Male Fertility: Facts & Advice
If you suspect you have a fertility problem, you may not know where to turn for help and advice. Start here, with facts about male fertility from SpermCheck® Fertility, plus suggestions for lifestyle changes that may help improve your sperm quality.
- There are 3.5 million couples in the UK who are having difficulty conceiving 1. That's 20-25 per cent of couples between 18-45 years, so you are most definitely not alone
- 30 per cent of couples take more than six months to conceive 2
- 64 per cent of babies are now born to fathers aged 30 and over 3
- Male fertility is an often overlooked issue, even though male infertility is the cause of 40-50 per cent of infertility cases.
- 80 per cent of men in infertile couples will not receive a fertility evaluation 4
- There are many causes of a low male sperm count other than genetics. These include diet, weight, fatigue, alcohol consumption, smoking, timing and stress
Tips to help maximise your potential
Making some small lifestyle changes can help give you a natural fertility boost:
- Testicles produce the best sperm when they're cool. Ideally, sperm should be around 34.5°C, which is just below body temperature. Loose-fitting boxer shorts rather than tight-fitting Y-fronts or shorts could help to keep your testicles and sperm cooler
- Smoking can reduce fertility, which is just one more reason to try to quit. Smoking around a newborn baby can also increase their chances of respiratory disease and even sudden infant death.
- Alcohol: Men should not drink more than the Department of Health's recommendation of three to four units of alcohol a day. It's even more ideal to keep below this level and drinking more can reduce your sperm quality. One unit is the equivalent of half a pint of lager, a small glass of wine, or a 25ml measure of spirits.
- Eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight is essential for keeping your sperm in good condition. A healthy diet should contain at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread and pasta, and lean meat, fish, and pulses for protein.
- De-stress: Severe stress may limit sperm production. In addition, stress can reduce libido (sex drive) which in turn can reduce the frequency of sexual intercourse.
And when it comes to conceiving, the best advice is for you and your partner to have lots of sex. Having sex every two to three days, especially around ovulation, is the best way to conceive.
If you or your partner has further concerns about fertility you should consult a Boots pharmacist or your GP.
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