When it comes to talking about fertility, we hear plenty of discussions concerning endometriosis, egg count and ovaries.

But fertility issues are just as likely to affect men as they are women. In fact, males account for just under half of infertility cases that are reported, particularly sperm quality which is in serious decline.

For Fertility Expert Dr Marc Cohen, troubles with conception are becoming more and more common. There are many factors that may be causing problems in male fertility, many linked directly to our daily lifestyle choices.

Here are Dr Cohen’s top tips for boosting male fertility …

Food

The food that men eat directly impacts the production of testosterone and semen, which influences fertility. Research shows that diets high in unsaturated fat, whole grains, vegetables and fish, have been associated with improved fertility in men. Saturated fat and sugar may also be linked with poorer fertility.

A review of studies of the impact of diet on fertility by the Harvard Medical School found that the following nutrients are linked with positive effects on fertility:

  • Vitamin B12 – Beef, oysters, mussels, yoghurt, milk, eggs, chicken, fortified breakfast cereals and haddock are all good sources of vitamin B12. Research shows that a lack of vitamin B12 in a diet can adversely affect the fertility of men.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Found in salmon and walnuts, men who include these healthy fats in their diet have been found to have higher sperm levels.
  • Antioxidants – While antioxidants are an important part of a healthy lifestyle—Ubiquinol, the active form of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), is a potent antioxidant found naturally in our bodies and in foods such as chicken, spinach, peanuts and sardines. Research has found that Ubiquinol is present at high levels in healthy sperm, protects sperm cells from damage and plays an important role in sperm cell energy production and mobility.

Fertility Expert Dr Marc Cohen shares his top fertility tips for optimum male fertility.

Reproductive Organs

While this may go without saying—avoiding injury to testicles, as testicular damage from work-related or sporting injuries can cause infertility.

Another consideration is taking care not to overheat the testicular area as high temperatures suppress sperm function and decrease fertility. Testicles are located outside the abdomen to keep them cool despite the intense metabolic activity required for sperm production. Try for underwear that has good ventilation and avoid frequent saunas, hot baths and placing hot objects such as laptops on the groin area when trying to conceive.

“This may go without saying—avoid injury to testicles …”

Harmful Habits

When it comes to fertility, consuming alcohol and smoking tobacco can be harmful to reproductive organs.

Heavy drinking has been linked to alter sperm count, size, shape, motility and testosterone levels. When it comes to smoking, studies show that this harmful activity has an impact on sperm parameters.
Toxins

Environmental toxins can play a big role in potential infertility. According to research, heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium and chemicals in air, water and food such as pesticides, industrial solvents and plastics can be damaging to fertility in many ways.

To cut down on these potentially harmful toxins, it is worthwhile to get a whole-house water filter to eliminate toxins from drinking and bathing water, opt for certified organic produce and animal products, and limit personal care products which containing ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ as these contain endocrine disrupting chemicals such as BPA and phthalates that can impact your reproductive system.

Technology

Recent studies have shown that the Radiofrequency (RF) and radiation emitted from mobile phones and electronic devices can negatively affect sperm quality.

While mobile use is inevitable, a good place to start is keeping it away from genital areas and turning off your mobile or putting it on airplane mode at night to cut down on exposure to RF.

Simple lifestyle changes are important when thinking about how yours or your partner’s fertility may be affected. Individual requirements may differ. Always speak to your healthcare professional about what is right for you.

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