If you are male and concerned about your fertility, there are things you can proactively do to mitigate the issue. Male fertility isn’t like a switch that is either turned on or off, rather it’s a continuum that spans between extremes. Therefore, fertility can be higher or lower at given times depending on your behavior and environment. That’s good news because it means you have some control over your fertility.
Avoid hot environments
For men, one of the simplest ways to boost fertility is by avoiding certain hot environments. Hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, and even biking in tight-knit clothing should be avoided if you are trying to conceive. Exposure to intense heat takes a toll on sperm quantity and quality, but this can easily be reversed by avoiding very hot environments.
Focus on diet and exercise
Diet and exercise are both important for boosting fertility. These factors influence your body mass index, or BMI, as well as the availability of key nutrients needed. Keeping your BMI between 20 and 25 is ideal for fertility, with BMIs far above (30) and far below (18.5) corresponding to sub-par fertility. If you know you are overweight or obese, changing your diet and increasing your exercise can help you lose weight and simultaneously boost your fertility.
In terms of diet, focusing on whole foods that are closest to their form found in nature is best. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, seeds, and poultry are all staples of a healthy diet. If you don’t eat fish regularly, taking an omega-3 supplement will help fill that deficit.
Moderating stress is another way to boost your fertility. Stress impacts your body’s hormones, and this plays a role in sleep quality and weight as well. Therefore, if you identify how you can reduce stress in your life or incorporate stress-handling mechanisms, your overall health as well as your fertility will improve. Adding in short walks throughout your day, a few minutes of deep breathing, or mindful meditation can help diffuse stress at various points in the day so that it doesn’t continue to build.
Limit toxin exposure
Removing environmental toxins that have been proven to interfere with the male reproductive system will also boost your fertility. These toxins can come from plastics, flame retardants, and even personal care products, so most households do have exposure. The key chemicals to avoid include phthalates, BPA, pesticides, parabens, and antibiotics. Although it can be difficult to avoid these common chemicals, it’s not impossible.
Buying organic fruits and vegetables will cut down on pesticide exposure. Buying organic meat raised without antibiotics or hormones will cut down on several chemicals that impact male fertility. Choosing fresh foods over canned or packaged foods will reduce exposure to BPA and phthalates. Filtering your drinking water will reduce exposure to heavy metals, agricultural runoff chemicals, and pharmaceuticals in the water supply. Storing your food and leftovers in stainless steel or glass instead of plastic will reduce exposure to BPA and phthalates. Cleaning with basics such as baking soda and vinegar instead of harsh oven cleaners and potent chemicals will reduce your exposure to many harmful chemicals. Investing in personal care products such as shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, and soap that are free from parabens, sulfates, and phthalates as well as fragrances, perfumes, antibiotics, and BPA will reduce your exposure and boost your fertility.
All of these small things add up when it comes to fertility. More men are suffering from low fertility now than ever before. Researcher Shanna Swan reported that sperm levels among men in Western countries have dropped 50% over the last 40 years. This astonishing statistic is likely a result of chemical exposure and obesity. The good news is that these factors can be controlled.