Blog

Myths and Facts – Improving Male Fertility

Male Fertility

Throughout history, a couple’s inability to conceive has been blamed on the woman who would be called an “incomplete woman” for being unable to carry children. However, only one-third of infertility problems are related to the woman. Another third of the problems with infertility are due to male conditions, and the final third are a bit unexplained.

Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after one year of intercourse without protection, which might lead you and your partner to consider things like male infertility treatment or IVF. If the male is the one who is infertile, there are a range of myths and facts going around about improving male fertility and the male’s role in conception.

What is the Male’s Role in Conception

Out of the 200 million sperm that are mixed with semen, only a single sperm has the ability to capacitate through the outer layer of the egg and fertilise it for conception. This gets narrowed down throughout the whole process, of course. Usually, only 15 to 45 million of the original sperm are healthy, and then only 400 of those survive once they are ejaculated from the man. Out of those, 40 survive the toxic semen and the hostile vagina to get to the vicinity of the egg.

Top Causes of Male Infertility

Some of the main causes of male infertility are issues with the semen, abnormal size and shape of sperm, slow sperm movement and low sperm count, among a few others.

Myth 1 - A Man Can Have Children at Any Age
As a man gets older, the quality of his sperm decreases significantly. In fact, after 45, the chances of miscarriage, mental health issues, and autism and learning difficulties in the child is much higher.

Myth 2 - Sunscreen Lowers Sperm Count
While there is a valid discussion to be had about the harmful chemicals in sunscreen and other lotions, these chemicals are not proven to lower sperm count.

Myth 3 - You are More Fertile in the Summer
It is not true that you or your partner are going to be more fertile in the summer months than you would be in the winter months. A more likely reason is that there is increased sexual activity when it’s the holidays and the weather is nice.

Myth 4 - Exposure to Heat Will Hurt Your Healthy Sperm
Now this is both a myth and a fact. Casual or temporary exposure to high temperatures, for example, a sauna here and there, will do no damage to your sperm. However, prolonged exposure to heat will. Testicles hang outside the body to keep cool because the heat of a male’s body will kill the healthy sperm.

Fact 1 - Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco use are Linked to Infertility
Cigarettes and marijuana are linked to low sperm counts and slow movement of sperm, and marijuana use can lead to abnormally developed sperm as well. In addition, alcohol reduces the amount of normally formed sperm produced that would be needed to fertilise an egg.

Fact 2 - Tradies are at risk
Unfortunately, if you’ve spent time around environmental toxins like pesticides, insecticides, radiation or lead, you are at risk for infertility. Men like landscapers, contractors, manufacturing workers, etc. should be checked for fertility.

Fact 3 - Weight Affects Hormones and Sperm Count
If you are too heavy, you might suffer from hormonal imbalances, and if you are too lean, your sperm count and functionality could decrease. Men who exercise too much could be lowering the testosterone in their bodies, and therefore, their sperm count.

For further information and resources regarding male infertility treatment and the IVF process, visit Dr. Alex Polyakov’s site or contact him today.