Sperm Health


18 May
18May

You may not know or be aware of this unless you have recently decided to try for a baby or facing some form of fertility issue, but we are facing a very serious problem when it comes to reproductive health, not just in the UK but, globally.

Statistics and research have shown a 50% decline in healthy sperm production over the last forty years, and it’s not changing any time soon.

What Does That Mean?

Simply put, men today are producing half the amount of healthy sperm than their grandfathers did. A scary thought you might be thinking but, why is that?

Scientists have been undertaking research, and they have concluded that factors relating to environment, diet and lifestyle, all play a role in the decline of healthy sperm.

  • Smoking
  • Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC’s)
  • Exposure to plastics
  • Diet heavy in processed foods
  • Recreational drug use
  • Alcohol
  •  Over-use of Saunas, steam rooms, and hot baths
  • Tight underwear
  • Being overweight
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • STD’s
  • Lack of exercise
  • Undiagnosed infections

If you’re reading this you, may be thinking crikey that’s a pretty grim prognosis but, it’s not all bad. Sperm can renew itself and does so around every ninety days.

This is great news but, that does not mean you can relax and hope that the sperm will regenerate enough to produce a healthy amount to conceive, you can help it along by making choices and changes.

How Do You Do That?

Getting the right tests.

It is becoming more evident of late that there has been a lack of investigations when addressing male fertility issues, with the emphasis on tests and investigations that have predominantly centred around the woman.

However, male fertility has become a hot topic of discussion lately with Rhod Gilbert sharing his own fertility issues in a tv programme #standupinfertility and is the face of #HIMFertility. 

Usually, the first test men are provided with when they look into their fertility is the semen analysis test. This test measures the sperm count, quality, and health of the sperm. However, there is evidence now to suggest that this isn’t enough.

Booking an appointment with an andrologist (male reproductive health specialist) they will look into why there may be issues with the sperm, are there any infections or blockages such as varicoceles Varicocele | Health topics A to Z | CKS | NICE which is a bunch of varicose veins in the testes which can restrict healthy sperm production as well as the quality of which the standard semen analysis test does not detect



I recommend that all men trying to conceive should have a DNA fragmentation test @spermcomet can assess the DNA damage in every individual sperm. This is essential as sperm DNA damage has been linked to failed fertilisation, poor embryo development, implantation failure, and sadly even miscarriage.

If you have had or are considering having a semen analysis test, then I do recommend having the sperm comet test because both tests can provide you with a full and comprehensive understanding of your sperm health when trying for a baby.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes

Simple changes to your diet lifestyle can have positive outcomes concerning the health of your sperm.

  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Take a good multivitamin - Selenium, zinc, omega 3, Vit D are just a few to consider
  • Cut the carbs (white)
  • Avoid or reduce sugary snacks
  • Base your diet on a Mediterranean one of fish, lean meat, seeds, nuts, and lots of vegetables
  • Reduce the amount of plastic you use. There is strong evidence that shows the damage that chemicals used are having on the health of sperm - see link  on endocrine disruptors.
  • Don’t cook your balls, keep them cool. They're outside your body for reason. Reduce the use of hot baths, steam room, saunas, and hot tubs.
  • Reduce stress - see link below on how stress impacts male fertility.
  • Ditch the junk food.

LINKS BELOW TO REFERENCE PAPERS.

1.Endocrine disrupters, semen quality and anogenital distance - ScienceDirect

2.Lifestyle and fertility: the influence of stress and quality of life on male fertility (nih.gov)

3.Role of genetics and epigenetics in male infertility (wiley.com)

4.Oxidative stress and male infertility | Nature Reviews Urology 



Acupuncture and Sperm Health 

Combining acupuncture treatments with healthy lifestyle changes. Research has suggested that having regular acupuncture treatments may statistically improve the quality of sperm.

Stress levels can be high when trying to conceive and acupuncture can help to regulate hormone levels and keep them at the optimum level.

Having a good understanding of the relationship between the hypothalamus >pituitary & the adrenal axis, an acupuncturist can apply treatment that can encourage healthy and sufficient blood flow to the testes and reproductive organs so that there are no issues. For example, blood that cannot move and becomes stuck or slow can result in overheating in the scrotal area or the growth of varicoceles.

A recent evaluation has given a positive suggestion that acupuncture may help in the improvement of the morphology and motility of sperm. 

Association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and semen quality parameters in male partners of couples attempting fertility | Human Reproduction | Oxford Academic 

Quantitative evaluation of spermatozoa ultrastructure after acupuncture treatment for idiopathic male infertility - Fertility and Sterility (fertstert.org)


For more information or to book a consultation: 

☎️ 07825212463
Visit the website www.mcqueacupuncture.co.uk
Find us on Instagram www.instagram.com/mcqueacupuncture/

Click the link below for the male fertility information sheet.



References

Acupuncture for IVF and assisted  reproduction.

by Irina Szmelskyj & Lianne Aquilina.

Countdown by Shanna H. Swan, PhD et,al.

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