Things Every Man Should Know About Changes To Their Reproductive System In The Last 30 Years

October 19, 2022

When there is a fertility issue between a couple, many people probably assume that the issue belongs to the woman. It may be a false belief, but it is partly understandable because the woman is the partner to give birth and often the primary nurturer of the child in its younger years. New research suggests that this assumption may be particularly wrong among couples in North America, Australia, Europe, and New Zealand, where sperm counts are dropping at an alarming rate.

Decreased Sperm Counts In The Western World

A major study done on men’s sperm counts undertaken by researchers at Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Jerusalem was published in the journalHuman Reproduction. The study revealed that men in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, have seen their collective sperm counts drop by over fifty percent between 1973 and 2011. Sperm concentration showed a 52.4% decline while total sperm count showed a 59.3% decline. The researchers say there is no indication that the decline in men’s sperm count in these countries is slowing. In sharp contrast, men in South America, Asia, and Africa did not show a similar decline although there have been fewer of these studies undertaken in these regions for comparison.

The Implications For Men’s Health

While this latest study did not explore the reasons for the decline in men’s sperm count, previous research has made connections between low sperm count and obesity, exposure to chemicals and pesticides, stress, and smoking. To help protect sperm count and fertility, men (as well as women) should eat a healthy diet, regular exercise, practice safe sex, get enough sleep, and effectively manage hormone and stress levels. It is also important to limit exposure to chemicals and pesticides and try to avoid the following: excessive alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, hot tubs, and excessive weight gain, all of which have a negative impact on sperm count. While the results of this study are alarming, men can take proactive measures to produce and maintain a healthy sperm count.

The Implications For The Couple

The decline in men’s sperm count in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, means that if a couple has difficulty conceiving, the issue could be within the man as much as it could be within the woman. If a man is found to be the one having difficulty, he should get in contact with a doctor who may be able to offer treatment to help increase sperm count. Depending on the condition, some treatment options may include surgery, medication, hormone replacement therapy, and assisted reproductive technologies. The couple should never blame or shame their partner. If the couple finds themselves to be arguing or experiencing stress and tension in their marriage over the issue, they should consider seeing a marriage counsellor.

Some Treatment Options For Male Infertility

Treatment options for male infertility may include non-surgical options, surgical therapy, and assisted reproductive technologies. Some non-surgical options include electroejaculation therapy, which is a method for retrieving sperm for men who have difficulty ejaculating; medication, for men with hormonal deficiencies causing infertility; and Clomiphene Citrate, a medication that helps relieve mild sperm abnormalities and low sperm count.

Some surgical therapies including Varicocele Ligation, which helps improve sperm quality, sperm retrieval techniques in almost any case, including on men with a vasectomy, a failed vasectomy reversal, uncorrectable blockages, or other issues. If all else fails, assisted reproductive technologies can overcome almost all forms of male factor infertility and have a very high success rate.

Natural Ways Men Can Improve Sperm Quality And Count

A healthy diet and lifestyle are important for improving male fertility and sperm count. A healthy diet and lifestyle can improve libido, testosterone levels, sperm motility and sperm count. Some foods and nutrients are more helpful for improving male fertility than others. Vitamin D helps boost testosterone levels. Foods containing Vitamin D include fatty fish like mackerel and salmon, foods fortified with Vitamin D such as milk, orange juice and cereal, cheese, and egg yolks.

Zinc deficiency is also linked to low male fertility and zinc can be found in foods like meat, fish, eggs, and shellfish. Maca root, a plant food originating in Peru, is known to improve male libido. Antioxidants like Vitamin C are helpful for preventing inflammation and disease which can help improve sperm count and quality. Regarding lifestyle, men should minimize stress and get regular physical exercise.

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