June is an important month on a man’s calendar because it signals three key things:
OK, so most of you didn’t know about that third item…and no, we didn’t make it up! Men’s Health Month has been around since 1994 and was established to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems for guys and encourage men to seek regular medical advice.
According to the CDC, guys are half as likely as women to go to the doctor over a two-year period and three times as likely to admit not having gone in five years. When it comes to reproductive health, guys are no better: 80 percent of men in infertile couples won’t receive a fertility evaluation despite the fact that men contribute to 50 percent of infertility problems.
That’s right guys, if you’re partner is having trouble getting pregnant it very well could be a problem with your sperm.
Chances are, if you avoid going to a doctor for a regular check-up, you sure as heck don’t want to go to provide a sperm sample. We get it. So as a first step, you can find out your sperm count at home with SpermCheck, a home male fertility test.
Are your swimmer numbers a little low? Here’s how to make your sperm stronger for pregnancy.
ALTER YOUR DIET
It all starts with what you eat. You may not want to hear this as summer is the time to gorge on food and guzzle alcohol, but everything you ingest impacts your fertility.
The shape of your sperm (called morphology) impacts their ability to reach and fertilize the female egg. About 90 percent of the average guy’s sperm are deformed, which is usually caused by free radicals. Diets high in fat can increase the risk of free radical damage.
Aim to consume foods high in antioxidants such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which combat free radicals and improve sperm quality and quantity. Folic acid also improves the health of sperm and can be found in multivitamins, beans, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and cereals.
BREAK A SWEAT
Food is the foundation of health, but you also need to get moving. Regular exercise boosts men’s sperm count. According to Harvard research, men who worked out the most had a 33 percent higher sperm count than those who exercised the least, and guys who exercise seven hours a week have a 48 percent higher sperm count than guys who work out less than an hour a week.
Summer is the perfect time to get outside and get moving. The combination of outdoor activity and vitamin D you get from sunlight can provide even a greater boost to your sperm count.
GET MORE SLEEP
We get it, you’re busy. You work a 60-hour week, coach Little League, and have a Netflix watch list waiting for you. But you need more sleep. Not only does it boost your overall health, increase your productivity, and improve your mood, it also increases testosterone levels and sperm count.
Research found that men who reported the most sleep disturbances had a 29% lower concentration of sperm in their semen and a higher likelihood of having deformed sperm than guys who had better rest.
While stress is known to exacerbate fertility issues in women, it also impacts male factor infertility.
Severe or prolonged emotional stress can interfere with hormones needed to produce sperm. According to studies, men dealing with psychological stress tend to have lower sperm quality. Many times, dealing with infertility can cause stress in both partners, which is why couples should seek healthy ways to deal with infertility.
The health of your sperm is crucial to getting your wife pregnant. Men’s Health Month is the perfect time to find out your fertility status and make changes that can boost your sperm health and production.