Even if your husband’s sample doesn’t look good, take heart; there are still a few things he may do to improve his sperm count. Many habits can affect sperm production significantly; consider these changes in lifestyle to improve your chance:
• Stop smoking: Cigarette smoking may increase the number of defective sperm, decrease the overall sperm count, and some researches suggest that smokers are more likely to suffer impotence (unable to sufficiently sustain an erection) than non-smokers.
• Stop using marijuana: It may reduce the seminal fluid production, and consequently lower sperm production.
• Limit alcohol intake: Alcohol, in huge quantities, may cause sperms to have odd shape, lead to impotence and change male hormones.
• Stop using anabolic steroids: It suppresses testosterone and shrinks male’s testicles, possibly can cause impotence, and significantly lower the sperm count, or in some cases stop the production completely.
• Don’t use bike too much: It could be a good way to stay in shape and burn calories. However, researches have shown that bicyclists are more likely to suffer fertility issues due to prolonged pressure on the testes.
• Avoid chemical exposure: Dangerous chemicals such as pesticides and other chemical compounds may affect sperm count.
• Stop using cocaine: It decreases sperm counts, cause odd-looking sperm and if a defective sperm fertilize the egg; it can lead to abnormal fetus development.
• Use notebooks properly: Yes, notebooks can actually affect male fertility! This can happen if you put it on your lap; continuous heat exposure produced by the notebook can overheat your testicles. Some notebooks have gotten hot enough, some even catch on fire! So put something (wool sweater or jackets, for example) that doesn’t conduct heat easily under the notebook, or better yet – put it on the table.
• Be careful with hypertension and depression drugs: Many prescription drugs for hypertension and depression can affect male’s fertility; if you are suffering impotence or low sperm count, make sure to discuss any prescription drugs you’re taking with the doctor.
• Reduce weight: According to some studies, as with women, obese men have lower fertility. If you’re obese, reducing your weight may help increase sperm production.
The Effect of Age
For decades, it’s been thought to be unfair that men to have stable fertility throughout their lives. While new fathers in their 70s still make the news now and again, studies have found that age can still affect male fertility.
Some researches suggest that older men have fewer mature sperm. Undeveloped sperm moves slowly and lacks the stamina to reach the egg. Lower testosterone production in elderly may lead to a weaker ejaculation or even erectile dysfunction.
A recent study indicated a link between older fathers and the risk of autism in their children; similar researches have shown that these children are more likely to have schizophrenia later. A Canadian study revealed DNA abnormalities found in sperm of those above 45 – as a matter of fact, men over 45 have twice the number of defective sperm found in 30 years old men.
Of course, it is impossible to reverse your age, so if you’re trying to have another child after 40, your best bet is to maintain a healthy habit while making sure that you can produce the best sperm possible.
They are abnormal spermatic vein dilation. Varicoceles are very common as fifteen percent of males have them. They are 90 percent more likely to happen on left testicle. Their effect on male fertility is still controversial. However, some scientists feel that they have significant impact on male infertility.
Varicoceles can decrease fertility by:
• Increasing temperature in the testicles
• Stagnating of blood flow around the testes
• Altering hormone functions
• Lowering sperm production
There are two ways to cure varicoceles:
• Surgery: Performed as a limited surgery. The offending vein is tied off through a small incision above the groin. Recovery time is about 10 days and heavy lifting is prohibited for about a month. Surgical risks include nerve injury, infection, and fluid accumulation around the testes.
• Radiographic embolization: Another light procedure; which allow for immediate recovery. A small catheter is inserted through the femoral vein; the problem area can be discovered after the dye is injected, the offending vein is occluded (blocked), to prevent blood flow.
Previously, varicoceles treatment was quite common; however, some argued that the treatment may not be too useful, as it brings limited improvement in fertility. Only obvious and very large varicoceles are repaired today. It may take up to four months before a positive effect is noticeable.
Dealing With Two Syndromes
Kallman’s syndrome and Kleinfelter’s syndrome are conditions that can affect male fertility. Kallman’s syndrome is somewhat rare but could be caused by genetic factors. Symptoms are delayed puberty, loss of smell, red-green dichromacy, osteoporosis, and possibly urogenital abnormalities and cleft palate. Blood tests indicate low testosterone levels and high FSH and LH levels. It is treated by adding testosterone and FSH or HCG. Since it affects the pituitary gland and brain, and not the testes, fertility is likely after hormone replacement therapy. Kleinfelter’s syndrome is found on 0.2 to 0.1 percent males. Its symptoms are decreased body and facial hair, delayed puberty, long legs and small firm testes. Blood tests indicate an increase in FSH and LH levels and lower serum testosterone levels, while chromosome tests often indicate an XXY karyotype. It can be treated with testosterone injections. Fertility can be impossible, however successful pregnancy is found to be possible with testicular sperm extraction.