• Things you can do to Improve Your Sperm Count

    A low sperm count is one of the most common factors in male infertility. If you’re struggling to conceive, it’s important to see your doctor. However, if your problem is low sperm count, you may be able to improve it naturally through a few simple lifestyle changes.

    • Stay active. Regular exercise increases testosterone, which improves the quality of semen. Bear in mind that too much exercise can reduce testosterone levels, so it’s important to strike a healthy balance. Some sources indicate that weightlifting and outdoor exercise may be particularly beneficial.
    • Lost weight. One benefit of exercise is that it can help reduce your weight, which can increase your sperm count. A recent study showed that men at a healthy weight have more mobile sperm than those at an unhealthy BMI, and weight loss has been shown to significantly increase semen volume, concentration, mobility, and sperm health. If you have a lot of weight to lose, losing even a little bit can help.
    • Relax! When you’re under stress, sex is less satisfying, and fertility is reduced. Additionally, stress can raise cortisol levels, inhibiting testosterone levels. Taking time to unwind every day can help boost your fertility. Make sure to get enough sleep, too, because men who get seven to eight hours of sleep each night have better fertility health.
    • Mind your substances. Don’t drink heavily, don’t smoke, or use tobacco, and avoid illegal drug use. If you smoke or have a substance abuse problem, get help from your doctor.
    • Eat a healthy diet. Pack your diet with nutrient-dense foods, including citrus fruits, green vegetables, nuts and seeds, plant-based oils, beef, and chicken. Focus on antioxidants, which can boost your sperm count. Consider supplements, because vitamins like D, C, E, and CoQ10 and minerals like zinc can help sperm health. Because plant estrogen, called phytoestrogens, reduce men’s sperm production, it’s best to avoid consuming too much soy.
    • Clean up your environment. Environmental toxins may affect your sperm count, and while you can’t control pollution, you can limit your exposure to harmful substances in your environment. Substances like pesticides, painting materials, herbicides, degreasers, and solvents can all negatively impact fertility. Radiation and x-rays are harmful to sperm production, and overheating the testicles by wearing tight clothing, visiting a sauna, or working with a laptop in your lap can also lower your sperm count.
    • Herbal supplements may help. If you’re interested in natural food supplements, you might try holistic remedies like fenugreek, Tribulus terrestris, ashwagandha, or maca root.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping men improve their fertility and build their families. 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 for a free consultation.

  • Tips for Older Dads

    Over the past several decades, the average age of first time parents in the United States has steadily gotten older. People are waiting longer to start families, taking the time to establish themselves in their careers and build some financial stability before they procreate. There are pros and cons to parenting at a later age, but we’ve got some tips to help older dads be great dads.

    • Recognize that there are a few drawbacks, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. You may have some health concerns, and you may not have the energy of your younger years. It may take a while to adjust to parenthood if you’re set in your ways, and you may keenly feel the generation gap between you and your kids. What’s more, you may find yourself needing to care for aging parents when you’d really prefer to have grandparents that help with the kids. The good news is that you’ve got plenty of experience managing your life and dealing with stress, and you’ll step up to the challenges of parenting exactly as you have with every other challenge you’ve faced.
    • Remember, there are tons of benefits, as well. Older parents are typically more financially secure, and many have more time to spend with their kids than they would have in their career-building years. When you’re older, you know more about gratitude and appreciating the little things, because you understand how quickly time passes. This can give you a more positive attitude toward, and a greater appreciation of parenting. Additionally, you probably have a stable relationship, and you definitely have more life experience than younger parents.
    • Now that you’ve considered the pros and cons, stop the comparison. Don’t compare yourself to younger parents, because there are good and bad things about parenting at every age. Instead, focus on the blessings in your life, embrace your strengths, and set aside time for things that help you enjoy life and keep your mind sharp.
    • Stay healthy. Embrace a healthy lifestyle, eating well, sleeping well, and staying physically active. Challenge yourself to keep up with your little ones, because it will help keep you feeling young. Play actively with your kids and prepare nutritious meals together, so that you can set an example for them in terms of healthy exercise as well as a healthy diet.
    • Connect with your children emotionally. Make sure to embrace the caregiving aspect of parenting, even if you’re the primary breadwinner. Men who are emotionally involved with their children tend to be more satisfied with their lives and less stressed by their work.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families and experience the joy of parenting. 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 for a free consultation.

     

     

  • Can Old Vasectomies Be Reversed?

    Vasectomy reversal has come a long way over the past several decades, and the technology has improved so much that the procedure has a high success rate. There is some concern, though, about vasectomies that are over 15 years old. Can they be reversed? How does the success rate differ between these “old” vasectomies and more recent surgeries?

    Good news: older vasectomies are almost as easy to reverse as newer ones. Most men continue to produce sperm throughout their lives, so fatherhood is possible late in life. Sometimes an older vasectomy can develop a blockage in addition to the vasectomy, which makes it more complicated to restore sperm flow. Fortunately, advances in microsurgical techniques mean this is not an insurmountable obstacle.

    If there’s more than one point of obstruction blocking the flow of sperm, the surgeon may choose to perform an epididymovasostomy. While a typical vasectomy reversal involves removing the blockage and reattaching the severed ends of the vas, an epididymovasostomy is more complex. In this procedure the original blockage is removed, just as in the vasovasostomy, and the semen is examined for sperm. If sperm are not present, it indicates a second blockage. In this case, the vas deferens is connected to the epididymis, rather than simply having the ends connected back together.

    New research indicates that the rates of moving ejaculated sperm counts after a reversal are close in old and new vasectomies. The younger vasectomies have an 88 percent chance of having a healthy sperm count, while the older ones have a 65 percent chance. The sperm counts in the two groups were identical, averaging 55 million sperm. This is encouraging, because it means that even old vasectomy reversals have a good chance of restoring fertility.

    Of course, a successful reversal does not guarantee pregnancy. There are many factors that come into play in fertility. If a couple cannot conceive after a vasectomy has been successfully reversed and the sperm count is good, there may be an undiagnosed fertility issue with the female partner. The most important factor in the vasectomy reversal itself is the skill of the surgical team. Microsurgery is extremely complicated, and success requires the work of a skillful and experienced surgeon. A surgeon who is well-versed in vasectomy reversal and proficient at microsurgical techniques can often successfully reverse a vasectomy that’s 20 years old or older.

    If you’re interested in reversing your vasectomy and you’re looking for an experienced professional surgical team, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here for you. 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 for a free consultation.

     

  • Celebrity Infertility Spotlight: Chrissy Teigen and the Heartbreak of Miscarriage

    Some celebrities are deeply protective of their privacy when it comes to their personal lives. Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are one couple who have been extremely open about theirs. They’ve talked openly about their struggles with infertility and IVF, and earlier this year shared their joy over a surprise pregnancy. Sadly, that pregnancy has ended in a miscarriage. Teigen has been candid about her devastation over the end of the pregnancy as well, and there’s something very beneficial about someone being so willing to share her joy and pain. It helps other women going through the rollercoaster ride of infertility know that they are not alone.

    Infertility affects about one in eight people. Often, it’s difficult to even discern the problem, and certainly, Chrissy Teigen’s experience illustrates this. Young and healthy, with a healthy husband, she struggled for years before undergoing IVF. In vitro fertilization is emotionally stressful and physically taxing, involving lifestyle changes, medications, and seemingly endless procedures. It doesn’t always work and sometimes ends in miscarriage. What’s more, many women go through this experience feeling alone because infertility is a taboo topic.

    Something else that’s taboo is miscarriage, though it’s an experience shared by as many as one in four women. For Chrissy Teigen, it happened at the end of last month. When celebrities are open about their joys and pain, it helps open dialogue about difficult topics. If you’ve suffered a miscarriage, there are a few things to remember.

    • It’s ok to talk about it. Talking about it can be beneficial, not just for you but for others. It may surprise you to discover how many people you know have had similar experiences. The loss of a pregnancy is an isolating event but talking about it can help you heal.
    • Take the time to grieve. It can be hard to cope after a miscarriage, and some feelings of grief can resurface much later, particularly on the anniversary of the loss or what would have been the baby’s birthday. Doing something meaningful to honor your baby may bring you some peace.
    • Be gentle with each other. You and your partner will go through this together, even if you feel like you’re going through it alone. Men sometimes don’t want to talk about things like this, but it doesn’t mean they don’t feel them deeply. After their miscarriage, John Legend wrote of the experience, “What an awesome gift it is to be able to bring life into the world. We’ve experienced the miracle, the power and joy of this gift, and now we’ve deeply felt its inherent fragility.”

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we’re committed to helping people build their families. 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 for a free consultation.

     

  • How late is too late to have children?

    There’s a lot of talk about women and their biological clocks, but you don’t often hear all that much about men in that context. Why is that? Do men have a biological clock? Men can father children at much later ages than women can get pregnant, it’s true, but should they? Are there risks inherent in being an older father? How late is too late to have children?

    In fact, reproductive aging is a reality for both men and women. Just because men don’t hit menopause, that doesn’t mean there are no consequences associated with their advancing age. Both men and women experience declining fertility and hormone levels as they get older. Worse, the risk of health complications for the child also increases. When a father is older, the couple is likely to have more difficulty conceiving, a higher risk of miscarriage, and a higher potential for health problems in the baby.

    Women’s reproductive capability begins to decline around age 35, while men experience a more gradual decline that begins around 40. When a woman does conceive after age 35, it’s referred to as a geriatric pregnancy, and there’s a lot of focus on what could go wrong. Over 35, women are at higher risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, chromosome issues, high blood pressure, low birth weight, and caesarean delivery. Perhaps because the woman is the one carrying the child and going to the prenatal appointments, this is all well-known and well-established. However, research indicates that the genetic quality of a man’s sperm degrades as he ages as well.

    Unlike women, who have a finite number of eggs, men produce sperm throughout their lifetimes. The existing sperm replicates its DNA and splits, over and over, until late in a man’s life. Unfortunately, all that splitting means the DNA can change a little bit every time the process is repeated. The result is that the number of genetic mutations in a man’s sperm increases steadily and gradually as he ages. These mutations make it more likely to conceive a child with conditions like schizophrenia or autism.

    The good news is that even for older parents, the chance of having a child with a genetic disorder is still low. Understanding the facts about male fertility should, however, encourage people to consider beginning their families earlier or taking measures like egg freezing and sperm banking to allow them to postpone conception. Of course, there are also advantages to being an older parent. When people take time to establish themselves before they have kids, they’re better educated and more financially stable when they do start their families.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. 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 for a free consultation.

  • What to Expect after your Vasectomy Reversal

    If you’re preparing for a vasectomy reversal, you’ve already been through the experience of undergoing a vasectomy. Thinking about the recovery period after that procedure can give you a reasonably accurate idea of the discomfort you’ll have after your vasectomy reversal. Fortunately, the recovery period for this minimally invasive procedure is brief.

    We perform each vasectomy reversal as an outpatient procedure, at an accredited Surgery Center with a Board-Certified anesthesiologist. You’ll go home shortly after your procedure, but you’ll need someone to drive you because of the after-effects of the anesthesia. Because you’ve been anesthetized, you may experience generalized aches, fatigue, a sore throat, or nausea, but these symptoms should go away within 24 hours.

    For many men, the discomfort after a vasectomy reversal is not as bad as they’d expected it to be. The day after surgery is usually the worst in terms of pain and swelling, and that’s also when your doctor will remove your drains. Most of the time, the pain only lasts for 24-48 hours, although in some cases, men report pain for up to a week. This pain can be alleviated with oral pain relievers, and ice packs will help reduce scrotal swelling. It’s best to stay off your feet and keep your legs elevated in these first few days, applying the ice packs for 10 minutes every half hour while you’re awake. Don’t get the incision wet for the first 48 hours, and follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions carefully. It’s important to wear snug scrotal support for 30 days after your procedure, to keep pressure off of the incision.

    It surprises many men to learn that they can go back to work within a week and, in some cases, as few as two days. If your job is extremely active or requires heavy lifting, you may need to take a little longer before heading back. You won’t be ready for intense physical activity just yet, though you’ll be able to resume most of your normal activities in three to four weeks. You’ll need to refrain from sexual activity for at least three weeks after the procedure, but this probably won’t be difficult because of your discomfort during the healing process.

    About three weeks after your vasectomy reversal, you’ll be asked to provide a semen sample for analysis. While the return of sperm to semen does not guarantee conception, it’s still good news that vasectomy reversals have a high success rate for returning sperm. Additionally, success in achieving pregnancy after the procedure ranges from about 40 to over 90 percent.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we pride ourselves on providing optimal surgical results and 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 for a free consultation.

     

  • Different Vasectomy Reversal Surgical Options

    If you’re considering a vasectomy reversal, you should be aware that there are different surgical options used to complete the procedure. Vasectomy reversal is complex and detailed, requiring expertise and focus from the surgeon. That’s why it’s important to find a surgeon with the experience and knowledge necessary to choose the right one for you and perform it skillfully. Which procedure will you require, and what will it entail?

    The most straightforward type of vasectomy reversal is the vasovasostomy. This is what most men can expect when they go in for a vasectomy reversal. In this procedure, the scar tissue from the vasectomy is removed and the ends above and below the portion that had been blocked are sutured back together. The opening being reconnected is extremely small, between .7 mm and .4 mm in diameter, so extreme skill is required to perform this procedure.

    For some men, the time frame since their vasectomy might be so long or the blockage from the vasectomy might be so low that a vasovasostomy is not possible. In these cases, a vasoepididymostomy is performed. This is a much more technically challenging surgery, requiring microsurgical expertise, and only the most experienced, specially-trained surgeons can perform it. In this procedure, the upper end of the vas deferens is connected to a tubule of the epididymis, the structure that connects the testicle to the vas deferens. The opening connected in this procedure is about 1/10th of the one made for the vasovasostomy, so it’s a much more delicate microsurgery. In addition to the difficulty of the procedure being high, the success rate is lower than that of the vasovasostomy. For these reasons, this procedure is only done if absolutely necessary.

    There is a third done for men who have had a vasectomy and now wish to father a child. It’s called microscopic epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA), and it’s only an option for those couples who are choosing to undergo in vitro fertilization. Sperm aspiration, like the two kinds of vasectomy reversal, is done using an operating microscope. This enables the surgeon to successfully obtain sperm directly from the epididymis without contamination from blood and bodily fluids. Using the operating microscope, the surgeon is able to see the epididymal tubules clearly, so the success rates are extremely high and there’s very little risk of damaging adjacent structures.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we pride ourselves on providing optimal surgical results and 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 for a free consultation.

  • How to Keep your Children Safe on Halloween During the COVID Pandemic

    2020 has been quite a year! If you’re like many of us, you’ve probably got mixed emotions about the upcoming holiday season. On the one hand, it would be great to get back to a sense of normalcy, embracing well-loved traditions despite the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, what’s safe? As Halloween approaches, many parents are wondering how their kids can safely celebrate this festive holiday.

    So, is trick-or-treating safe in 2020? If you think of all the ways Halloween is typically celebrated, with dances, parties, hayrides, and carnivals, trick-or-treating seems like a more manageable activity. It’s outside, and it’s relatively easy to stay socially distant from other kids. If you’re in a quiet neighborhood, trick-or-treating might be the way to go.

    Infection disease specialists, however, urge caution. Especially if you live where community spread is still high, trick-or-treating may not be a good idea. If you’re in an area where the prevalence of COVID-19 is low, it’s still wise to be aware of potential dangers. What are the riskiest elements of trick-or-treating this year?

    • Being in a large group.: Trick-or-treating in a group of friends may not be the best idea, because being close to people from another household and spending several hours together brings a risk of virus transmission. If your kids have their hearts set on trick-or-treating with their friends, limit it to 3-4 kids from families who have been social distancing.
    • Face-to-face exposure at neighbor’s doors: Walking to a door, knocking, saying “trick or treat?”, taking some candy, and leaving doesn’t involve a lot of face to face time, it’s true. But even though it may not seem risky, the more households you visit, the more exposure you have, especially since other kids are lingering on the same doorsteps.
    • Touching things: This is the least concerning factor- just use hand sanitizer frequently and wash hands when you get home. There’s little risk of infection from candy wrappers, but to be extra careful, set aside most of the candy for 3 days before eating it.

    The CDC advises that staying home may be best this year, celebrating Halloween by decorating your house, carving pumpkins, having a movie night, or maybe hosting a virtual costume contest. If you’re handing out candy, wear a mask or consider placing individually bagged treats on the porch. If you do decide to trick or treat, though, incorporate face masks into the costumes, don’t let kids share props or toys, and talk to your kids about not touching too many things or digging around in candy bowls.

    At Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping to create healthy, happy families. 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 for a free consultation.

     

  • Fun and Easy DIY Halloween Costumes for your Infant

    Halloween is so much fun when you have small kids! While it’s great to get to take kids trick or treating and watch them enjoy the holiday, there’s also something to be said for picking out a costume for a child too little to care. You get the thrill of seeing your cute baby in a costume, and no one stands in the way of your vision with different ideas for how they’d like to dress. It’s an all-around win! Do you need inspiration? Check out these cute, fun, and easy Halloween costumes for your infant.

    • Max from “Where the Wild Things Are”: In the book, Max wears a wolf suit, but if you don’t have a wolf suit, attaching a tail to some pajamas will suffice! Top it off with a paper crown, and you’re good to go. Bonus points if your little one totes a stuffed monster.
    • Baby Chicken: A onesie, some leggings, a cap, and felt sheets are all that’s required to turn your baby into a charming fowl. Just cut feathers out of felt, affix them to the onesie with hot glue, cut out a “comb” to glue to the cap, and voila! Instant baby chicken.
    • Bookworm: All you’ll need for a fun Halloween photo op is a stretchy green hat, a green swaddle blanket or sleep sack, pipe cleaners, pom poms, and a headband, glasses, and some books. Make the pipe cleaners into antennae, twisting two pieces together and gluing pom poms to the ends. Taking care to get rid of any sharp points, twist them around the headband. Wrap baby in the swaddler or sleep sack, put the hat on under the headband to protect a sensitive head, and put the baby near the books. Whether the glasses rest on the books or go on the baby is your call, but realistically, they may only last on baby’s face for one quick photo.
    • Carrot Baby: A snuggly orange wrap and a matching orange cap are all you need to turn your newborn into the cutest carrot in the garden! Just attach some green felt to the cap to make the carrot top.
    • Baby Bob Ross: A big curly wig, blue shirt and pants, and a nearby artist’s palette with brushes is all it will take to transform your baby into this beloved painter and have your friends giggling about happy trees every time they see the photo.

    The Center for Vasectomy Reversal loves to celebrate holidays and milestones with healthy, happy families. 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 for a free consultation.

     

     

  • Healthy Food Ideas for Your Pregnant Partner

    A healthy diet is always important, but it’s never more important than during pregnancy. When the foods eaten are nourishing a growing baby, they must be nutrient dense. Sometimes, the mom-to-be doesn’t have much of an appetite, and that’s even more reason to make every bite count. While it’s ok for her to sometimes treat herself to yummy, empty calories, her diet needs to be loaded with foods that pack a nutritional punch.

    • Dairy products provide protein and calcium. Yogurt is a great dairy option, as long as it’s not full of sugar. Try plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey or fresh fruit, or incorporate yogurt into dips and dressings.
    • Legumes, especially lentils, are a great source of protein and other nutrients. They contain folate, iron, and fiber, among other nutrients, and can be eaten in salads, soups, and stews.
    • Sweet potatoes are amazingly nutritious. One sweet potato has more than 400 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin A, which is crucial in the first trimester. They’re easy to eat, baked or sliced and roasted into oven fries.
    • Salmon, especially wild salmon, is one of the best foods to eat during pregnancy. It’s got omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, and it’s a safe seafood choice for pregnancy. Roasted salmon filets over greens or rice, served with a sweet potato and steamed vegetables, make the perfect meal.
    • Eggs are inexpensive, easy to cook, and packed with nutrients. They’re a good source of protein, and contain choline, which helps brain development, and vitamin D. There are tons of ways to eat eggs, just make sure you cook them thoroughly.
    • Lean meat provides protein and iron. It helps the baby grow and keeps the mom from feeling hungry. Small amounts are sufficient, so toss meat into soups, noodle dishes and salads.
    • Berries are delicious and nutritious. They’ve got carbs, vitamin C and other vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, and they help increase water intake. Eat them plain or toss them in smoothies or salads!
    • Broccoli and leafy greens contain many important nutrients. Kale, for example, has folate, iron, vitamins C, A, E, and K, calcium, and fiber. Toss greens into a smoothie, cook them with pasta, pile them on a sandwich, or scramble them up with some eggs.
    • Avocadoes are creamy, rich, and are an important source of monounsaturated fatty acids. They’ve also got folate, vitamin B6, fiber, and potassium. They’re good for leg cramps, promote healthy tissue and brain growth in the developing baby, and may even ease morning sickness. They’re great in guacamole, sandwiches, salads, omelets, and on their own.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping couples grow their happy, healthy families. 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 for a free consultation.