So you and your husband have decided that this is the right time to have a baby. You’re both intellectually, emotionally, psychologically and physically mature enough, plus, you’ve saved up quite a hefty sum at the bank. Now the next step is to do some actual leg work (quite literally).
Fast-forward a couple of months and it all seems like wasted effort. No bun in the oven. Something’s amiss and you think you’ve found the culprit – the sperm. According to ob-gyne specialist Dr. Theresa Camara the quality of the sperm plays a major role in a couple’s ability to conceive.
So how do you keep them in top working condition? As advised by health.com, you keep them away from these brutal sperm killers:
1. Heat There’s a reason why the human testes are found attached outside of the body rather than inside like other organs. The core body temperature is too high for proper sperm production and the testicles need to stay cool for the healthy production of sperm.
At 36.67°C and higher, sperm production is disrupted and the result of which can drag on for months, said fertility specialist Dr. Hal Danzer to health.com. It can lower a man’s reproductive capabilities by lowering his sperm count, as well as its motility and morphology, added urologist Dr. Paul Shin.
Heat source doesn’t just cover hot weather -- it also includes high fevers, long soaks in the Jacuzzi and even the heat a laptop generates when it’s placed on one’s lap.
2. Tight clothing Tight and constricted clothing create inhospitable environments for sperm growth and production. “Boxers are better than briefs, if a man’s sperm count is on the low side. But it probably has little effect if the sperm count is normal,” said Dr. Danzer.
3. Cell phones Some medical professionals agree and some don’t, but a few small studies have found that the radiation from cell phones may be killing off sperm. “A 2008 study found that men with the highest cell phone usage (more than four hours per day) had significantly lower sperm counts, motility rates and morphology (normal shapes),” said Dr. Shin.
If you’re really worried, Dr. Shin advises carrying cell phones in briefcases or bags rather than pockets.
4. Obesity Studies have shown that obesity is linked to infertility among women. The hormonal imbalances cause problems in ovulation, fertilization and implantation. Men aren’t spared from this, either.
“Abnormal hormone levels resulting from excessive weight gain can lead to disruptions in sperm production and decreased semen quality. A report in Reproductive Biology Associates correlates a high BMI in men with decreased testosterone levels. The risk applies to both young and old men,” said Dr. Natasha Balbas in a SmartParenting.com.ph article. To learn more on the connection of obesity and fertilization, read the full article here.
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5. Bad habits Men trying to start a family should put their bad habits aside if they’re really set on having babies. Studies show that cigarette smoking, alcohol and marijuana can impair sexual function, so skip a few parties for a while and see if you get better results.
Source: Undated. "Trying to Get Pregnant? 10 Proven Sperm Killers". health.com Feb. 13, 2012. "Oh, Baby! Intimacy and Getting Pregnant with Different Sexual Positions". smartparenting.com.ph