Infertility is a worldwide issue and is a major cause of marital disharmony. In Africa, its effect on the family is frequently seen as divorce from inability to raise children, social and family pressure on the affected couples, low self esteem and the financial burden needed for assisted reproduction.
Infertility is defined by World Health Organization as the inability of a heterosexual couple to achieve pregnancy despite regular and unprotected sexual intercourse for a period greater than one year. Infertility can be caused by the male, female partner or both. Statistically, about 20% is caused by the woman, 20% by the man, and 10% by both partners. The remaining percentage is usually termed as ‘infertility from unknown cause’.
Healthy sperm depends on factors like the Quantity, Quality and Motility. In this article, I will show you 8 great habits that improves fertility in men
Habits that improves fertility in men
1. Keep your underwear and dressing loose
Studies have shown that men who frequently wear tight fitted underwear and clothing stand a higher risk of becoming infertile. The testis which produce sperm cells is housed within a loose fitted sac known as the scrotum because the testes needs an optimal temperature for effective production of sperms. The scrotum is made up of specialized muscles that bring the scrotum close to the body when the environmental temperature is low and it also moves away from the body when the body temperature is higher than the environmental temperature. This effective physiological mechanism ensures optimal testicular temperature for sperm production. So any time you go shopping for your new under wears and trousers, always remember to buy loose fitted ones made of cotton. It is also important to note that nylon pants and trousers absorb more heat hence interfering with the functions of the testes. This is a great habit that improves fertility in men.
2. Eat right
“We are what we eat” is a popular phrase used by nutritionist and dietician. This is absolutely true because whatever we feed into our system is used by the cells of our body, so for healthy cells we need the right diet. Scientific studies have shown that eating meals rich in natural antioxidants e.g. Vitamin A, C, E, K, glutathione, zinc, selenium, folate and flavonoids improves fertility in men. This has an overall effect of boosting sperm count; improve sexual stamina and general health. Eat plenty of bright colored fruits and green vegetables, seafood and grains. Avoid meals rich in red meat, fats, sodas, and excessive carbohydrate because there can interfere significantly with the functions of the testis.
3. Avoid alcohol and tobacco
Excessive consumption of tobacco and alcohol affects the production of sperms by the testis. Tar and other toxins inhaled into the body during smoking damages the DNA of the sperm cells. The DNA is a structure that codes for the entire functions of the sperm so a defective DNA will translate to defective sperm cells. Alcohol has similar effect on the sperm cells. If you want to improve your fertility, then quit smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol.
4. Reduce exposure to occupational/ environmental toxins
Exposure to occupational or environment toxins pose a significant risk on infertility in men. Exposure to hydrocarbons insecticides, pesticides, industrial fumes, and printing/dry cleaning reagents reduces fertility rate in men. Always try to minimize exposure to such agents. Protective clothing must be used by men working in factories and companies to minimize occupational hazard.
5. Treat all STDs and avoid unprotected sexual intercourse
Untreated sexually transmitted disease like gonorrhea may persist in the body thus damaging the sperm producing mechanism in the testes. There may also damage the tubes responsible for the transportation of the sperm cells from the seminiferous tubules to the epididymis and the urethra. About 50% of infertile men are as a result of untreated or poorly treated gonorrhea and other STDs. Always endeavor to use condoms when having causal sexual intercourse and make sure you visit your doctor for treatment of STD. The sperm count/ function has been significantly improved in men after a course of antibiotics to eradicate any infection interfering with sperm production.
6. Reduce stress levels
Stress does not only affecting libido and sexual arousal, it also affect sperm production. For optimal sperm production, hormones like testosterone must be produced by the brain in sufficient amount to stimulate sperm production by the testis. Stress affects the production of reproductive hormones hence causing male infertility. Stress can be managed by exercising regularly and appropriately, massage, psychotherapy and slight alteration in lifestyle. A stress free live is a great habit that improves fertility in men.
7. Maintain adequate body weight
For men who want to boost their sexuality and also improve fertility, another great habit is for you to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet which will enable you lose weight and maintain your body weight. Fat accumulation interferes with the synthesis and function of testosterone in the body. This affects the rate at which sperm cells are produced. Obesity has other effect of increasing premature ejaculation, impotence, low self esteem and low sperm count.
8. Visit your doctor regularly
Evaluation for male infertility always begins with a sperm count. After the initial assessment by your doctor, he/she will request for a sperm count to be done. This measures the number of sperm cells per ml of ejaculate, the structure of the sperms, the function/ motility of the sperm cells and seminal fluid assay. Your doctor will also request for your hormone profile and will also check for other medical conditions like diabetes mellitus, drug interaction, and spinal cord disorders that may affect fertility. After the evaluation, your doctor will place you on the most appropriate therapy which will help improve your fertility.