How does lifestyle affect men’s fertility?

Poor Lifestyle choices could have a profound effect on a person’s health. In fact, the WHO states that 60 percent of health problems/risks are linked with a person’s lifestyle. And if you are wondering if fertility is on the list, then it’s a resounding YES! According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, in around 40% of infertile couples, the male partner is the sole cause or contributing cause of infertility.

One of the important reasons why this happens is the lack of awareness of young men who become prone to peer influence, get addicted to bad lifestyle habits and gradually find themselves trapped in the cycle of infertility problems. Sometimes the effects due to lifestyle choices are so detrimental that it may carry it forward to the future generations. In India, very little attention has been given to men’s preconception education and health care which indirectly cause infertility problems, making them less ready for their future life.

Looking at the brighter side, the effects can really be reversed by just a little amendment and discipline in your lifestyle. Learn about how some lifestyle choices you unknowingly make could cause devastating effects on your fertility health and what you could do to reverse it.

Give up tobacco and smoking

smoking

In April of 2016, European Urology published an analysis on the effect of smoking on semen health. The study revealed that toxins found in cigarettes are frequently to blame for bad health effects. Smoking exposes men to high levels of cadmium and lead, metals that have been linked to decreased fertility.

If you are a chain smoker, it’s quite necessary to quit smoking because in most cases, if you stop using these substances, sperm production eventually returns to normal. However, it can take at least one full cycle of sperm production (seventy-four days) before most sperm is healthy and show up in normal amounts in your semen.

Give up the excessive intake of alcohol and recreational drugs

alcohol

Studies reveal that heavy intake of alcohol was found to have a detrimental effect on both semen quality and the levels of male reproductive hormones. However, although the effects of alcohol on male reproductive function are dependent on the intake amount, a threshold amount of alcohol beyond which the risk of male infertility increases has not yet been determined.

Even in this case, the effect can be reversed, approximately in a sperm production cycle if you take effort in getting yourself de-addicted to the habit.

Watch your food intake

food intake

Problems with your weight can lead to fertility problems. Eating lot of junk foods at once can lead to your blood sugar spiking which may affect your fertility health. Obese males are associated with a decrease in sperm quality and a greater risk of infertility.

A recent study stated that weight loss can cause improvement in certain fertility parameters and restore fertility health to reasonable levels. If your BMI is ≥30 kg/m2, it’s strongly recommended to talk to a doctor and chalk out an exercise plan. Check your BMI often and try planning out your meals for the week, making easy choices with foods you enjoy.

Avoid self-medication

self medication

The casual habit of popping in an antibiotic could cause you more harm than expected. An excerpt from a study states the following findings:

“Antibiotics including tetracyclines, gentamicin, neomycin, erythromycin, and nitrofurantoin (in extremely high doses) can negatively affect sperm generation, movement, and density. Cimetidine, the active ingredient in Tagamet, can sometimes cause impotence and semen abnormalities.”
Not just on facets of fertility, self-medication is also linked with a rising health concern-antibiotic resistance. Read this blog to learn about in detail.

Try some stress busting activities

exercise

Though it’s not known as how stress necessarily affects male fertility, a few studies point to stress to directly affect the semen quality.

Another study states that stress could trigger oxidative stress – physiological stress on the body caused by damage from un-neutralized free radicals – which has been associated with semen quality and fertility. Stress is a common thing and there isn’t a way to cope out of it. Indulge yourself in stress busting activities and take time to relax. Here’s a blog article that could give you some practical ideas on how you could beat stress.

Get some sound sleep

get enough sleep

Poor sleep duration is one of the most common habits of millennial men and women today. Many don’t realize that the adversities of lack of sleep is much beyond just physical and mental health. A recent study linked poor sleep duration to men’s fertility. Among the 790 couples, researchers noticed that men who slept less than 6 hours a night had 42 percent reduced probability of conception in any given month. However, though the direct correlation between sleep and fertility has not been found,the study strongly suggests that 7 to 9 hours of sleep helps to optimize men’s fertility and their chances of contributing to a pregnancy.

The bottom line

Your health is not something that you own. It also belongs to your family as much as it does to you. It’s advisable not to put your health to stake for a few temporary pleasures. Anyways, it’s never too late to begin. You could take a new leaf anytime and watch your life turn for the good.
What are your thoughts on this article? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
For advice and expert guidance on conception, you can book an appointment with Dr.Sasikala Natarajamani from Crea Conceptions.

References:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277543.php

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2090598X18300068

https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/making-fertility-friendly-lifestyle-choices

https://www.verywellfamily.com/bad-habits-to-break-to-increase-fertility-1959950

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