Modern lifestyle - minimal physical activity, unhealthy food habits and stress - have a negative impact on overall health for all of us. While we may not realize the negative impacts of our so called modern lifestyle in our daily lives, our lifestyle actually affects every function of our body and leads to many disorders and diseases.
Infertility or subfertility among men is on a rise these days. There are many biological factors which can affect a person's ability to father a child. However, in this piece I will only discuss the five most common lifestyle related factors, which affect the fertility in men or give a rise to male infertility. All these behaviors have the potential to adversely affect sperm production and/or maturation in men leading to poor count and/or quality of sperms. However, if addressed in time, these men can still regain their fertility potential and have a family.
5 Factors Affecting Fertility Among Men:
Body weight: Obesity has a direct correlation with reduced fertility among both men and women. Unhealthy eating habits, minimal physical activity and genetic predisposition are three most important causes of obesity. Its important to understand that while no one can really address the genetic predisposition, it really are the other factors that allow genes to take an effect. So, if one can ensure having a balanced diet and adequate amount of physical activity, he can still keep the body weight under check.
Caffeine: Excessive caffeine intake can affect the sperm motility, thereby reducing the speed of sperms and slowing down their journey inside a woman's body to reach the egg for fertilization. All this can be avoided by simply controlling the intake of caffeine. Please note that caffeine is found not just in coffee, but is present is big amounts in all carbonated and energy drinks. So, the trick is to avoid such drinks as much as possible.
Cigarettes: Smoking leads to DNA fragmentation in the sperms, which increases the risk of miscarriage. Smoking also reduces the sperm motility,
thereby reducing its potential to fertilize the egg. Smoking in the woman partner further reduced the fertility potential as it damages the DNA in eggs also. I cant overemphasize on the need to immediately and permanently quit smoking in both the partners. One cant wait till the time they plan a pregnancy for quitting smoking - they have to do it now!
Alcohol: Its a myth that one can consume alcohol in moderate amounts and still remain healthy. Even so called "moderate" alcohol consumption, generally defined as 30 - 60 ml per day, has a negative impact on fertility. Alcohol impact the sperm production process, thereby leading to reduced sperm count (called as azoospermia) and also affects the sperm maturation process, thus causing quality issues with sperms.
Stress: Its no secret that we live in an increasingly complicated world, which gives us not just physical but also serious mental stress. Mental stress and tension create a cycle of negative emotions and affect all the cognitive functions in the human body. Stress doesn't allow proper erection, which is essential for a successful effort at intercourse. One should try and remain as stress free as possible and can also try stress busters such as Yoga and meditation for a healthier lifestyle.
As you will realize, it doesn't require any magic or medications to help boost a man's fertility potential. These are all simple lifestyle measures everyone can manage on their own. All that is required is to allow the human body to work properly and then live a stress free life. Nature then takes its own course!
If you have further queries about infertility, you can write a query for me Here.
- Dr Parul Katiyar