In the United States, approximately 9% of men who are of reproductive age suffer from fertility problems. Infertility is a result of various factors such as genetics, age, nutrition, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices.
Most of the discussion around male infertility revolve around nutritional deficiencies as well as medical conditions that cause impaired fertility. However, there are also day-to-day factors that can gradually reduce your fertility.
Take a look at these 5 infertility factors and their adverse effects on your reproductive health.
Vitamin D Deficiency
In recent years, vitamin D has emerged as one of the nutrients that play an important role in male fertility. The sad thing is that many are still at risk of being vitamin D deficient, despite the fact that our bodies can naturally synthesize vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency can have adverse effects on the fertility of both men and women. Men who are low on vitamin D may have impaired sperm function, whereas women who lack vitamin D often experience ovulation problems and miscarriages.
Men with vitamin D deficiency are also at risk of developing testosterone deficiency. Experimental studies indicate that vitamin D plays a role in the modulation of hormone production. In addition, vitamin D has been shown to be strongly linked to sperm motility, with direct actions on sperm cells.
Working in a Hot Environment
Chefs and those who work near hot ovens and other hot machinery may also be at risk of becoming infertile. When you work in a hot environment, like being near hot ovens all day, your testicles get exposed to higher temperatures. High temperatures have adverse effects on the testicles.
When testicular temperatures are higher than normal, sperm quality declines. Optimal sperm production occurs when the scrotal temperature is around 2 degrees lower than the body temperature.
Your scrotum helps to keep the temperature optimal for your testicles either by contracting to keep your testicles closer to your body or by expanding to let your testicles pull away from your body.
Men who work in hot environments tend to have high numbers of sperm with abnormal morphology and reduced fertility. Sperm motility may also be negatively affected. Previous studies have shown that men who work as welders, foundry workers, and bakers are often exposed to elevated scrotal temperatures which result in impaired spermatogenesis.
Constant Laptop Use
Laptops are called such because you’re supposed to be able to work while your laptop is perched on your lap. Unfortunately, if you work like this for several hours a day, the heat emitted by the laptop can actually increase your scrotal temperature.
Just like how truck drivers and chefs suffer from impaired fertility because of their working environment, your fertility may also decline if you constantly work with your laptop balanced on your lap.
Even if it’s just for an hour, the heat emitted by your laptop can actually increase your scrotal temperature by almost 3 degrees Celsius or around 5 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s more than enough to negatively affect your sperm health.
In several studies, intensive cycling training for a prolonged period of time has been shown to negatively affect sperm quality.
A 2015 study, for instance, showed that even healthy men who engage in low to intensive cycling training for 16 weeks can experience a significant reduction in their sperm parameters. In fact, the study showed that even after a 30-day recovery period, the participants’ sperm morphology, sperm count, and sperm concentration remained low.
Another study showed that intensive cycling training when lasting for 16 weeks or more, can greatly increase seminal reactive oxygen species concentrations. This means that the men who engaged in intensive cycling training get exposed to higher levels of seminal oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is actually considered one of the main contributing factors to male infertility. That’s because oxidative stress causes a lot of damage to the testicular cells that produce testosterone and sperm, as well as on the sperm cells. As a result, sperm motility is affected and the number of sperm with abnormal morphology and DNA damage increase.
When You’re Sedentary at Work
Working in an office or anywhere where you’re sedentary and tied to a workstation can actually increase your risks of becoming infertile. The key is to exercise or at least move around regularly so that you can get rid of toxins that are not effectively processed by your body when you remain sedentary.
In addition, when you stay seated for long hours, your scrotum becomes less efficient in cooling your testicles. And if you’re wearing tight trousers or underwear, that’s even worse because it prevents air from circulating around your scrotum. This also contributes to high scrotal temperatures and impaired sperm production.
Furthermore, when the testicles are exposed to higher temperatures, more reactive oxygen species are produced. These reactive oxygen species, just like free radicals, bind to molecules in your testicular cells and your sperm, causing oxidative stress. As mentioned earlier, oxidative stress can negatively affect your sperm quality.
Boosting Your Fertility Naturally
For men who are faced with fertility problems, there are a variety of ways to increase one’s fertility through natural means. Lifestyle and dietary changes can help a lot. The same goes for natural supplements that boost fertility.
This is made with herbal ingredients that have been proven to improve sperm quantity and quality. For instance, it contains Tribulus terrestris, which has been repeatedly shown to increase sperm motility. Tribulus terrestris also has antioxidant actions which can help you combat oxidative stress.
These supplements also contain Tongkat Ali, another herb that has also been shown to boost sperm quality. Tongkat Ali helps promote spermatogenesis and increase sperm motility. Maca, another herbal ingredient contained in these, also has pro-fertility effects. Maca can help increase your sperm count, sperm concentration, and semen volume.
What’s really amazing about it is that not only does it boost your fertility, but it also improves your sexual performance by enhancing your erectile function and increasing your libido. In fact, it is highly beneficial to men who are suffering from reduced libido and erectile dysfunction caused by aging and low testosterone.