From bike riding and relaxing in saunas, to wearing tight undies, there are lots of speculations, Do’s and Don’ts around male infertility. Believe it or not, male infertility is just as likely to be the reason why a couple is having trouble conceiving, even though the spotlight always seems to be on female infertility. An estimated 10 percent to 15 percent of couples are classified as infertile, and in close to half the cases, male infertility is a factor.
We have all heard rumours that bikes can do damage down there, but there’s actually not much truth to this. One study from Austria found that male mountain bikers may experience more infertility from scrotal damage caused by riding. However, this study only looked at men who biked 3,000 miles a year (an average of over 2 hours a day, six days a week), which is pretty high for your average biker. The study concluded that the bike’s narrow, racing-type seats were the culprit and that using newer, wider seats with holes was a safer alternative. According to Karen Boyle, MD, FACS, director of Reproductive Medicine & Surgery, Sexuality and Aesthetics at Chesapeake Urology Associates and clinical instructor of urology at George Washington University School of Medicine, there is no strong data to support the idea that cycling has a negative impact on male fertility. Cycling happens to be a great form of exercise, and we all know that staying fit and healthy is extremely important for maintaining fertility.
We already talked about the impact of weight gain on female infertility. Both of you should be health conscious and watch your waistline. Obesity in men is associated with decreased sperm count and quality, and excessive weight is associated with malformed sperm, which interferes with its ability to penetrate the egg.
A small but considerable number of men are infertile because of an inherited defect in the Y chromosome that causes a person to develop as a male. You should carefully examine your family history of fertility problems. Many men with Y chromosome have azoospermia, which is absence of sperm. Typically molecular genetic testing is performed and is available clinically. Pregnancy may be achieved by in vitro fertilization using ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), an in vitro fertilization procedure in which sperm retrieved from ejaculate or extracted from testicular biopsies are injected into an egg from the reproductive partner.
Saunas and Hot Tubs
We all enjoy relaxing in a hot tub or sauna, whether on vacation or after a strenuous workout. However, if you are trying to conceive, you may want to avoid this. The high temperatures in saunas and hot tubs can kill sperm and interfere with its production, potentially resulting in low sperm count.
Boxers or Briefs?
It doesn’t matter. Let your man wear what he wants and whatever feels most comfortable to him. There is no concrete evidence that tight underwear could do any damage down there simply by squishing the poor guy
Just like in hot tubs and saunas, the heat from a laptop can raise scrotal temperature, which can interfere with sperm production. Not all experts agree on this one, so if you want to be safe, keep the laptop on the table and away from the sensitive areas.
Doctors have linked them to a range of problems, including brain tumours, cancer and now infertility. We still don’t know what the electromagnetic radiation in the form of radio waves emitted by cell phones can do to our bodies. It appears that certain studies have shown that it can lead to higher levels of free radicals in sperm, decreasing overall sperm quantity.
Even though men can father children well into their old age, male fertility does decline as they get older. Sperm production decreases in men after the age of 40, with the decline getting steeper after the age of 50.
We are all familiar with the negative impact that stress has on our bodies. Stress is linked to so many health conditions. And yes, it affects both male and female infertility. For men, it can add to a myriad of other sexual problems such as impotence, erectile dysfunction and even shut down the glands that develop and regulate the reproductive system. Day to day life is stressful enough, and difficulty conceiving can significantly add to it. Make sure to learn some useful techniques in managing stress – and you can enjoy these together as a couple. Try doing yoga, going for walks, exercising, meditating, and spending some quality time relaxing together.