When it comes to fertility and reproductive assistance, many individuals look to the woman for answers. Women are given multivitamins, folic acid, and offered nutrition advice by physicians, while men are often overlooked because they aren’t the individuals meant to carry the child. In truth, the health and wellbeing of the male in a partnership is equally important when it comes to successfully procreating.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 in 3 cases of infertility are due to issues with the man, 1 in 3 with the woman, and 1 in 3 with both the man and the woman or inconclusive reasons. In cases of male infertility, most are caused by the testicles where sperm is made and stored. Hormones, lifestyle choices, and overall health can also impede the production and delivery of healthy sperm. Below you’ll find a list of ways you can moderate and maintain your sexual health.
Testing Sperm at Home
While there’s no way to test the quality, mobility, or vitality of sperm at home, you can test your sperm count from the comfort of home. The average number of sperm in semen for a healthy man is 20-million sperm or more per ml. Home tests use semen which is ejaculated into a cup to test whether the sperm count falls within this range of normalcy. The test may not indicate all factors that could alert a man to the possibility of infertility, but it does provide insight as to whether your sperm count is the culprit.
Taking Care of Your Body
A scientific study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health last year suggests that taking care of your body is an important aspect of sexual health for men. The review reported on several case studies which had found links between increased sperm count and exercise. Men documented by the publication who were overweight, smoked cigarettes, and drank alcohol were more likely to be infertile than men who led overall healthy lifestyles. The study also warned men who suffered from sleep disorders, such as apnea, to get tested and treated quickly if infertility is suspected.
Taking Your Vitamins
In women, the vitamins most commonly associated with reproductive health are the B vitamins, particularly folic acid. In men, vitamin E plays a crucial role in areas of fertility. A strong antioxidant, vitamin E is responsible for the protection of cellular membranes, a reduction of oxidative stress, and an increase in sperm motility. In 2011, a scientific study tested the use of vitamin E supplements on 690 infertile men and found that those who took the vitamins had a greater chance for higher sperm quality and motility. Researchers determined that vitamin E was therefore a possible way to treat idiopathic infertility in men.
Asking for Help When It’s Needed
Men and women deal with infertility differently, and while most women are open to the prospect of help from a medical professional, most men continue to hide their condition due to embarrassment. Many men experiencing infertility lose self-esteem and confidence due to the stigma reflected in male sexual issues. When working to improve your sexual health, it’s important to address these issues and ask for help where necessary. Whether this means discussing your possible condition with your partner, or speaking to your physician about your options, asking for help is a big part of staying healthy sexually.
If you are a man experiencing infertility, or a woman whose male partner is experiencing infertility, don’t hide behind the idea that female sexual health is more important or more prominent in treating infertility. Be honest with yourself and your partner and begin working toward a healthier you.
When you are ready for an outside opinion, reach out to the team here at Generation Next Fertility. With decades of experience, our doctors and staff are ready to understand your specific challenges and help you.