Did you know that the sperm count of the average man has steadily decreased over the past 40 years? Why is this happening? Is it a problem that the quality of sperm is decreasing? It is certainly a problem for a man who is struggling with infertility. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to promote your sperm quality, and it starts with eating the right foods.
How big of a problem is decreasing sperm quality? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that a male factor as well as a female factor is involved in about 35 percent of couples experiencing infertility. Additionally, a recent study estimates that sperm counts have dropped by 59 percent, on average over the past 38 years. What’s causing this decrease? No one really knows. Some blame technology like cell phones and laptops, which produce fertility-threatening heat. Obesity may be a factor. And there’s a body of research to indicate that a man’s diet has an impact on sperm count. Here are the dietary do’s and don’ts for improving your fertility.
First, here are the foods to avoid if you want to boost fertility:
- Processed meats, eaten three or more times a week, can reduce your chance of achieving pregnancy by 28 percent. Red meat is also related to low sperm concentration and sperm count, and processed red meat also alters sperm motility. Eating fish and poultry is better for your fertility.
- Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease and decrease sperm counts. In fact, sperm with the highest trans-fatty acid levels are linked to low sperm concentrations. Trans fatty acids typically come from French fries and commercially baked items, as well as foods like frostings and things cooked with lard.
- Soy products have phytoestrogens, estrogen-like compounds that interfere with fertility. Soy milk, veggie burgers, protein bars, tofu, and tempeh are soy-based foods linked to low sperm count, particularly in overweight men.
- High fat dairy products have been linked to abnormal sperm shape and low motility. Whole milk, cheese, and cream are all on the do-not-eat list, because as few as three slices of cheese a day can endanger fertility. Low-fat dairy, however, is linked to higher sperm concentration and motility.
- Pesticides and bisphenol a (BPA) can make their way into your food and diminish fertility. Pesticides can be on vegetables and fruits as well as meat and fish. BPA is in food packaging and cans and can leech into the foods we eat. These chemicals, which area also found in non-stick cookware act as xenoestrogens and decrease sperm concentration.
- Sometimes what you drink can impact your fertility. Alcohol and beverages with excessive caffeine have been linked to a decrease in male fertility.
Now that you know what to avoid, what should you eat? Certain foods have been shown to increase male fertility and improve sperm health.
- Eat your veggies. Fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables and legumes, have been shown to improve sperm concentration and motility. It’s believed that this is due to the high level of antioxidants and nutrients like co-enzyme Q10, vitamin C, and lycopene, micronutrients linked to higher sperm concentration.
- Have some fish or chicken. Research indicates that eating chicken and fish can actually improve fertility. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, raise sperm count significantly. On the other hand, taking omega 3 supplements does not have the same effect.
- Walnuts can give your fertility a boost. In a small 2012 study, significant improvements in sperm vitality were seen with the consumption of only 18 walnuts a day.
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.
It’s the subject of many late night commercials and it’s often used as a punchline, but erectile dysfunction (ED) is no laughing matter to the men who suffer from it. In fact, many of them don’t even want to talk about it, even with their doctor. Having the right information about ED is important, though, so we’d like to help expand your understanding of this common condition.
- How common is ED? It’s estimated that about 30 million men in the United States struggle with erectile dysfunction, and the prevalence of the condition increases with age. It can occur among younger men too, though, and about 25 percent of men seeking their first treatment for ED are under 40 years old. Lifestyle choices are a significant risk factor for ED among younger men. It’s estimates that the percentage of men with ED rises by 10 percent for each decade of life. In other words, about 60 percent of men in their sixties experience mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. It’s not inevitable, though. The healthier a man is, the lower his risk of sexual dysfunction.
- What, exactly, is erectile dysfunction? It’s the inability to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. It used to be called impotence, but that term is not widely used today. Many men experience ED occasionally, but frequent erectile function can be a sign of health trouble. It can also be the result of emotional or relationship difficulties that may require professional assistance.
- What causes ED? Erectile dysfunction happens when there’s a problem with the erection process. An erection occurs because of increased blood flow into the penis, as excitement grows and the muscles in relax, allowing blood to flow through the penile arteries and into two chambers in the penis. As blood fills the chambers, the penis becomes rigid. Emotional and physical conditions can interfere with this process, including heart disease, diabetes, hormone imbalances, stress, and depression, among others. Alcohol, tobacco, and drug use can factor into ED, as can the use of certain medications.
- How is ED treated? There are many different ways to treat erectile dysfunction, from vacuum pumps, talk therapy, yoga, and acupuncture, to medications and even surgery. Improving diet, getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and other lifestyle changes can help prevent ED. There are also different supplements that many men find helpful in managing erectile dysfunction. The most important thing to do if you’re experiencing ED is to speak to your doctor and find the treatment that’s right for you.
At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we provide treatment for many different sexual health issues, including erectile dysfunction. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility and sex lives 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.
Compared to women, men are more likely to die before reaching age 80, but less likely to seek medical care. Men are more likely to die by suicide, but less likely to see a therapist. Guys, we have to fix this. Here are a few points of advice.
HAPPY, HEALTHY FOODS
Americans are notoriously overweight. Obesity has been a deadly epidemic here for decades now. If you’re a bit over your ideal weight, make a list of all the foods you enjoy. Then rate them for their nutritional cost and benefit. You may be surprised by all the healthy foods that you do enjoy but have passed over for various reasons. If you’re worried about vegetables going bad before you eat them, buy them frozen or canned. They’re still healthy foods. If you think veggies are boring, add salsa or jalapenos. At the store, avoid sections containing unhealthy, tempting foods. Avoid fast food restaurants in favor of eating meals at home that you’ve taken care to plan.
GET SOME EXERCISE
The sedentary lifestyle common in modern America poses substantial health risks to men and women alike. Make the time to take daily walks. If there’s a sport you used to do, consider taking it back up. There may be groups online dedicated to men such as yourself wanting to get together for a tennis match, a round of golf, or a pickup game of soccer or basketball. Consider joining your church’s softball team, or forming one if one doesn’t exist. Plan hiking outings for yourself and your family. If you have arthritis or have suffered from injuries, check out your local municipal pool. Many have low-impact water aerobics. You can also just swim laps. If you have a bike, get it fixed up and take it out for a spin. If your neighborhood has too many hills or too much traffic, look online for the best places to bike nearby, and make it an adventure.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR EMOTIONS
Everyone has emotions and emotional needs. Don’t keep them simmering below the surface. Talk to friends and family. You never know what pearls of wisdom are hiding there unless you engage. Be open about what you’re feeling. If you’re feeling a lot of stress, or feel that you may be depressed, see a therapist. They’re professionally trained to help you take stock of your emotional health in productive ways. They can also help you get any medications that may benefit you.
Dr. Joshua Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is a leader in helping men become parents. For more information about the vasectomy reversal procedure, please contact our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-210-6649 or schedule a free consultation online
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