Optimizing Male Fertility

Optimizing Male Fertility

When couples face fertility struggles, much of the pressure often falls on women to improve their health. But men also have a crucial role and can increase the odds of conception by maintaining healthy sperm.

Try to lose your extra pounds
Studies have suggested that couples in which the man is overweight or obese take longer to conceive than couples with no weight problems.  Research has also indicated that being overweight or obese affects a man's sperm quality, reducing sperm counts and motility, as well as increasing damage to genetic material (DNA) in sperm, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.  A 2012 study found that overweight and obese men were more likely to have low sperm counts or a lack of viable sperm compared with normal-weight men.

Eat More Greens
The role of diet in fertility is well understood, and the available evidence indicates that a balanced, healthy diet improves male fertility. What is best for your sperm is likely what will be most nutritious for your whole body. Choose lean sources of protein (like fish and chicken), plenty of fresh veggies and fruits, healthy fats (like olive oil and nuts), and whole grains.  

Keep the testicles Cool
There's a reason a male's testicles hang outside of his body. "Sperm production has to take place at a certain temperature, and even our core body temperature is too hot, so the testicles are outside to keep cool, if a man does something that overheats his testicles, it can interfere with sperm production. So, he should limit the time he spends in hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms.

•Avoid hot tubs and long hot baths, both of which can raise the scrotum's temperature.
•Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Prolonged sitting has also been linked to decreased sperm health. If you have a desk job, get up and walk around throughout the day.
•Do not sit with your laptop on your lap. Keeping your legs tightly together to balance the laptop, along with the heat generated by the computer itself, can lead to higher-than-normal scrotal temperatures.
•Wear breathable bottoms. Do not wear extremely tight, non-breathable fabric to keep your sperm healthy. Some studies have shown that wearing tight underwear or compression garments (like running leggings or bike shorts) could affect sperm, likely due to increased heat without breathing room.