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IVF FLORIDA Blog: Fertility Journey

Lifestyle Changes Men Can Make to Avoid Reducing Infertility

June 29, 2017
By Dr. David Hoffman

The male’s contribution to conceiving is quite amazing and significant.  About 200 million sperm are mixed with semen to form ejaculate.  Although 15 to 45 million of these sperm are healthy enough to fertilize an egg, only 400 survive in the female reproductive tract after a man ejaculates.  Of those 400 sperm, only 40 reach the vicinity of the egg.  After another process called capacitation occurs (an explosion that allows the sperm to drill a hole through the tough outer layer of the egg), only one sperm reaches the egg for fertilization and conception.  Interesting enough, in about 30% to 40% of infertile couples, the man is the sole cause of the inability to conceive, and in another 30%-40%, he is the co-contributing factor. 

Top Causes of Male Infertility

  • Low sperm count
  • Slow sperm progressive motility (movement)
  • Abnormal morphology (abnormalities in the shape and size of sperm)
  • Problems with semen (infection, volume)

What Men Can Do to Boost Fertility

  • Stop smoking cigarettes and marijuana.  Both have been linked to low sperm counts and slower motility as well as abnormally shaped sperm. 
  • Lower your alcohol consumption.  Alcohol can drastically reduce the production of healthy, viable sperm that are needed for conception to occur.  
  • Maintain a healthy weight.  This goes for both underweight and overweight men!  Too much weight can lead to hormonal disturbances, but when a man is too lean, he can have decreased sperm count and lower motility.
  • Exercise in moderation.  Exercise too much, and you might lower your sperm count indirectly by lowering the amount of testosterone in your body.
  • Do not take testosterone or other anabolic steroids as they can lower sperm count and irreversibly damage the testicle.
  • Take your vitamins.  Boost fertility with vitamins such as vitamin C and zinc, and if needed, talk to your doctor about male fertility supplements and vitamins which can increase the amount of healthy sperm.  
  • Avoid environmental toxins and poisons (pesticides, insecticides, lead, radiation, or heavy metals) as they can lead to an increased risk of infertility.

Living a healthy lifestyle is just as important for men as it is for women when it comes to conceiving, and just making a few important changes to your daily routine can make a world of difference.  If you and your spouse have been having problems conceiving and would like to schedule a consultation with one of our top fertility physicians at any of our IVF Florida locations, please call us today at (866) 770-2168.  

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