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The Tell-All Guide to Staying Fertile for Men
Infertility may be commonly associated with women, but men can certainly struggle with infertility as well. In fact, 40 percent of men are infertile. Those males who suffer from the condition do so for a handful of reasons. While a few contributing factors are inevitable, there are some that are completely avoidable.
Male Infertility, Defined
When a man is not able to conceive a child it is defined as male infertility. Diagnosed by abnormalities in the sperm count, sperm mobility, and sperm morphology – or shape of the sperm – it’s estimated that 2 of 3 infertile men have problems conceiving a child because of their sperm, or blockages in the sperm ducts. Varicoceles can also cause infertility, occurring when a man’s veins in his scrotum dilate; this affects sperm in the testicles because of the higher temperatures, poor oxygen supply and poor blood flow in the testes.
Contributing Factors Toward Male Infertility
There are quite a few factors that contribute to a man’s infertility, both psychological and physical. Understanding these factors is an important part of learning how to prevent male infertility for yourself or your loved one. The following factors can contribute to male infertility:
- Infection or inflammation that affects sperm production
- Premature ejaculation, when an erection cannot be sustained for over 30 seconds
- Retrograde ejaculation, when semen passes back into the bladder
- Undescended testicles
- Exposure to radiation
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hormonal imbalance
- Teratospermia, an abnormal sperm shape
- Asthenospermia, poor quality of sperm
- Oligospermia, a sperm count that is too low
- Drug use
Tips to Prevent Male Infertility
Preventing male infertility doesn’t always have to be complicated. If the cause behind a male’s possible infertility pertains to a man’s lifestyle, bad habit or another avoidable circumstance, follow these useful tips to prevent male infertility:
- Do not become overweight. This also pertains to men who are already overweight, or who are even considered obese. These extra pounds are never good for your health, negatively impacting your blood pressure, heart rate and other crucial elements of your body. Being overweight has also been directly associated with sperm production problems. Per your body type, men are advised to maintain a healthy weight so as to avoid this infertility cause.
- Be mindful of laptop and mobile phone radiation. As much as we’re glued to our technological devices these days, it’s extremely important for men who are trying to avoid infertility to be mindful of their device usage. Laptops, mobile phones, tablets and other commonly used devices emit levels of radiation, which is said to negatively impact the production of sperm. Instead of keeping your mobile phone in your pocket, stash it in a briefcase or your shirt pocket. Additionally, do not sit with your laptop on your lap while working – use a lap desk, regular desk or pillow instead.
- Keep your testes at an optimal temperature. If a man’s testes are at too high of a temperature, then it is possible for the sperm to become affected, leading to infertility. Avoid wearing any tight clothes, as it can affect the circulation of blood in that specific genital area and raise the temperature.
- Consume healthy food. It’s okay to enjoy a beer, bowl of chips and slightly fatty foods with your friends once in a blue moon, but if you want to avoid infertility, do not make unhealthy eating a habit. Multiple studies have shown that lack of nutrients, particularly zinc and vitamin C, can bring about infertility in men. Consume a balanced diet by strictly following the suggested food and serving sizes in the food pyramid, and take supplements if need be to obtain the proper amount of nutrients your body needs to create healthy, fertile sperm.
- Quit your addictions. Similar to obesity, allowing yourself to smoke cigarettes, drink excessive amounts of alcohol and do drugs is harmful for a variety of reasons, affecting more than one part of your mind and body. Being addicted to any of the aforementioned actions also increases a man’s risk for infertility, because they all have a good chance at tampering with the proper function of the biological processes. It’s important to note that anything can become an addiction, so be cautious in your behavior to avoid infertility issues.
These tips are not guaranteed to work, but it is a good start while trying to avoid male infertility. If you are diagnosed with the condition, though, it is treatable – which is exactly what we do at Ron Israeli, M.D., PC’s office. A board certified urologist and prostate cancer specialist, Ron Israeli provides multiple treatment options – including assisted reproductive technology and varicocele surgery – for male infertility. Please contact our office by calling 973-251-2055 to learn more.