male fertility

Conception takes two, so if you’re having trouble conceiving it’s worth considering the role of sperm. Discover the influences that could be disrupting your family plans and find out how to tackle them head on.

THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH

1 in 6

couples have difficulty trying to conceive

50%

In 50% of cases the problem is sperm related

90

it takes 90 days for sperm to mature

Assisted fertility treatment naturally focuses on women due to the nature of the medical interventions. But it has been found that issues with sperm quality and quantity account for half of all cases where couples struggle to conceive. It may take time, but you can influence your sperm health.

THE ROLE OF FREE RADICALS IN FERTILITY

Before considering the influences on male fertility it’s important to understand a process called Oxidative Stress.

This is when there is an imbalance between free radicals, which cause damage to other healthy cells, and antioxidants, which counteract these effects.

When free radicals increase, the amount of damage increases and sperm are particularly prone to free radical damage.

COMMON CAUSES OF FREE RADICALS

  • Processed foods
  • Fried, burnt and BBQ’d foods
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Tobacco
  • Recreational drugs
  • Environmental pollution

HOW DIET AFFECTS SPERM

Nutrition is absolutely key in terms of sperm health, having a major role in rebalancing free radicals and antioxidants. Given the common causes of free radicals it’s important to eliminate as many as possible, but it’s just as important to consider what you put in to your body.

Antioxidant-rich foods

  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh fruit – grapes and blueberries
  • Dark leafy green vegetables
  • Fish
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Pulses and beans

Foods to avoid

  • Processed foods
  • Fried, burnt and barbecued foods
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Tobacco
  • Recreational drugs

THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING YOUR COOL

Heat

The testicles are outside of the body for a reason – to keep them cool. They need to be 2 – 3 degrees cooler than core body temperature. Some seemingly inane actions could be turning up the heat. Discover what they are and how to lower the temperature.

Tip

Wearing loose clothes is a useful cooling action

Tip

Find some form of regular exercise that works for you

Stress

Excessive stress triggers our very primal instincts of ‘flight or fright’, supressing our ‘non-essential’ functions, including reproduction. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for managing and alleviating stress.

A CLOSER LOOK AT MALE FERTILITY TESTING

Typically, when a couple present to their GP for fertility issues the man will be offered a standard semen analysis, but this doesn’t show the full picture.

A STANDARD SEMEN ANALYSIS
LOOKS AT:

  1. Number of sperm (count)
  2. If they’re ‘swimming’ (motility)
  3. If they’re the right shape (morphology)

BUT IT DOESN'T LOOK AT:

  1. DNA damage
  2. Dormant infections
  3. Other medical issues

Any man with a poor semen analysis, or having difficulties starting a family, would be strongly advised to see a urologist in order to have further in-depth investigations.

THE SpermComet® Test

One of the most accurate tests for sperm damage is the SpermComet® test which looks at DNA damage in detail. Sperm DNA can be damaged when sperm are made, breaking the DNA into smaller fragments. Men with high levels of damaged sperm DNA are less likely to get their partner pregnant and have double the risk of miscarriage. 

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Get in touch

If you’d like to know more about male fertility or how to improve your prospects of conception, fill in your details below or call 07740 300 465

COVID-19 Update-July 2020

As of 4th July 2020 I’m returning to practice. If you’d like to book in for a discovery consultation or appointment you can now do so via the online booking. If you’d like to have a chat with me first then don’t hesitate to drop me a line or give me a ring.