Infertility in Men

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When a couple is struggling to conceive, it is often assumed that it is due to a medical issue on the part of the female.  However, the issue could very well lie with the male.  If you have been trying to conceive for either 6 months if the female is 35 or older, or one year if the female is under 35, without success, it is important for both partners to pursue a medical evaluation.

There are several factors that can play into male infertility.  The first is age.  While men can stay fertile well into their 70s, the quality of their sperm can change over time, making it less likely to fertilize an egg.  These changes include a decrease in the number of sperm, differences in the shape and movement of the sperm, or a total cease in sperm production. Continue reading

How Lifestyle Choices can Impact Male Fertility

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If you to ask a random individual, chances are they would know at least a few of the things women should avoid when they are trying to conceive, such as alcohol and caffeine.  However, it is not as commonly known that certain everyday choices can have an impact on male fertility.  Men, read on to learn more about items which can impact male virility. Continue reading

Are You Really Infertile?

trying hard to get preg

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Are you really infertile?  A February 2012 survey from the Guttmacher Institute found that 19% of women ages 18-29 believed they were very likely to be infertile, when in reality, this is only true of 6% of women in that age group.  From a physician’s perspective, infertility is typically diagnosed when a couple attempting to become pregnant is unable to do so after a minimum of one year of trying.  While the word “infertility” carries a heavy connotation of permanence, this is not necessarily so, as 90% of all infertility has an identifiable physical cause.

In consultation with your physician, there are many healthy and natural avenues to pursue to fight against an infertility diagnosis.  First and foremost, you can work to achieve a healthy body weight.  Research conducted at Harvard Medical School indicates 40% of ovulation failures are caused by being over or underweight.  They advise that a body fat percentage and body mass index in the 20-25 range are optimal for pregnancy.  However, you should go about obtaining this the right way, through healthy eating and moderate exercise.  Research shows that women who skip meals and engaging in intense exercise have trouble conceiving, because both of these activities put stress on the body and suppress hormone surges.

Next, consider alternative medicine.  Chiropractic adjustments can stabilize your autonomic nervous system, which allows your reproductive organs to function optimally.  These adjustments can also impact your pituitary gland, balance hormones, and correct imbalance in the muscles of your pelvic floor.  If you are feeling more adventurous, acupuncture treatments are known to improve ovarian function, regulate ovulation and reproduction hormones, and increase blood flow to the endometrium, producing a thick uterine lining.  Finally, abdominal massage can help restore your uterus to its proper position, break up scar tissue around the uterus and other abdominal organs, and increase blood flow and lymph drainage in your pelvic area.



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Fertility Awareness and Your Sex Drive

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Photo from via

While you may not realize it, everyday life stresses can greatly impact your libido. Below are just a few of the ways in which they may do so:

  • Your body’s natural reaction to stress– When you feel stressed, your body will go into what is known as a “fight or flight response,” releasing cortisol and adrenaline into your blood.  If this happens to you on a regular basis, you can develop the condition of chronic stress, which interferes with the hormones in your body particular to your sexual response.
  • Your busy lifestyle– In the world today, everyone finds themselves juggling multiple roles and responsibilities. Trying to balance work and parenting with chores leaves very little time for recreational activities.  As a result, your busily working mind and very tired body will have a difficult time getting in the mood for sex.
  • Relationship stress– This is perhaps the most vicious cycle of all.  Relationship conflict can cause stress, which leads to additional circumstances causing more stress, leaving no room for your body to charge up its libido. Ironically, low libido can, in and of itself, be a major cause of relationship stress, and arguing about it can make a couple want to have sex even less.

Unfortunately, infertility is a major cause of stress in relationships. Working through such issues often involves feelings of grief, loss of control, loss of self-esteem, financial strain, and sexual pressure.  But what if you were able to reach a place where you felt fully in control of your fertility awareness?  With the stress of the unknown behind you, you would be empowered and feel free to be an open and loving sexual partner.  With Lady-Comp, an intelligent fertility monitor that learns, analyzes, and indicates your fertile days with 99.3% accuracy based on your daily body temperature and data you provide, you can start to take control of your sex life today.



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What Men Can Do to Increase Their Fertility

It is often thought that when a couple is having difficulty conceiving, the stress largely falls on the woman in the relationship, but this is simply not true.  Studies have shown that men also suffer from low self-esteem, perception of stigma, and depression when they are experiencing infertility issues.  If you are the male half of a couple having difficulty getting pregnant, there are some things you can do to increase your chances.

laptop on mans lap

  • Keep your sperm at body temperature.  A surprising culprit in overheating sperm is the laptop.  Studies have shown holding a laptop computer on your lap for too long raises you scrotal temperature.  Additionally, as most already know, doctors say that men trying to conceive should stay away from soaking in hot water as research has that it decreases men’s fertility.
  • Stop smoking.  It is strongly recommended that you quit smoking prior to trying to conceive.  Smoking reduces sperm count in men and can actually damage the DNA they are passing on.  Furthermore, exposing your partner to secondhand smoke once she becomes pregnant increases her risk of miscarriage.
  • It’s OK to have sex frequently.  It is a myth that you can increase your chances of pregnancy by “saving up” your sperm for one big session.  Your sperm count could go up after one week of not having sex, but the motility of the sperm will go down.  Doctors say not having sex for more than 5 days adversely impacts the sperm count in most men.  While having sex daily produces the highest pregnancy rate, intercourse that frequent could be stressful on both parties.  Research has found that having sex every other day produces results nearly as good.
  • Wash your fruit and vegetables thoroughly.  Any exposure to pesticide, especially agricultural pesticide, can impact your fertility.

Birth Control Gel for Men Undergoes Testing

A preliminary study has shown that a new birth control gel for men dramatically reduced sperm counts with few side effects.

A team headed by Dr. Christine Wang of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center enrolled 99 men in the study. The participants were randomly assigned to use one of three unidentified gels on their skin every day for six months. One gel contained testosterone plus placebo, one contained testosterone and 8 mg of progestin, and the third contained testosterone and 12 mg of progestin.

The results indicated that complete absence of sperm occurred in significantly more men who applied the combined testosterone and progestin than testosterone alone: 78 and 69 percent (8 and 12 mg of progestin, respectively). Among the men who used the gel containing testosterone only, 23 percent had complete absence of sperm.

According to Dr. Wang, a sperm concentration less than 1 million sperm per milliliter is compatible with very low pregnancy rates.  Sperm counts reached that level in 88 to 89 percent of men who used the testosterone-progestin combinations, depending on the progestin dose. Only 23 percent of the men using the testosterone-only gel had a sperm count lower than 1 million per milliliter.  The gel works because the male hormone testosterone can turn off the production of reproductive hormones controlling the production of sperm. Progestin, a synthetic hormone similar to the naturally occurring hormone progesterone, can amplify the effects of testosterone. According to Dr. Wang it takes about 12 weeks after stopping the gel for sperm counts to return to a normal level.  Due to these results, she concludes that this combination of hormones warrants further study as a male contraceptive.

Natural Ways for Men to Increase Their Fertility

If you are trying for a baby, you already know that Lady-Comp can help you pinpoint precisely the 6 days in your cycle when you are most likely to get pregnant.  To increase the overall likelihood of pregnancy, you will want to make sure your partner is at his highest fertility levels as well.  Below are some ways your partner can increase his fertility naturally, without the use of medical intervention.

Things to add to his diet:                                        

Vitamin C: Fertility is decreased in men who are deficient in vitamin C. Men who get less than 60 milligrams of vitamin C daily have been found to have high levels of damaged sperm. In one study, sperm counts increased by almost 60 percent in men who took 1000 milligrams of vitamin C daily for two months.

Zinc: Studies have shown that zinc improves overall sperm quality in terms of both density and motility. The recommended daily allowance for men is 11 milligrams.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E may protect sperm-cell membranes. In one study, men who took 200mg of vitamin E daily increased their fertility by about 30 percent in one month.

Things to limit in his diet:

Caffeine- Any more than the equivalent of two cups of coffee per day can decrease sperm count.

High-Mercury Fish- The highest-mercury fish- swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, tuna steak, and shark- have been linked to infertility in both men and women.

Junk food- Fatty, fried, and sugary foods impair male fertility. Additionally, studies have confirmed that the more overweight the individual, the lower his total sperm count, sperm motility, and semen volume.

Fun fact- A couple’s most fertile time of day is between 5 and 7 p.m.  Women are most likely to ovulate between 3 and 7 p.m., and for men, sperm count peaks in the late afternoon, when it is 35% higher than in the morning.  After work is the perfect time to put all of your physical preparation to good use

How to Decrease Stress to Increase Fertility

Couples struggling with fertility issues have heard the saying a million times: “Relax. It’ll happen.” That may seem like a great idea, but relaxing isn’t always easy. Stress is a part of our body’s fight-or-flight mechanism. It raises adrenaline levels and increases heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. Sometimes stress can be positive. It can initiate change, help us focus on the task at hand, and in some cases save our lives. Yet, when stress builds up, it can actually keep us from concentrating, cause illness and inhibit fertility. Here are a few ideas on to how bring your stress levels down.

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Top 6 Tips for Conceiving in 2012

Everyone is making New Year’s resolutions this season. If you’re thinking about having a family in 2012, here are our top 6 suggestions for women trying to conceive.

Get your health in order. Before you get pregnant, get a checkup. Have your pap smear done, and get tested for infectious diseases and hereditary disorders that can affect a baby. Whatever has been on your heath and dental check list, take care of it before you get pregnant. Also, make sure your partner is in good health and takes his health seriously, too. Continue reading

Enhancing Male Fertility

male-fertilityInfertility has traditionally been thought of as a woman’s issue. But since men are 50% of the initial pregnancy equation, it’s no surprise men cause or contribute to infertility in about half of all cases. What can a man do to maximize his fertility? Remember, anything that improves quality of health, like adequate sleep and nutrition, should improve fertility. Continue reading