Four Tips for Improving Male Fertility
Did you know that male fertility issues contribute to up to 50% of all infertility cases1,2? And that there has been an unexplained steep decline in sperm quality over the past few decades1,3,4?
We see so many women in our clinic ready to do anything to achieve a healthy pregnancy. All too often, however, we’re only able to see and treat half the picture, because their partners are not coming in with them. Furthermore, this disconnect can leave women feeling alone and unsupported in their fertility efforts, and men feeling relatively powerless in the process.
In reality, numerous factors within the male body can contribute to fertility issues: hormones, immune system, circulation, and inflammation can all play a significant role. A history of injury to the testes, or even a past head injury, can impact male fertility (any former soccer or football players out there?). And a ton of environmental factors can also contribute, including exposure to pesticides, chemicals and plastic, as well as just stress.
Even when sperm analysis results come back “normal”, there is still work that can be done to optimize all of these factors, and improve the chances of conception. And, let’s be clear, these factors can contribute not only to infertility (inability to get pregnant in the first place), but also to miscarriage – if the DNA of the sperm is damaged.
But, have no fear, Flourish is here to save the day! Here is a quick peek at some of our favorite tips for improving male fertility:
- Cool your junk: Keeping the testes cool is critical to optimizing sperm production. This means keeping laptops and phones away from the crotch, taking standing breaks at work every 30-60 mins, turning off the seat heater in your car, boxers instead of briefs and slacks instead of skinny jeans, and avoiding baths and hot tubs.
- Stop smoking: This includes marijuana, sorry dudes. Smoking either tobacco or cannabis is correlated with decreased fertility5,6,7,8.
- Healthy diet and supplements: Avoid high quantities of processed foods, coffee, red meats, alcohol, and sugar9. Instead, opt for a Mediterranean-style diet10: omega-3 rich foods, lots of fresh organic vegetables and fruit, whole grains, lean meats and seafood. In addition, supplementing vitamins C and E, folate, CoQ10, L-carnitine, zinc and selenium have all been shown to improve sperm analysis numbers11,12,13. But make sure you always choose high quality supplements. Cheap supplements can include additives or even heavy metals that can actually make things worse.
- Get herbs and needles: Regular acupuncture and herbal medicine can make a measurable impact on male fertility14,15,16,17. We work to promote healthy circulation, balance the endocrine system, reduce inflammation in the body, and support healthy lifestyle changes in our male fertility patients. Here at Flourish, we see the best results with weekly acupuncture for at least 3 months (about the length of time of sperm production, from beginning to end), with herbal medicine to support some patients. Semen analysis performed along the way provides a great measuring stick for our progress. And, gentlemen, have no fear: this does not include inserting any needles into your, ahem, sensitive areas!
To schedule an appointment to work on optimizing your fertility, you can book online, via email, or by phone (707-205-1224). Or drop us a note with any questions that you may have about how we can help you.
- 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4691969/
- 2. https://www.auanet.org/guidelines/male-infertility-optimal-evaluation-best-practice-statement
- 3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/andr.12149
- 4. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0960327117703690
- 5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30916627
- 6. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10815-015-0553-8
- 7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2090123210000585
- 8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4814952/
- 9. https://academic.oup.com/humupd/article/23/4/371/3065333
- 10. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-39826-7
- 11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3739574/
- 12. https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/23/5/1014/646098
- 13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5203687/
- 14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6479084/
- 15. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/01485019708987914
- 16. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1439-0272.2000.tb02862.x
- 17. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0015028205005911