This is the age of super-fast lives and super-neglectful lifestyles. The pacier life gets, the less we stop and think about the long-term effects that certain common practices have on our body and mind. Fertility, too, takes a backlash in the lives of the ‘You Only Live Once’ generation. Decreasing male fertility may have a lot of reasons – increase in the average family-planning age, degradation of general fitness of people in the urban-commercial setting, genetics, diet, etc.
While it’s not always possible to cure male infertility, there are some easy ways in which fertility may be improved and looked after. Before we begin on our journey towards improving male fertility, it is important to first get a sperm test done, in order to ascertain the methods that will be used by an individual to enhance fertility. Once that is done, these are some of the science-backed ways in which fertility may be improved:
Regular Exercise: Becoming more physically active is a great way of tackling multiple health problems that combine themselves to cause problems in fertility. With regular exercise, the body weight may be improved and maintained, blood flow increases and blood pressure is controlled. Exercise also raises testosterone levels that directly help in improving libido and fertility. Semen quality is also improved.
Vitamin C and D: Vitamin C in any case is a natural shield of the body against diseases and infections and also an anti-oxidant that helps fight against oxidative stress or a build-up of oxidants in the body. It helps in the increase of sperm count and sperm motility. There is also some evidence that it protects against DNA damage in sperm cells. Vitamin D is important for body testosterone levels. High Vitamin D levels might also be linked to greater sperm motility.
Zinc: Deficiency of Zinc may cause low testosterone and poor sperm quality. Zinc is one of the essential minerals that the body needs to have healthy fertility functions in men. It also protects from problems related to excessive exercise and is found in high concentration in animal products like meats, eggs, etc.
Fenugreek Supplements: Fenugreek extracts are a herbal way of improving libido and sexual strength. It also helps in fat loss and body weight control. These supplements may help in improving erectile dysfunction and testosterone levels.
Sleep: Here is another example of how lifestyle affects male fertility. Sleep deprivation directly affects the circadian rhythm or the 24-hour cycle of ebb and flow of testosterone in the body. Problems in testosterone production are, again, linked to poor fertility. Another problem that the body faces due to sleep deprivation is the production of Anti-sperm Antibodies which causes the body to start destroying its own healthy sperms. Getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep in a sufficiently dark environment helps greatly in boosting fertility.
Temperature: There is sufficient evidence that lowering the temperature of the scrotum area helps increase the production of sperms. Therefore, cold baths, change in lifestyle habits like putting laptops on the lap, loose underwear, etc. can help enhance male fertility without too much effort.
Apart from these improvement techniques, the key ingredient in boosting male fertility is periodical relaxation and stress management. The most disastrous impact oftoday’s lifestyle on male fertility is poor work-life balance, bad stress management, time management and dismal psychological health. These have massive bodily reactions, decrease in fertility being one of them.
Increase in cortisol production makes testosterone levels go down, a direct effect of prolonged stress. It can also impact sexual fulfilment and therefore, sexual activity. Psychological health is also very important for the proper functioning of the body and thus, in improving male fertility. Simple practices like going for walks, travelling periodically, spending time with friends and family, meditating, etc., dramatically improves most of these difficulties, along with proper professional help for more acute problems. Only when you help yourself, can you improve yourself.