In my last post, I talk about a female’s body fat and how it affects fertility.
But this is not only a female issue. About 35% fertility issues are the fault of BOTH genders, with about 8% being only the man’s issue.
Women are under so much pressure, so can we share that pressure please?.
Obesity in men which usually translates to higher BMI means lower testosterone, poor sperm and semen quality, reduction in semen motility (how fast it moves), low sperm count (or no viable sperm) and erectile dysfunction, with everything getting worse as BMI increases.
Excess fat tissues, especially around the belly which usually is the case with men, actually convert the male hormone testosterone to the female hormone estrogen and that is SCARY. Meaning too much fat suppresses the male fertility hormone.
BMI aside, abdominal fat, usually indicated by waist circumference, is an even higher indicator of metabolic risk. Waist circumference, measured with a tape rule, is one of the strongest predictor of testosterone deficiency. Any figure greater that 40inches is more likely to have erectile dysfunction, with risk increasing as waist circumference increases.
This is the point where the men reading this stop, pull out a tape rule and like a tailor, measures his waist circumference. Is your body fat compromising your fertility and health in general?
And there are several experiments carried out on sub-fertile couples to support these facts. One of such experiments showed that in addition to conception, men are seen to also be implicated in IVF failure and miscarriage, but as body weight and fat was reduced, and lifestyle modification occurred, metabolic risk reduced and all their spouses got pregnant and carried to term.
Another research showed that overweight men are 11% more likely to have low sperm count, and 39% more likely to have no sperm in their ejaculate.
Obese men however were 42% more likely to have a low sperm count and 81% more likely to produce no sperm at all that men within their normal body weight and fat.
Talk about shooting blanks!!!
Oh and just to add, muscle builders need not bother about using BMI as an indicator as it is usually high for them, as expected. Muscles after all are heavy so we can use the waist circumference, and for a body builder, it is most likely to be at a healthy weight anyways.
Even for men as in with women, there is essential body fat needed to maintain normal life and organ function in the body. A woman needs more because of child bearing demands and other hormonal functions as stated in the women fertility post before this one. 3 to 5% essential body fat is needed in men while at least 18% is needed in women.
Alcohol is another factor causing low sperm count. It affects fertility by altering sperm count, motility (rate of movement), size and shape.
Heavy drinking can lead to low testosterone and a reduction in sperm production. How do you know you are drinking a lot? Experts give a rough guide as having 5 or more drinks in 2 hours, but why test the limits especially if there is delay in conception?
Alcohol can also shrink the testis and cause impotence, infertility, and early or decreased ejaculation especially when combined with drugs like marijuana or other opioids. Fertility aside, liver disease can also occur as a result of too much drinking.
Even female fertility is affected by too much alcohol as it can interrupt menstrual cycle and ovulation, then change hormonal levels needed for conception. So if you are trying to conceive, maybe put down the bottle?.
Good news is that the effects of alcohol on fertility have been shown to be reversible, so when alcohol is stopped, within about 8months, things usually get back to normal in the male’s body.
The message here is clearly that men too must aim for a healthy body weight, body fat, waist circumference, and the optimal BMI.
So how do we now boost fertility even in men?
Please consume more fruits and veggies both to nourish better and control weight gain. All this heavy meals three times a day heavily impact on visceral fat (that is around the abdomen). Also having more seafood and healthy grains definitely help, so yes to snail, prawns, brown rice, wheat and more.
Exercising regularly also helps to boost testosterone levels. This is very important so men please work out on a regular, and do the heavy lifting too. Did I hear you say gym?.
Managing your stress levels is also advised as this helps to keep cortisol levels low (studies show that stress degrades sperm quality. Cortisol is the stress hormone). Learn to cast your cares on Jesus.
Good sleep. WebMD has this article on how sleep (too much or too little) can affect fertility as testosterone reproduction mostly occurs when we sleep. It recommends 7 to 8 hours of sleep
Going for regular checkups is also important for men as men are usually not the keenest at seeing a doctor unlike women, and so may not spot a small danger until it becomes major.
Finally, you should talk to a doctor for vitamins and supplements as most times we don’t get the optimal amounts in foods, fruits and vegetables especially because of how they were grown (fertilizers and all), so supplementing definitely helps, and this for men and women.
So I hope both articles have shown us how best to prepare our bodies for conception both as males and females.
Above all, like I mentioned in the female article,https://coache.ng/2019/09/26/body-fat-and-baby-fat-does-a-womans-body-weight-matter-for-fertility/ after doing all we know to do, we should put our trust, faith and hope in Jesus.
While we do what we must do, we then let Him do what He alone can do.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.