Improving Male Fertility: A Comprehensive Guide to Mind-Body Well-being.
Male fertility is a complex aspect of reproductive health, influenced by various factors. This guide aims to provide a basic understanding of mind-body practices that positively impact male fertility, contributing to overall well-being.
To begin with, let’s first break down what constitutes male fertility.
Sperm mobility, also known as sperm motility, refers to the ability of sperm to move effectively. It is a crucial factor in male fertility as it influences the sperm's journey to fertilise an egg. The two main aspects of mobility are:
indicating the percentage of sperm moving in a straight line, directly impacting their ability to reach and penetrate the egg, and
Total Motile Count (TMC),
which measures the total number of progressively motile sperm, providing a comprehensive assessment of the sperm's ability to navigate the female reproductive tract.
Male fertility is all about the sperm count.
Sperm count refers to the total number of sperm present in a semen sample. A higher sperm count increases the likelihood of successful fertilisation, leading to pregnancy. The measurement is typically expressed as the number of sperm per millilitre of semen.
The most common method involves examining a semen sample under a microscope. A laboratory technician assesses the concentration of sperm, their morphology (shape), and motility.
There are the parameters for a normal sperm count:
- Total sperm count: 39 million sperm per ejaculate or more.
- Sperm progressive motility: Greater than 32% actively moving.
Understanding these parameters provides valuable insights into male reproductive health and fertility potential.
Male infertility can be cause by a number of factors, such as:
- Low Sperm Count or (Oligospermia): It refers to the reduced quantity of sperm in the semen, impacting fertility.
- Poor Sperm Motility: Sperm's inability to move effectively, hindering their journey to fertilise the egg.
- Abnormal Sperm Morphology: Sperm with irregular shapes, affecting their ability to penetrate the egg.
- Erectile Dysfunction: Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection, impacting the ability to ejaculate sperm.
- Varicocele: Enlarged veins in the testicles, leading to overheating and reduced sperm production.
- Genetic Factors: Missing fragments of the male chromosome, contributing to sperm quality issues.
- Obstructive Azoospermia: Blockages preventing the release of sperm during ejaculation.
- Ejaculatory Duct and Prostatic Midline Cysts: Treatable causes of male infertility impacting sperm production.
Understanding these issues is crucial for diagnosing and addressing male infertility, promoting reproductive health.
Now, let’s understand some lifestyle causes for infertility:
- Smoking: Smoking has been linked to reduced sperm count, motility, and increased DNA damage in sperm.
- Alcohol Intake: Excessive alcohol consumption may negatively affect sperm quality and hormone levels, impacting fertility.
- Illicit Drug Use: Drug abuse, including the use of illicit substances, can impair sperm production and quality.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese is associated with decreased sperm quality and fertility issues
- Psychological Stress: High-stress levels may negatively influence male fertility by impacting hormone levels and sperm function.
- Poor Diet: Inadequate nutrition, especially deficiencies in essential nutrients, can affect sperm health and fertility
Here are some changes you can incorporate to combat male infertility.
- Holistic Approach: Yoga acts as a mind-body "medicine," offering holistic benefits for reproductive health. Certain asanas can promote mobility and enhance your overall well-being.
- Stress Reduction: Mind-body therapies have shown efficacy in reducing stress and anxiety associated with male infertility, positively impacting overall well-being.
- Nutrient-Rich Diets: A balanced diet rich in antioxidants such as carrots, kidney beans, blueberries, and pumpkins contribute to better sperm health.
- Regular Exercise: Sedentary lifestyles have significantly impacted sexual wellness among office goers. It is necessary to incorporate physical activity that supports overall well-being, positively influencing male fertility.
- Avoiding Harmful Habits: Steering clear of detrimental habits like smoking and excessive alcohol intake is vital for reproductive health. They not only reduce sperm count, but also can cause erectile dysfunction.
The first step to combating male infertility is to defeat social stigma.
- Acknowledging Challenges: Facing male infertility often comes with emotional challenges and societal stigma. It's crucial to acknowledge these issues to seek appropriate support. There is nothing wrong with infertility - treat it the same way you would treat having a chronic illness such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
- Consulting with Experts: If you or your partner are navigating fertility challenges, consulting with experts at specialised clinics such as Milann can provide personalised solutions and support. Do not shy away from it, and speak openly about it. It’s time to remove the shame from male infertility.
Being prepared for parenthood before becoming parents.
Before embarking on the journey to parenthood, checking your sperm count is a crucial step to understand and enhance fertility. Conducting a sperm count before trying to conceive is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it helps identify potential fertility issues early on, allowing for timely intervention. A low sperm count doesn't necessarily rule out conception but may require lifestyle changes or medical interventions to improve chances.
Various factors can influence sperm count, including lifestyle, health conditions, and genetics. Seeking professional advice for a semen analysis from a healthcare provider or fertility specialist ensures accurate results and personalised guidance based on individual circumstances.
Moreover, understanding sperm count promotes informed family planning, enabling couples to make informed decisions and consider fertility treatments if needed. Overall, checking sperm count is a proactive and empowering step, fostering a holistic approach to reproductive health and family building.
Do all of this, and a little bit more.
Empowering male fertility involves a multifaceted approach encompassing mind-body practices, lifestyle choices, and seeking professional guidance when needed. By adopting a holistic perspective, individuals can navigate the journey towards parenthood with resilience and hope.