Guys Should Know Their Fertility Status Too

December 12, 2020   Pregnancy & Postpartum

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When we sit down with couples who are looking to conceive, we reiterate the importance of knowing the fertility status of both males and females. 

Some males are surprised to learn that fertility affects both sexes, not just females. Low sperm count, the most common male fertility issue, can affect a male’s ability to conceive. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of becoming parents.

Conduct a sperm analysis with your provider

When sitting down with your provider, he or she will help you fill out your health history form. You’ll go through your occupation, environmental factors and/or surroundings, medical history, surgical history, allergies, urological history, and if you had any injuries as a child that may have lasting impacts today. This helps to paint the full picture of your lifestyle as it relates to your sperm health.  It’s a great first step to conception.

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Monitor alcohol consumption

You’ve likely been told that drinking while pregnant can have harmful effects on the baby (and on your body), but what about before conception? Alcohol, even in moderate amounts, can affect both partners’ sexual health. It can lead to loss of libido and infertility in both men and women. Studies show that consistent, heavy drinking can impact sperm production and cause early ejaculation or decreased ejaculation. The same goes for smoking cigarettes as well. Men who smoke have decreased sperm concentration, decreased motility (how sperm swim), fewer normally shaped sperm, and increased sperm DNA damage.

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Avoid heat down there

Heat of any kind isn’t ideal for the genital area. Avoid long warm baths or sitting in a hot tub or sauna for an extended period. This goes for tight underwear and pants as well; try to wear loose-fitting clothing if possible. Of note, if you tend to sit down for most of your workday, consider walking around every so often to get some air to the region. While sometimes it seems most comfortable to rest your laptop on your legs, consider using a laptop lap desk. Laptops and other hot objects near the genital area for a prolonged amount of time isn’t recommended.

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Live a healthy lifestyle

Go back to the basics of eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and sleeping seven to nine hours per night for a healthy lifestyle. Your doctor may suggest a multivitamin or vitamin D, but you can likely forego supplements and herbs when trying to conceive. Although there a variety of things that can impact sperm health, none are irreversible. Making slight tweaks to your lifestyle can help instrumentally, you’ll not only feel better, but it will enhance your sperm count as well.

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Rebecca Banaski, DO, MPH

Male infertility is as important as female infertility. By taking those first steps in leading a healthy lifestyle with sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet you can greatly increase your chances for a successful pregnancy with your partner.

— Rebecca Banaski, DO

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