Sometimes, infertility problems are unavoidable. But for a lot of men, the best way to maintain fertility is to keep up with a healthy lifestyle. There are things that men can do to make it more likely that their sperm are healthy.
Staying at a healthy weight
Numerous studies, including one from researchers at Harvard School of Public Health, have found that men who are overweight or obese have a lower sperm count than men who are at a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is a great way to help preserve fertility.
Eating a fertility-friendly diet
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recommends that men consume less meat, less dairy, and get the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables every day. They also advise men to eat less saturated fat and more nonheme iron (which is found in foods like as these seem to affect sperm count. It’s clear that getting plenty of folate (or folic acid, its synthetic form), as this B-vitamin is among the most involved vitamins in sperm production.
Protecting against or treating STDs
It’s generally recommended that men get tested before they start TTC. Sexually transmitted diseases can affect sperm production and movement, which makes testing and treatment so essential for fertility.
Dealing with stress in a healthy way
Stress impacts people in ways they wouldn’t expect, including their fertility. Prolonged emotional stress can have an effect on sperm count, so it’s important to take care of stress in ways like therapy, enjoyable activities, or even periodic breaks from TTC. Stress can hurt fertility (and general health) in all people, so make sure to take a break when you need one.
Getting regular physical activity
Exercise can help with weight loss, stress reduction, and better hormone regulation, to name a few things. Regular physical activity is an important part of the healthy lifestyle behaviors that improve sperm health.
Sperm take approximately 74 days to develop and mature into healthy sperm. Keep this amount of time in mind when reviewing past health events or gonadotoxic exposures that could be impacting sperm. To put it another way, it takes roughly 74 days for sperm to show improvement after healthy lifestyle changes.
“Excess weight may affect sperm production, reduce fertility in men.” HarvardHealth. Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, 2016. Web.
“Diet, Fertility, and Sperm Count: 6 Ways to Improve Your Fertility.” PCRM. The Physicians Committee, 2016. Web.
“Male Infertility – Causes.” UrologyClinics. Urology Clinics of North Texas, 2015. Web.
“How Sexually Transmitted Infections Affect Sperm Health.” MyVMC. Virtual Medical Centre, 2016. Web.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Fertility In Depth.” MayoClinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Apr 5 2014. Web.
- Maxine Papadakis, Stephen J. McPhee, Michael W. Rabow. CURRENT Medical Diagnosis and Treatment 2015. 54th Edition. McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing. 2014. Print.