• The Link Between Stress and Men’s Reproductive Health

    When you’re trying to conceive a child, you’ll try just about anything to make it happen. Men trying to improve their reproductive health often wear looser clothing, avoid hot tubs and laptops, and change their diets to improve their chances at conception. It can get pretty stressful, which is not great, because stress negatively impact on your reproductive health as well.

    It makes sense that stress would be bad for your reproductive health, because it’s bad for your health in general. Stress, a reaction to mental or emotional pressure, can cause biochemical, physiological, and behavioral changes or responses. It’s known to disrupt immune function, exacerbate bowel issues, cause heart trouble, and contribute to cancer. Now, several studied have linked stress with a reduction in male fertility and the quality of semen.

    Stress can cause erectile dysfunction, which is a major cause of infertility. Researchers don’t yet fully understand, though, what it is about stress that impacts semen quality. It may cause the release of hormones that decrease testosterone and sperm production, or it could be that oxidative stress is the problem. One study indicated that work stress adversely affected sperm count and semen volume, and another showed that prolonged stress, such as the stress experienced by soldiers, reduced sperm motility. Other studied confirm the correlation between stress and semen quality, even if we don’t know exactly how it happens.

    Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your stress. Even though stress can feel like it’s beyond your control, you can alleviate it in the following ways.

    • Take control of your problems. If something is overwhelming you, try breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks so it’s easier to tackle.
    • Learn to say no. It’s easy to keep taking on tasks and adding to your workload, and this may be your way of trying to be in control of your problems. However, it’s smarter to delegate than to do too much, and to say no when you’re overwhelmed. If you’re often working overtime, for instance, be proactive about it, speaking to your boss and making a point to work fewer hours.
    • Spend time with your favorite people. It’s easy for men to become isolated, especially when they’re dealing with something as stressful as infertility. Make the time to be with friends and family, enjoying the company of loved ones without focusing on your worries. It can also be helpful to talk about your struggles with infertility, and if you’re having trouble talking to people you know about it, consider joining a support group. In a group where people are going through similar experiences, you can share and feel truly understood.
    • Get some exercise. Regular exercise can reduce stress and anxiety, as well as helping to regulate your sleep patterns, which also alleviates stress. You don’t have to overdo it; yoga, walking, or a light gym workout are enough to be beneficial. Make exercise a priority, scheduling like you would any other appointment, and invite a friend to join you. Above all, do something you enjoy that’s sustainable in the long run.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we are committed to helping men overcome reproductive issues and start healthy families. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Fun Activities to Do with Your Kids this Summer

    Summer is finally here! Long, lazy days stretch ahead, as kids get out of school and look forward to relaxation and fun. While children revel in excited anticipation, parents collectively wonder: what will we do with them? Wonder no more, we’ve got a list of fun ideas to help you entertain your crew all summer long.

    • Get outside for some old-school activities. What did you love doing in the summer when you were a child? Chances are, your offspring will find these things just as fun and appealing. Ride bikes together, create a masterpiece with sidewalk chalk, climb a tree, go to the playground, fly a kite, blow bubbles, play with water balloons, or go fishing. If you have enough friends and family members available, try some outdoor sports, like badminton, kickball, softball, or capture the flag.
    • Make the most of your own back yard. What’s more fun than a backyard campout, complete with s’mores? You can also host a backyard movie night, inviting friends over for big screen fun. Set up a slip-and-slide, play in the sprinklers, or have a night-time game of hide and seek.
    • Cook up some fun. Cooking with kids can be fun and rewarding, because it teaches them life skills and may even take dinner off of your to-do list. Try a make your own pizza night, let the kids cook plan and cook dinner, teach them to make your favorite childhood treat, or make ice cream together.
    • Get artsy-craftsy. The possibilities for this are nearly endless and can occupy kids for some time. Paint rocks, craft with pipe cleaners, or get a roll of paper and make a summer mural. Set up an easel and let them paint with squirt guns, get out some dress-up clothes and have a photo shoot, or do something simple like stringing beads or pressing flowers.
    • Look for local resources. Your library probably has story times, reading contests, and other events to make the summer special. State parks often host day camps or workshops, and community centers have their own array of activities. There are also local parks for picnicking, farmer’s markets for shopping, and concerts, fairs, and sporting events to enjoy together. Even if you’re just heading to the duck pond or having lunch at a diner, there’s fun in exploring your local area.
    • Get wet! Visit a splash park, a local pool, or a nearby body of water for some splashy fun. Have a water gun fight or play outside in the rain. Being soaked to the skin can be a welcome and joyous respite from the summer heat.
    • Spend some time in nature. Get into gardening, maybe planting herbs, vegetables, or flowers, or perhaps a butterfly garden. Make a DIY bird feeders and quietly watch your feathered friends enjoy it or spread blankets on the lawn and look for shapes in the clouds or do some stargazing. Find a new trail to hike, visit a wildlife refuge, or go berry picking.
    • Plan for rainy day fun. Summer is known for sunny days, but there’s plenty of rain as well. When you’re cooped up with nowhere to go, try playing board games, making a pillow fort, or doing puzzles. Feeling restless? Have a dance party in the living room! You might even want to plan ahead and have science experiments or another exciting activity on hand to make the day fun even when the rain hits.
    • Do something for someone else. One of the most meaningful things you can do with your kids at any time of year is to volunteer in support of someone else’s needs. Even little kids can help clean the local park, bring canned goods to a food pantry, or help assemble hygiene kits or meals for those in need. Look to your place of worship for opportunities or check out volunteer organizations like the Red Cross and the United Way.
    • Work in some education. Sure, school’s out for summer, but it’s great to keep kids’ minds active. Read a chapter book together, or join a summer reading club. Get a book of riddles or play some brainteaser games. Have your kids keep a journal or write and illustrate a comic book. Take everyday opportunities to practice math and science skills, like baking or exploring outside. Whatever you can do to keep them learning will make the transition back to school easier in the fall.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • What to Consider Before Having a Vasectomy Reversed

    A vasectomy is a fairly straightforward procedure, an outpatient operation with few complications. A vasectomy reversal, on the other hand, is complicated. While today’s vasectomy reversals are much more effective than the reversals of the past, there’s a lot to consider before you decide if that’s the right option for you.

    What makes this procedure complex? It involves microsurgery, in which the surgeon reconnects the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicle into the semen. This is a very delicate operation, which must be performed by a skilled surgeon, experienced in using a high-powered microscope to complete these surgeries. Here are some other things to think about before you decide on a vasectomy reversal.

    • Know whether you’re a good candidate. The good news is that no matter how much time has passed since you had a vasectomy, you can still have a vasectomy reversal. A skilled surgeon with the right expertise can successfully reverse a vasectomy that was performed 15 or 20 years ago and, in some cases, even longer. If you’ve had other groin surgeries since, though, that could reduce your chances for a successful reversal. The among of tissue removed during your vasectomy also makes a difference in how the procedure is performed. If the vasectomy was straightforward and there’s enough tissue left for a successful reversal, the procedure that’s done is called a vasovasostomy. In this procedure, the surgeon sews together the severed ends of each tube. If a vasovasostomy can’t be done with a good chance of success, the doctor will opt for a vasoepididymostomy, in which the vas deferens is attached directly to the epididymis, the small organ at the back of the testicle that holds the sperm. In rare cases, a reversal is not possible, but that doesn’t mean there’s no possibility of reproductive success. Using another microscopic procedure, the surgeon can remove sperm from the epididymis for in vitro fertilization (IVF).
    • Understand that there are some risks. In some cases, bleeding inside the scrotum can lead to a hematoma, a collection of blood that causes painful swelling. There’s also the risk of infection at the surgery site, but this is uncommon, as is persistent pain after the surgery. One thing that is not a risk of vasectomy reversal is sexual dysfunction. While this is a common concern, erectile function will not be damaged by this procedure.
    • Keep your expectations realistic. While the success rates of vasectomy reversals are good, that doesn’t mean that a couple will conceive immediately. It can take time for sperm to return to ejaculate after the surgery, and while some couples achieve pregnancy within several weeks after the procedure, it can take up to one year for others.
    • Choose a surgeon based on qualifications, not cost. Because of the nature of this surgery, it’s crucial that you find an experienced microsurgeon with good vasectomy reversal success rates. While you can sometimes find “low cost” vasectomies online, budget should not be your primary concern in such an important decision. Check your surgeon’s qualifications carefully before deciding on the person who will perform this intricate procedure.

    If you decide a vasectomy reversal is right for you, depend on the experts at Center for Vasectomy Reversal. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.

  • Questions to Ask Your PCP During Your Checkups

    If you’re taking care of yourself, you probably go in for an annual checkup with your primary care provider (PCP). You might find, though, that you end up feeling rushed and a little bit overwhelmed during the appointment. You may not end up learning as much as you need to know because you forget the questions you wanted to ask your doctor. We suggest that you make a list ahead of time, and consider asking these questions next time you see your PCP.

    • Should I change my diet? Eating sensibly is a good idea for everyone, so stick to nutrient-dense foods and try to avoid things that are over-processed, calorie-laden, or full of sugar. If you have a health condition like pre-diabetes or diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend specific dietary measures for you to take.
    • How much do I need to exercise? It’s recommended for most people to get 30 minutes of exercise, at least five days a week. The amount and type of exercise that’s right for you is something your doctor can help you to determine.
    • How much sleep do I need? Sleep is extremely important, and many health conditions are linked to poor sleep, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, excess weight, and mood disorders. Younger men who don’t get enough sleep can also suffer from low testosterone. Your doctor can advise you on the amount of sleep you need, but in general, good sleep habits include going to bed and waking at the same time each day, exercising regularly, avoiding caffeine in the afternoon and evening, avoiding large meals and alcohol at night, and using the bedroom only for sleeping and sex.
    • Which tests and screenings should I have? At your physical, you’ll probably have your weight, temperature, and blood pressure checked, and the doctor will examine you, listening to your heart and lungs and checking your reflexes. Your doctor may also order some screenings, like cholesterol, blood sugar, and iron levels, and possibly heart function, using an EKG. You may also have a prostate check, which is necessary to protect your health. Talk to your doctor about any other screenings that may be necessary.
    • Am I at increased risk for any illnesses or conditions? Talk to your doctor about your family history, and be honest about your lifestyle habits. Your doctor will be able to help you determine whether you’re at increased risk for things like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
    • Should I be concerned with my bowel health? Everyone experiences problems like constipation or diarrhea from time to time, but if these conditions are chronic or sudden and intense, you may be suffering from a condition more serious than an upset stomach. Talk to your doctor, because you may be suffering from something like irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerance, or celiac disease, but it could also be colon cancer. Getting to the root cause of your problem, then, is crucial.
    • Is depression a risk for me? About 6 million men in the United States struggle with depression, but many of them don’t ask for help. In fact, they often do not realize they’re suffering from depression but simply report symptoms like fatigue, loss of appetite, restlessness, or a loss of interest in their usual activities. Staying on top of your mental health is important, not least because men die from suicide at four times the rate of women. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, talk to your doctor.
    • What kinds of cancer should concern me? Men have a greater lifetime risk of cancer than women, and some cancers are particularly likely to affect men. Lung cancer and colorectal cancer, for instance, occur more frequently in men than women. Melanoma affects both genders equally, but is the most common type of cancer in men over 50. Of course, men can also get prostate, testicular, and penile cancer. Talk to your doctor about screening for and protecting against cancer.
    • How is my sexual health? Sexual health is important because it impacts your overall health. If you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction or you have any symptoms that could indicate a sexually transmitted infection, talk to your doctor about it. There’s also the controversial issue of male menopause, in which the decline in testosterone as men age can cause symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, low sex drive, loss of energy, and depression.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.