However, it’s hard to dispute the cold hard facts associated with the consumption of saturated fat, which is found in red meats, processed meats and full-fat dairy products. In a special to the Toronto Star, Dr. Mehmet Oz (yes, THAT Dr. Oz!) and Dr. Mike Roizen reveal that eating a lot of saturated fat can reduce sperm counts by 38 percent.
Eating bad fats can also “slow the swimming ability of the remaining 62 percent,” say the doctors, “But getting more omega-3 fatty acids from fish like salmon and wild trout means higher counts. To get more omega-3s you can also take a supplement of 1,500 mg DHA (the most active omega-3) daily for 10 weeks, then cut back to 1,000 mg a day.”
2. Use condoms. This suggestion may appear bizarre considering that it’s on a list of ways to improve male fertility. Aren’t condoms generally used to prevent pregnancies from happening? The key, according to Dr. Kimberly Liu, who is a reproductive specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, is to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases. As Jackie Middleton reveals in Canadian Living magazine, practicing safe sex can protect the sperm from harm.
“Some men don’t realize that sex without a condom can introduce their bodies to sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea,” she writes, “Liu says these diseases can have long-term fertility repercussions, such as harming sperm production, scarring the male genital tract and impairing the release of sperm.”
3. Increase your sexual activity. This is likely the tip that most men will find the most pleasurable! It may just sound like sheer common sense that having more sex increases a couple’s chance of conceiving a child. However, as Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen reveal, “daily fun between the sheets improves sperm quality dramatically. Compared to several days of abstinence, daily intimacy reduces DNA damage in sperm by about 30 per cent.”
If you’re experiencing fertility issues, the Reproductive Care Centre is here to help you. We understand that the causes for the infertility could be due to issues with either the male or female partner – or both. Don’t be afraid to call us with your questions.
You can reach our Mississauga clinic at 905-816-9822. Our Oakville clinic is now open Monday to Friday from 7:00am to noon.