Patients with infertility can have some control of their reproductive function by living healthy lifestyles. Often some negative lifestyles may be contributing to their infertility. Therefore, if patients live healthy lifestyles, it is possible that there will be some improvement in their reproductive function. There may not be conclusive evidence for all these lifestyle recommendations, but rarely will following these guidelines hurt, and often they may help:
- Avoid excessive heat (avoid waterbeds, saunas, hot tubs, etc.).
- Limit coffee to 1 or 2 cups per day.
- Do not smoke.
- Do not use marijuana, cocaine, or other recreational drugs. Marijuana stays in the testes for over 2 weeks so even using it once every two weeks will have a negative effect.
- Exercise regularly and moderately.
- Drink no more than 2 ounces of alcohol twice per week. Alcohol is a male reproductive tract toxin which associates with a decrease in the percentages of normal sperm. Female should abstain from alcohol if pregnant.
- Have good nutritional habits especially a diet rich in fresh fruits and leafy vegetables (organically grown foods).
- Be aware of sexual problems and do not hesitate to ask for medical help.
- Infertile men should educate themselves about health and reproduction.
- Seek emotional and/or psychological support and consider meditation to reduce stress.
Key Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements: Taking certain vitamins (C, E, B12, etc.) may help improve your fertility. The mechanism of action is believed to be as follows: The breakdown of oxygen as it passes through the cells in our body results in substances known as free radicals. Infertile men have a higher concentration of free radicals in their semen as compared to fertile men. Free radicals attack and destroy the membrane that surrounds sperm. Anti-oxidants fight against these bad effects. Therefore, Vitamins are natural anti-oxidants!
Vitamin C (500 mg/day). It helps to protect sperm against free radical damage. It also guards sperm from oxidative damage. Many studies show that supplement Vitamin C also improves the quality of sperm in smokers and reduces sperm agglutination (a condition when sperm stick together causing reduced fertility.).
Vitamin E (400 IUS/day). Vitamin E has an important function as an antioxidant. Therefore, Vitamin E supplements can decrease and mop up enough free radicals to prevent the damage to sperm cells.
Selenium (200 mcgs/day). A double-blind study shown that selenium supplement can significantly increase sperm motility.
Multivitamins containing zinc (20 mg). Zinc plays an important role for the male reproductive system. A lack of zinc can effect the normal sperm production. For men with low testosterone, zinc supplements may raise testosterone levels and increase sperm production.
Bottom Line: All of these recommendations may not have scientific merit but they certainly won’t hurt you or cause any deterioration of your sperm count.
Contact our office for more information.