MALE INFERTILITY -More Common Than You Think
One in eight couples experience infertility. While many people think women are mostly the cause of infertility cases, this is not always true. Nearly 50 percent of infertility cases are caused by male factor infertility. It’s important to test both partners when dealing with infertility and while preparing for pregnancy (ideally as soon as possible).
SPERM HEALTH FACTORS
These are the main factors that testing will indicate. Issues at any of these levels may impact fertility and miscarriage risk.
Sperm count- the number of sperm
Motility- how well the sperm can move
Morphology- the shape of sperm
Other factors include DNA damage, fertility rate, anatomical abnormalities and neurological disorders.
WHY IT MATTERS
Sperm count, motility and morphology are all important factors when trying to conceive. If one or more of these health indicators are off, it may impair conception ability, implantation and the viability of pregnancy. Poor sperm quality and DNA damage in the sperm can increase the risk of miscarriage.
It takes about 64 days to produce sperm, so the preparation for pregnancy must begin at least two to three months before trying to conceive. Food, lifestyle and environment are all factors that can affect sperm health. Eating natural, organic and whole foods while reducing toxins in the home can help sperm health greatly.
WHAT IMPAIRS SPERM HEALTH
To understand how sperm can become impaired, we must first understand free radicals and oxidative damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause damage to cells and other structures in the body. This destruction is called oxidative damage. Sperm are especially susceptible to oxidative damage which can cause cell death and harm sperm integrity. This means that sperm count, motility, morphology and DNA can all be affected by oxidative damage, ultimately reducing fertility. Antioxidants are needed to prevent this damage from free radicals. We can get antioxidants from our foods, but supplementation may be necessary. It is recommended to work with a practitioner.
A few things that can cause oxidative damage include radiation (keep the cell phones out of your pocket), processed foods, pesticides, chemicals and heavy metals, excess alcohol consumption, tobacco, stress and nutrition deficiencies.
LIFESTYLE ACTION POINTS:
Eat organic food as much as possible. Pesticide exposure can reduce fertility in both men and women.
Incorporate more antioxidants. Eat more whole foods with antioxidants to reduce oxidative damage. High antioxidant foods include wild blueberries and other berries, citrus fruits, artichokes, apples, cherries, kale and goji berries.
Eat a balanced, whole-food diet
Minimize the effects of stress
Spend time in the sun and use nontoxic sunscreen
Root & Restore, in Jamesburg and Haddonfield, led by Laura -Burcher, MSACN, can help get to the root cause of subfertility, in both men and women, using a functional and holistic approach. For more information including on their fertility programs, call 732-641-2217 or email [email protected]