Are you male fertility aware? As many people embark on a New Year health kick, a new survey has shown that many men are in fact unaware about risks to their fertility caused by factors such as obesity and even hobbies including cycling and laptop use.
In the Canadian survey, men could only identify around half of activities and medical conditions that could affect their fertility, even though a third of men in the survey admitted to concerns about their fertility.
If you’re planning IVF this year, it’s actually just as important for men to prepare themselves for fertility treatment as women. Factors such as weight and lifestyle affect male fertility just as it can female fertility.
So what can you do as a man to prepare yourself for IVF, to ensure your sperm is the best it can be?
Check your weight
Being significantly overweight can affect your sperm. Studies have shown that obesity can affect sperm motility - how well your sperm moves - with a higher risk of sperm DNA damage. A high BMI can also affect sperm count. So you should always aim to achieve a healthy BMI before you embark on any treatment cycle, to maximise your chances of success.
Hobbies such as cycling, or using a laptop actually in your lap, can increase the temperature of the testicles, which can affect sperm production.
Excessive alcohol intake can negatively affect your sperm quality, quantity and testosterone levels. Cut back on your alcohol intake, and if you also smoke – whether it’s tobacco or illegal substances, quit – smoking can decrease sperm count and motility and affect sperm shape and function.
A healthy diet should also mean healthy sperm, so check what you’re eating. A study of more than 1,100 men and women found that regular consumption of fruit, vegetables and pulses was associated with far higher levels of fertility. So cut back on processed foods and eat a good balanced diet that will provide you with all the vitamins and minerals you need for healthy sperm – wholegrain carbs; lean proteins and omega-3 rich fish; low-fat dairy and plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Exercise regularly – this doesn’t have to involve joining a gym. Exercise is one of the best relaxation techniques to combat stress and anxiety, and you’ll also help keep yourself – and your sperm – fit and healthy at the same time.
Dietary advice & support - book a private consultation
If you need help to prepare yourself for IVF, our consultant nutritionist Jeannette Jackson provides tailored dietary advice and support for fertility. Whether you need a weight loss program or lifestyle changes, Jeannette’s private consultations cover key nutrients for fertility for you and your partner, fertility boosting foods and reducing stress through diet. She also offers personal nutrition reports. To book an appointment with Jeannette, call our Patient Advisors on 0161 300 2730.