Male Fertility: Top 10 Things to Do Now!
From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO...
Male infertility affects one in twenty men, contributing to half of all infertility issues. The following is a summary of recommendations based on recent research and findings. The general goal of these recommendations is to increase circulating levels of antioxidants and reduce free radical stress. Infertile men have been found to have a higher concentration of free radicals in their semen as compared to fertile men. High levels of free radicals within semen have been shown to cause damage to the sperm membrane and DNA. Studies suggest that 30–80% of infertile men have oxidative stress-related infertility.
1. Seek medical advice early in the process to rule out infections, varicoceles, blocked ejaculatory ducts, thyroid disorders, celiac disease, or other known causes of male infertility
2. Avoid excessive heat especially near the scrotal area including waterbeds, heating pads/blankets, saunas, hot tubs, using laptop computers (on the lap), or wearing tight clothing (biking shorts, jock straps, etc...) that will result in a temperature increase
3. Do Not Smoke. Smoking and exposure to environmental pollutants are linked with excess free radical production, which in turn damages sperm DNA. Smoking has also been shown to decrease sperm motility, sperm morphology, and cause erectile dysfunction.
4. Do not use marijuana, steroids, performance enhancing drugs, or other recreational drugs. Marijuana stays in the testes for up to two weeks meaning that habitual use can affect sperm function.
5. Limit caffeine and alcohol to moderate intake levels. Excessive caffeine and alcohol intake is linked with poor fertility. The general consensus is that 300 mg or 2-3 5 oz. cups of coffee and no more than 2 glasses of alcohol per day for men are considered a moderate levels of intake.
6. Maintain a healthy weight and check your BMI. Overweight men are 50% more likely to have fertility problems as well as having lower testosterone levels and lower sperm motility.
7. Exercise regularly and moderately: 30-minutes, 5 times/week. Consider increasing your activity level if you are inactive. Similarly, consider cutting back on your training regimen if you are training for a marathon, triathlon, or other long-distance sport.
8. Improve your nutrition status by improving your diet in the following three categories. Fats: Reduce your saturated fat intake and increase your omega-3 fatty acid consumption. Proteins: Reduce animal protein sources, and increase vegetable protein sources. Carbohydrates: Decrease “white” foods such as bread, pasta, rice, bagels etc..., and increase your foods of color (red peppers, carrots, squash, kale, blueberries, grapes).
9. Take a Multivitamin: Antioxidants help reduce the effects of free radicals. Eat antioxidant rich foods and take a multivitamin to help counter the effects of free radicals.
10. According to a recent research study, a multivitamin containing the following ingredients had benefits for sperm counts all across the board. Check to see if your multivitamin contains the following ingredients/dosages and supplement accordingly:
Lycopene 6 mg
Vitamin E 400 IU
Vitamin C 100 mg
Zinc 25 mg
Selenium 26 μgm
Folate 0.5 mg
Garlic 1000 mg
Want to learn more about acupuncture for male fertility this year? Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit your health. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO
Jessica L. Molleur is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She first became interested in acupuncture as a soccer player searching for an alternative to knee surgery and discovered the many benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Jessica is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine and Chinese Herbology through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). She is also a Diplomate of Acupuncture Orthopedics, a specialty certification held by fewer than 500 acupuncturists in the United States.
Jessica currently maintains a private acupuncture practice in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, which was awarded Best Acupuncture Center by Boston Magazine. Areas of specialty include women's health, pregnancy, infertility, pediatrics, and sports medicine. If you are interested in learning about the benefits of acupuncture for fertility and IVF, please visit the acupuncture + fertility page. New patients can book online to schedule any acupuncture service including a complimentary consult. Jessica also serves as a health care consultant for a number of integrative medical institutes. Her clients include IVF and infertility centers, functional medicine offices, orthopedic facilities, concierge practices, and green spas. Please contact OMBE for more information about these services.
Prior to her consulting work, Jessica founded an integrative health center in Boston. The eco-friendly center was one of the first twenty-five companies certified as a Sustainable Business Leader in Boston. During its ten-year tenure, the center provided services including acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, naturopathy, nutritional counseling, personal training, Pilates, and yoga. Studio offerings included mom and baby programming, Mongan Method Hypnobirthing, natural childbirth education and the Holistic Moms Network. The center was the recipient of several awards, including Mayor Menino's Green Business Award, a multiple recipient of Boston Business Journal's Best Workplace, Boston Magazine's Best of Boston Award for Massage Therapy as well as Best Eco-Friendly Massage, Eco-Beauty Bar, Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Pilates, and Workout.