Men’s Health & Fertility:  It Takes Two!

June 10-16 is Men’s Health Week! It’s important that we bring to attention the other half of the equation, men’s fertility. In more recent years, there have been more studies coming out that have shown a great change in fertility; one in six couples today may have some issue conceiving. Studies are showing that male fertility has been on a rapid decline. This leads us to believe that genetics may not be playing as large of a role, as our lifestyle and environment do.

Luckily, we are able to modify and control our space to make it the healthiest place for ourselves. Helping to nourish the quality of sperm will help further than focus on count and motility.   Men need to be more proactive about actively treating their fertility through family planning. This will give the body some time to prepare the healthiest sperm for conception.

Lifestyle factors can have a negative impact on the quality of sperm at any age. Looking into your daily habits and routines is the first step. Here are a few things to consider:
– diet and nutrition
– maintaining a healthy weight
– no smoking
– avoiding exposure to chemicals
– moderate drinking of alcohol
– avoid hot tubs and heat on the testicles

Diet plays a huge role in the functioning of our body. To reach peak fertility potential, it is very important to eliminate soda, processed foods, added sugar, white flour, and simple carbohydrates.  Try replacing these with water, herbal tea, home cooked meals, leafy green veggies.  Meat and eggs are okay, but should be balanced by many veggies to help the body break down the protein.

There are many things that can point us to a decline in fertility, in a new study shows that phthalates are linked to poor sperm health and embryo quality. Higher levels in the urine lower the quality transferable embryos during an assisted reproductive cycle.  Phthalates are substances which can damage the endocrine system.  They are found in many household products and close to impossible to completely eliminate exposure to.  Phthalates are commonly found in most plastics, detergents, toys, food containers, water bottles, and other common objects. 

5 Ways to avoid Phthalate Exposure

  1. Avoid foods stored in plastic. A trip to the grocery store will bring attention to how much food and meat that we consume which is bough in plastic. Cooking and eating at home helps to reduce exposure.

  2. Homemade hair and skin products Our skin is our biggest organ! Anything put into the skin and pores will directly affect our bodies. These are easy to make and reduce exposure to the chemicals and packaging.

  3. Glass containers  Get rid of those plastic Tupperware containers and especially avoid heating food in them. The amount of toxins in these materials is typically high, and heat will intensify the toxic effects. Phthalates can increase estrogen in the body, leading to hormonal imbalances.

  4. DEP-Free products There are codes at the bottom of plastic products which can help in determining safety.  CODES 3 & 7 may contain phthalates, diethyl phthalate (DEP), or BPA. CODES 1, 2, & 5 DO NOT contain phthalates.

  5. Detox the body According to research, close to 95% of Americans have phthalates show in their urine test. The liver helps us to filter our blood, produce bile to break down fats, regulate and store essential nutrients.  If the liver is overburdened, then it cannot function properly, causing many other systems to overwork or malfunction.

With treatment and focus, we are able to see changes in many areas of a semen analysis. Motility, morphology, sperm count,  and volume can be improved for the better. The chances of conceiving naturally, with IUI or with IVF are increased.  Acupuncture can be helpful in maintaining healthy levels and test results. Laser Acupuncture (LLLT) has shown effects on sperm but the most significant is in sperm motility.

To support your chances, it is important to be proactive. It takes approximately 100 days to reach peak fertility. If you are trying to conceive and having trouble there are many things we can do to help improve your chances!  Call us today to start preparing for your fertility journey. (631) 424-8602