By Nikki Warren
There have been a number of news reports in recent months reporting concerns regarding low sperm counts and infertility in many countries around the world. Low sperm count has been attributed to lifestyle factors such as smoking, excessive drinking, insufficient exercise, obesity and a poor diet. Dr Shanna Swan, a Professor in Environmental Medicine and Public Health, says the sperm count of Western men has plunged by over 50 per cent in less than 40 years. She said in her new book Countdown, “at this rate sperm count is set to reach zero in 2045 – meaning that most couples may have to use assisted reproduction”.
It is essential that both partners follow a preconception care plan for four months prior to conception. The first month is spent detoxing; the next three months are when the sperm and egg are developing.
They are vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies, toxicity and radiation during this time so it is vital to boost nutrient stores during these three months.
Eat Organic Food
Toxins are stored in fat in humans and in animals therefore it is prudent to switch to organic meat, eggs and dairy products. It is also important to avoid pesticides as they are known to affect hormone balance and sperm quality. You could grow your own vegetables to avoid these sprays or purchase organic fruit and veg.
Get A Water Filter
An under-bench water filter is available from Bunnings. Avoid buying water in plastic bottles and opt for glass bottled water instead.
Tap water can contain metals such as copper and plastic contains xenoestrogens which can affect your sperm quality.
Choose food contained in glass bottles and jars rather than plastic (e.g. sauces, mayonnaise, beetroot). Plastic can leach xenoestrogens (foreign oestrogens) into the food and can affect hormone balance and sperm quality.
Too much caffeine can affect your fertility and sperm quality. Try switching from coffee to tea and drink up to two cups only per day.
Excessive alcohol intake lowers sperm count and quality and impairs your fertility. Your partner is going to have to give up during pregnancy so giving up with her is the biggest support you can provide to ensure a healthy conception and pregnancy. If you are currently a heavy drinker, you might find it helpful to reduce the amount you drink to no more than two drinks, no more than twice a week. Then keep reducing the amount every couple of weeks until you’re only having an occasional drink.
Exercise is linked to sperm quality and it also helps you to reduce stress. Plus the fitter you are, the more stamina you will have when it comes to making babies!
Don’t wear tight underwear and avoid hot spas and showers
Heat kills sperm so wear boxer shorts instead of snug fitting briefs and avoid hot baths, spas and saunas.
Taking a multivitamin tailored for preconception can help boost nutrient stores and may also improve your chance of a successful conception. Certain nutrients assist sperm count, motility and quality including lycopene, CoQ10, vitamins A, C, E and B12, zinc and selenium.
If you have low testosterone, a low libido or any other health issues, it may be worth visiting a qualified medical herbalist.
Herbal medicine is fantastic at getting to the root cause of your issue and may boost fertility by boosting testosterone and improving sperm morphology.
NaturoBest, a prenatal and preconception vitamin range created by fertility naturopath Nikki Warren, releases a new vegan friendly Preconception Multi for Men. Preconception Multi for Men is a comprehensive multivitamin, multimineral and antioxidant, designed to support sperm motility and sperm count. This premium formulation includes lycopene, CoQ10, zinc, selenium, vitamins A, C, E and B12 to help support sperm health and testosterone levels while promoting a healthy conception.