- Chill out! Heat can be a deterrent to healthy sperm production. So avoid tight fitting bottoms ( underwear or pants), or surfing the net with your laptop in your lap. Opt for boxers and a looser fit in your jeans. Also, sadly avoid hot tubs, hot baths, steam showers or things that heat things up.
- Weighting yourself down? If you are overweight and have a high BMI it has been shown to decrease testosterone, cause oxidative stress which damages sperm DNA and like point #1 fat can accumulate around the scrotum thereby increasing the heat to the area which is not optimal for sperm production. It has also been shown that increased belly fat can also effect male hormone production such as FSH, LH and lutenizing hormones which can also impact a healthy sperm count and fertility success. So, if you are over weight you may want to consider brown bagging lunch and cooking at home so you know what is going into your body as well as portion control.
- Eat Better: A good resource to find healthy recipes to your favorite comfort foods is www.eatbetteramerica.com . Also a interesting read that talks about diet, nutrition and exercise you may want to check out a book called the 4 hour Body by Tim Ferris which talks not only about slow carbs, low glycemic eating but also cooling the body for optimal weight-loss.
- Get active: Adding simple activities can have a huge impact, park further away in the parking lot, those extra steps add up. Desk job? Get up and take a walk at lunch or climb the stairs, sitting for long periods of time is not only adds pounds to your mid section but is also hard on your circulation so get up and move. Take up swimming or pool walking in the water, the cool pool temperature keeps vital areas cool which is good, but it also encourages full body movement and resistance at the same time.
- Add antioxidants: Not only are antioxidants great for fighting off cancer and heart disease but they are also great for male fertility due to their ability to help prevent cell damage ( your sperm is a cell too) from toxins and environmental pollutants helping to keep free radicals at bay.
You can eat your way to increasing your antioxidant quotient.
- Vitamin C: Can be found in red peppers, kiwi, oranges and grapefruit
- Selenium: Go nuts for brazil nuts, tuna, cod, beef or chicken
- Folic Acid: Go leafy green vegetables, beans peas and fortified grains.
- Lycopene: Watermelon, tomatoes apricots and grapefruit have lycopene
- Limit alcohol consumption: Studies show that the more alcohol consumed the lower the sperm count. IVF treatment studies have shown that for every additional drink consumed the risk of conception not leading to a live birth went up by 2 to 8 times especially if alcohol was consumed at the same time IVF treatments were occurring. So if possible avoid the alcohol while trying to conceive.
- Don’t be stressed out! Stress releases cortisol which is not only hard on your arteries but also can impact your testosterone levels.
- Practice deep breathing and add a little zen to your life through practicing meditation with calming visualizations.
- Does music sooth your soul? Well sit back or better yet turn on the tunes and move to the beat. You know dancing is shown to have a mind body connection that helps to stimulate the brain as well as gets the blood going so dance like no ones watching or try thai chi or yoga to relaxing music which both simulate your bodies natural systems and have a calming effect.
- Make it a habit to laugh which is a great for relieving stress plus it releases positive endorphins and more.
- Avoid anything with MSG, aspartame, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy and diet soda’s these are called excitoxins and they according to studies are shown to destroy neurons which in-turn can impact your hormones including testosterone. Also limit your alcohol and high sugar drinks like soda.Opt for organic personal care products too that don’t contain any parabens and or synthetic fragrances. Your skin is the largest pore you have and anything you put on it can enter your system.
- Avoid Pollutants and Toxins: If you work around or are exposed to toxins in your job or at home this may also impact your fertility. Avoid contact or take extra precautions such as protective clothing, masks and gloves. Protect yourself from pesticides commonly found in farming and yard care, toxic fumes, radiation and gasses such as welding ( also a over heating issue), or exposure to fumes such as a painter would be.
- Get a check up. A underlying medical condition may be effecting your fertility. Believe it or not there are many medical conditions in their beginning stages may be going ignored because they have not reached a point where medical attention is sought. Feeling sluggish, tummy grumpy or gaining weight for no apparent reason, feeling a little off? Conditions as thyroid, celiac, crohn’s diseases, STD’s and diabetes left untreated can effect your ability to conceive so take the time to get a physical and a wellness check up from your physician to help you feel better but also rule out a underlying medical cause.
- Visit your dentist: Yes, your teeth and gum health can impact your fertility. Not only does good oral hygiene help protect you from plaque build up (effecting heart and arteries) but also oral infection bacteria known as Bacteriospermia can be found in semen and is linked to poor fertility success. Brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist every six months to rule out any underlying dental issues or infections that may be causing fertility issues.
- Make love more often . Not only around ovulation but at least every 48 hours according to Mayo Clinic. Another study presented by Dr David Greening to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in DC showed that “increasing periods of abstinence is associated with increased sperm DNA damage” Basically the longer the sperm sits the more opportunity that external and internal threats to sperm quality. So it may be a trade off quality vs. quantity and frequency of ejaculation. Multiple reports state that if you have a decent sperm count that with DNA damage than frequent (daily or every 48 hrs) may help you produce better quality sperm with less exposure to free radicals and DNA damage. If you have a low sperm count than according to the British Fertility Society than a wait of two to three days in-between is advised.
A holistic approach to your health and wellness by combining a healthy lifestyle, diet and taking care of yourself with regular medical check ups, dental visits can greatly contribute to your success in conceiving.
Male infertility: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/maleinfertility.html
Healthy Sperm: Improving Your Fertility (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Stress and male fertility:
Bacteriospermia and sperm quality: http://web.usm.my/mjm/issues/vol4no2/short2.pdf
The effect of obesity on sperm disorders and male infertility, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20157305
Kenkel S, Rolf C, Nieschlag E. “Occupational risks for male fertility: an analysis of patients attending a tertiary referral centre.” International Journal of Andrology. 2001 Dec;24(6):318-26.
Sex every day increases male fertility, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1566279/Sex-every-day-increases-male-fertility.html
Disclaimer: This article provided by San Diego Fertility Acupuncture is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to
diagnose, treat, or prevent disease or health issues. It is advised that you contact your physician first before implementing or adding any complimentary treatments. Article is based upon the opinion, knowledge and experience of San Diego Fertility Acupuncture.
San Diego Fertility Acupuncture and Chinese Medical Clinic is located in Encinitas California and provides integrative natural and alternative health care treatments to San Diego area men and women facing fertility and health issues who are seeking to incorporate acupuncture and Chinese medial treatments as a holistic approach to their fertility issues including as a compliment to current IVF, ICSI physician treatments.