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6 Simple Steps To Improve Your Fertility – For Men

Whether you are new to the world of fertility treatments or you have been through several IUI or IVF cycles, the fact that you are going through it at all is emotionally challenging! There are countless websites, message boards, and other resources for women who are having difficulty while trying to conceive. As a woman who struggles with infertility and PCOS, I know I’ve been all over the worldwide web looking for advice, support, and encouragement. I’ve read about all the things to do and not to do. I feel well versed in my own brand of infertility.

But what about the men? Women aren’t the only ones involved in the fertility struggle. Our husbands and partners are, more often than not, right there with us. They may be experiencing their own emotional turmoil over the situation- watching as outsiders feeling helpless because they are unable to “fix it” for us. Or they may be dealing with their own fertility issues!

If you are the latter, a male struggling with infertility, there are resources for you too! While many fertility issues stem from some other physical issue that may require its own treatment, here are 6 simple things you can do outside of the doctor’s office to “up your chances”.

  1. Reduce or eliminate alcohol – Regular heavy drinking, or simply a night out with the guys where you drink heavily, can greatly reduce your sperm count. Heavy drinking can also reduce the motility of your sperm and increase the number of abnormally formed sperm cells. So go light on the booze, guys!
  2. Stop smoking – There is no “reduce” option here. Tobacco smoke is well known to contain chemicals which are hazardous to your health. Your sperm are not immune!
  3. Avoid recreational drugs – With all of the current marijuana reform trickling through the country, legal cannabis use is on the rise. However, marijuana causes low sperm counts and an increase in abnormal sperm cell formation. ONE joint can lower your testosterone levels for up to 36 hours. It goes without saying that harder drugs, like cocaine, will also negatively affect your sperm. Anabolic steroids, while possibly boosting sex drive, will ultimately lower your sperm count, which is obviously counterproductive to your fertility!
  4. Eat a well-balanced diet – There is an overabundance of dietary advice out there, but here is the simple version: avoid processed foods and eat your veggies, especially the dark green kind! Vegetables like broccoli and spinach provide your body with folic acid, which helps keep your sperm count up.
  5. Reduce stress – Many studies have shown that stress significantly and negatively affects fertility. Again, while perhaps not being the SOLE cause of infertility, reducing stress in general makes for a healthier mind, body, and spirit. So guys, maybe you should offer to join your wife or partner in that yoga class – it might have more benefits than just exercise and stress relief 😉
  6. Stay cool – Avoid hot tubs, hot baths, saunas, tight pants, and sitting with your laptop or tablet in your lap. High temperatures may adversely affect sperm production.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help or additional resources. As I said before, the world of infertility can be emotionally challenging! Join an infertility support group or forum, practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, and talk to your partner – remember you are both on this journey together!

 

 

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