Why is fertility a health issue men should worry about? Because you know, sex cells. All jokes aside, healthy sperm are the building blocks of life and doing anything you can to protect your swimmers will assist in a smoother journey towards fatherhood, if and when that time comes. Unfortunately there are many lifestyle factors that can negatively affect sperm health and even possibly lead to infertility.
Below we identify 3 simple lifestyle changes you can implement today to safeguard your sperm and increase your chances of a very fertile future.
Get Your Workout In
There has often thought to be a link between poor sperm health and obesity, however these links had been inconclusive. Until now. Thanks to advances in sperm analysis and new research cited in the First International Journal of Andrology, scientist have studied 1285 men to confirm these suspicions.
Obesity has now been linked to lower sperm volume, sperm mobility (asthenospermia), and sperm concentration (oligospermia – add those ones to your scrabble vocabulary).
To ward off these conditions, keep your weight in check. Improvements in sperm health are seen when as soon as BMI is lowered under 30, by no means an unachievable number. Keep moving and monitor your diet with these workout ideas.
In simple terms, sperm thrive in cool conditions. This is why our scrotum hangs outside our body, allowing for efficient cooling and air cooling of our swimmers away from the heated core of our bodies. It’s how we evolved and counteracting this proves damaging for our poor sperm.
Unfortunately, wearing tighty whities directly reverses this environment, pulling our testicles in closer to our body and restricting air flow, raising the temperature and putting our sperm in adverse conditions. 500 men were studied over a period of 12 months, with the official results finding those who wore boxers or slept naked had 25 per cent less sperm damage when compared with those who wore briefs full time.
“Among men in the general population attempting pregnancy, type of underwear worn during the day and to bed is associated with semen quality,” said lead researcher Katherine Sapra of the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. “Reducing exposure for bed decreases DNA fragmentation; better semen quality parameters are observed in men wearing boxers during the day and none to bed.”
Clock Up Your Zzz's
There is now scientifically proven ideal sleep duration for keeping your sperm healthy, according to a four-year sperm study out of China.
"This is new information after our pervious finding that sleep duration has an inverse U-shaped association with semen volume and total sperm count. In the previous study, we found that these two semen parameters were highest when sleep is 7.0 to 7.5 hours per day, and either longer or shorter sleep was associated with the decrease of the two semen parameters", said Dr. Jia Cao, co-author of the study.
Unfortunately there is a fairly narrow ideal “healthy sperm sleep” period, with both oversleeping and sleep deprivation having negative effects on the little guys. Sleep deprivation (six hours or less) can reduce your sperm count by 30 per cent. Meanwhile, oversleeping your alarm and cashing in over nine hours of sleep can decrease the count by over 40 per cent.