When nature is saying no
The heartache of trying to conceive can be so overwhelmingly deep.
Month after month, when your period comes, you are grieving the child that has not yet come. Will it ever happen? Why can’t you conceive when your friends so easily can? It takes two to conceive a baby yet why is all the focus on you, the woman? Male infertility is a factor in fertility issues and male fertility is declining at an alarming rate.
The sperm factor
There’s so much focus on eggs. We are constantly reminded that our eggs have an expiry date; that we’re born with them, and only have a finite number. Have you been told that nothing can be done about the quality of your eggs? That question is for another discussion. Right now, we’re talking about sperm.
What about the quality of his sperm? Sperm quality has been rapidly declining. Since the 1980’s, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been publishing recommended levels of sperm quality needed to conceive a baby.
Normal sperm morphology is defined as 1 head and 1 tail.
In the 1980’s, fertile levels for sperm contained 80% normal morphology. Since then, the quality of sperm has been drastically reduced. Today, according to WHO, fertile sperm is now only 4% of normal sperm. That is 96% abnormal morphology! And men are told their sperm is fine and their sperm is not the reason for difficulty getting pregnant or miscarriage.
It’s important to consider how poor levels of normal sperm morphology could affect your ability to conceive. Yet why is all the emphasis on the health of your eggs? There are studies that show morphology of sperm are affecting fertility rates.
It takes two to tango
Just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to make a baby. When this is not happening, we need to consider why nature is saying no.
Nature is saying no because something is not functioning well. There are a number of factors that can affect quality of sperm. In men, if their sperm is too hot, it can affect its quality and quantity. If your partner is sitting down all day, wearing tight underpants or clothing, it can affect the quality of his sperm. Sperm could be affected by illness, smoking or stress.
It takes 90 days for sperm quality to change, and men also have a responsibility to focus on their health to improve their sperm. And this doesn’t mean just taking a supplement.
Sperm quality does not equate to manhood
Why are some men so reluctant to have a sperm test? Perhaps there is an underlying view that they are not man enough if they have poor quality sperm. However poor quality sperm is a health issue. There are conditions where men are unable to procreate because they do not actually have any sperm. However, in the majority of cases, sperm quality and quantity can be improved by focusing on better health and lifestyle choices.
Some factors that may effect sperm include alcohol and smoking, overexercising, shift work and poor sleep, long distance bike riding, electric blankets, laptops on his lap, phones in his pocket, heated car seats and medications.
Steps towards improving health
- Staying hydrated
- Sleeping well
- Good digestive function
- Healthy diet
- Stress management
Steps for improving sperm quality and quantity
- Eat pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
- Take Vit C and zinc supplements
- Decreasing the amount of chemicals in the household – this includes cleaning products and personal care products
- Stop smoking, recreational drugs and alcohol
Taking further steps for sperm quality and quantity
Sperm quality and quantity is a health issue. Start with diet and lifestyle choices.
The body is a like a machine that works together, like an engine in a car. All areas need to be functioning well for it to run smoothly. Create a healthy vehicle and we should have healthy sperm. Fix what is not working, add the right ingredients and stop what is causing problems. It takes dedication and perseverance. It may take changes to your lifestyle. However, the thing to remember is, your plan is to make a child. And you will be creating your child’s vehicle that it is going to spend his or her life in. And you want to give your child the best possible start to his or her life.
If sperm results are very poor, chat with your GP about a referral to an andrologist for a check up. You can also find a Chinese medicine practitioner or a naturopath that treat male fertility to improve sperm quality. It is a joint effort. Sperm quality may be the part of the reason you are having fertility issues.