Lifestyle changes that can reduce male infertility problems

Lifestyle changes that can reduce male infertility problems

Infertility in Canada affects between 11-15% of couples. Of these couples, 20-30% have problems with conception due to an issue on the male’s side, 30-40% due to an issue on the female’s side, and 20-30% due to both partners. A small minority of couples have trouble conceiving where neither partner has a recognized problem.

As the environment becomes more toxic and men continue to have children at a later age, these numbers might increase. Age 35 is the average age for men to get married in North America and, as with women, male fertility decreases as a man passes 35. The number one cause of this decrease in fertility is a decrease in ejaculate quality, primarily semen quality. These trends indicate that more couples might require lifestyle and nutraceutical support to conceive.

When it comes to male infertility, there are numerous possibilities to rule out. Most of these can be done with a good clinical history, including past traumas, illnesses (STDs especially), medications (both previous and current), steroid and testosterone use. A semen analysis is usually done by a lab where the lab will test for quality, consistency, morphology (physical characteristics) and motility.

These problems can usually be addressed through lifestyle change and supplementation of nutrients and should be the first line therapy for men as they are both the least costly and invasive of treatment interventions. Some key lifestyle changes are noted below:

  • Eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables. Where possible, choose organic options to avoid xenoestrogens, a man-made chemical which mimics estrogen and can be found in the environment in ever-increasing levels.
  • Choose lean meat over high fat cuts. Organic chicken and wild fish are an even better choice.
  • Stay away from high fat, deep fried foods.
  • Stop smoking, drinking, and recreational drugs.
  • Minimize your caffeine intake.
  • Talk to your physician about any medications that you take that might cause fertility problems.
  • Try to limit stress.
  • Increase exercise.
  • Wear boxers instead of briefs.
  • Avoid hot tubs and whirl pools. In general, try to keep the temperature of the testicles close to normal body temperature.

There are a variety of products that your naturopathic doctor may recommend to help address semen and ejaculate quality, including:

  • Vitamin C to aid sperm mobility
  • Selenium to aid sperm mobility
  • Zinc to increase the overall male immune, reproductive health, and sperm production
  • B12 to counter any deficiencies that can lead to a decrease in sperm motility

You can also do something about the emotional impact of infertility by visiting a support group. You can learn ways to cope with dilemmas and frustrations and share knowledge and insight with others who are having a similar experience.