Acupuncture is a powerful therapeutic treatment for women’s health, offering a holistic approach and unique strategies, excelling where other medical interventions fall short. But what about men’s health?
In this fertility challenged world, men play a big role.
It is important for men to know how to improve their health before they participate in a pregnancy.
Sperm issues are one of the main causes of infertility and a predictor of future health. Sperm might be low in count, abnormally shaped, unable to swim, or swim straight and can even be genetically strange.
Better health leads to better sperm which leads to better babies.
Here are 8 things you can do to boost male fertility and your general health:
1. Assistance is OK
According to The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility is defined as the inability of a sexually active couple, not using birth control to get pregnant after one year of trying. It is common to tell couples under 35 years, they should try to become pregnant for one year without success before seeking an infertility evaluation. For couples over 35 years, the time before seeing an infertility specialist shortens to 6 months.
2. Lose weight
Obesity has a number of negative effects on the body and can even lead to infertility for men. Studies have shown that not only do overweight individuals take longer to conceive, but changes in testosterone levels caused by obesity can also affect sperm quality, quantity, mobility and DNA damage.
3. Current health conditions – get them under control
Managing some medications for high blood pressure (beta blockers) and diabetes, depression, anxiety (SSRI’s) and pain (long term opiates), may improve a man’s chances of getting his partner pregnant
Supplemental testosterone can decrease sperm production. Speak to your doctor about medication, and whether it might interfere with your fertility.
4. Nutrition: Eat healthy and ditch the smokes
Diet does matter. It is important to eat a variety of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, healthy fats (nuts, avocado and olive oil), and lean protein (salmon, chicken and lean red meat).
Lets stop the Diet Coke, ice cream and beer. Heavy alcohol consumption has a negative effect on sperm health. And let’s not forget, Marijuana and other recreational drugs, including anabolic steroids for bodybuilding, should also be avoided.
5. Move it!
Exercise reduces stress, improves sleep, helps digestion and benefits your long-term health. The very important fact of exercise is to do something you really like. Do not join a gym if you do not like going there. Figure out what feels right such as dancing, bike riding, gardening, yoga, walking. Remember to mix it up, no one likes a real routine.
Conversely, too much intense exercise and a strenuous training schedules like triathletes and marathon runners, may be detrimental to fertility. Studies also show that bike riding and long-haul truck drivers can affect sperm because theses involve long periods of sitting in a position that increases scrotal temperatures as well as bouncing and vibrations that could cause trauma to the testicles.
It is generally recommended to take a good daily multivitamin. Many multivitamin formulations for men might include antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and the minerals selenium and zinc. Research has found that antioxidants may cause a slight increase in sperm count and movement.
We can assist supplement recommendations and dosing instructions, dietary and lifestyle choices on an individual basis.
7. Boxers or Briefs:
A man’s underwear (boxers v. briefs) choice has been thought in the past to affect scrotal temperature and reduce sperm quality. However, a 2016 study found that it really does not matter whether men wore boxers or briefs when trying to conceive or on a man’s semen quality, suggesting that it’s best for men to wear whatever feels most comfortable to them when a couple wants to have a baby.
8. Watch out for HEAT
Hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms could increase scrotal temperature, which may decrease sperm counts and sperm quality. Although this heat exposure does not have a permanent impact on sperm. Reduced sperm counts may only be temporary and could return to normal in a few months once a man stops going into a hot tub or sauna.
A small study with men using laptops reported that when the laptop was placed on their lap, it might damage sperm and decrease sperm motility. But these conclusions might be premature. It’s unclear how much time the men spent with the laptop in close proximity to their testicles and it’s not clear whether the effects may have been caused by heat or if they resulted from radiation due to the use of a wireless connection. Regardless, it is probably prudent to keep the laptops off laps.
Our clinic emphasizes the concept of preconception care.
We believe it is vastly important to start improving your health three months before trying to conceive. It is akin to training for a marathon or learning a language… one must do the foundational work in order to achieve maximum success. Attempting to become pregnant with a body that is stressed out, drinking alcohol and eating really poorly does not create a quality pregnancy.
Working on some changes to improve not only sperm health but overall health is a journey worth taking.
Come on in and see us for a chat, and plan to leave our office with a plan for better health!
Many Lives Chinese Medicine
Acupuncturist Redwood City
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