There are several reasons why a man’s fertility could be affected. These could be caused by medical reasons, environmental factors, health and lifestyle, but taking proper care of yourself can help ensure your health stays in top condition.
Are you concerned about your fertility or would just like to have it checked? Taking a male fertility test can help you understand your fertility condition. Continue reading to discover 6 reasons male fertility could be affected.
Nutrition and diet play a massive part in male fertility. Ensuring you eat a well-balanced diet helps to improve fertility rates for males.
Low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains have been positively associated with the quality of sperm. For example, the Mediterranean diet has been said to have positive relations to health as well as fertility.
Any foods that are rich in vitamins, low saturated and trans fats, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids have a positive impact on a male’s reproductive system. On top of this, those who ate a higher amount of fruits and vegetables, especially legumes and leafy greens had better quality sperm compared to those who didn’t.
Whereas, full-fat dairy, processed meats, coffee, sugar-sweetened drinks and alcohol were associated with lower levels of fertility.
Being overweight is also associated with a high risk of infertility. There are several reasons for this, including the increase in body temperature which can lower sperm count.
In addition, it can lead to hormonal imbalances, for example, higher oestrogen levels, impacting the likelihood of successful fertilisation.
Smoking can negatively affect your levels of fertility. In men, in particular, heavy smoking can lead to damage within the DNA of their sperm, causing it to become more difficult to get pregnant, along with an increased chance of miscarriage.
Cigarettes have extremely toxic levels of cancer-causing substances, as well as heavy metals which are the main factor of causing the DNA damage. The more you smoke, the worse it will be for your sperm count.
Even just cutting down the number of cigarettes you choose to smoke each day will help to improve levels of fertility, however, it is important to note that no amount of smoking is determined safe for pregnancy.
Stress in any sense can be an issue for the potential in male reproduction systems. Those who feel more stressed may have lower levels of testosterone, as well as decreased sperm motility, lower sperm count and abnormal sperm production.
Everyone experiences stress at times, but when it becomes too overwhelming and difficult to manage, this is when it can become a problem.
Luckily there are ways that stress can be reduced and health can be improved. For example:
- Meditating, either alone or with guided apps such as Headspace
- Deep breathing
- Spending time in nature
- Spending time with loved ones
- Starting a new hobby
- Talking with a therapist
Unusual levels of gonadotropin and testosterone can have a major effect on a male’s reproductive system. Hormonal imbalances may have an influence on several different glands such as the prostate, thyroid, hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
An imbalance in any of these hormones may lead to a decline in the quality and production of sperm. Hormonal imbalances may be overwhelming when you are wanting to start a family, however with a treatment plan you may be able to overcome this challenge.
Even drinking small amounts of alcohol before pregnancy can affect levels of libido, as well as lower testosterone levels and a decreased sperm count. Especially when paired with recreational drugs, drinking can make a change in the DNA and lead to health problems. If you drank excessively in the past, thankfully the effects can be reversed, taking around three months for sperm count to return to a healthy level.
There is a wide range of risks that could result in a lower sperm count and male infertility. Lifestyle factors such as alcohol, stress, smoking and diet can all dramatically affect health. Especially with a combination of a range of lifestyle factors, the adverse effects can become more intensified.
However, with improved life choices and looking after your health and well-being, these impacts can be reversed.
It’s important to reduce levels of stress, eat a well-balanced diet, reduce your intake of alcohol and recreational drugs and stop smoking.
By maintaining a positive and healthy lifestyle, the burden of such factors that may influence sperm quality and levels of fertility may slowly improve. Therefore, when the time is right for you to start a family, you will be in better health and more fertile.
Holly is a content executive and produces content on a range of topics. She enjoys going on holiday, experiencing new cultures, and trying new things.