Can’t Get Your Wife Pregnant? Consider These Things Before Visiting The Fertility Doc!

Welcome to the second installment of Life As Medicine: Movember Style! Today I will discuss an issue which is very common in our culture – Infertility. Typically, in situations where there is trouble conceiving, it is the woman who will often take primary initiative to investigate her contribution and ability to achieve pregnancy. This may be through diet and lifestyle changes or seeking help from a professional (perhaps alternative, perhaps an MD)

This step is so important when faced with difficulties conceiving, but it is also important to look at the man’s contribution. Here are a few relatively simple questions to ask yourself before seeking invasive testing and expensive fertility treatments.

Temperature: Are You Giving The Boys The Right Environment to Produce Quality Sperm?

The testes are housed in an ever changing sack, outside of the body, for a reason. They require a very specific temperature in order to produce ideal and healthy sperm. There is a reason why you shrivel when you’re cold. Your little swimmers need to be kept in the right environmental temperature, so cold = retreat inside the body! Consider the way you clothe your testicles day after day. Are your underwear or pants too tight? If you’re a fan of the tightie-whities, why not try boxers for a few months? Into tight hipster jeans? Try a different style so you can give your boys a little room to expand and contract in order to keep the sperm in a comfy temp. Hanging in the hot tub often? Maybe not such a good idea…

Estrogen: Excess estrogen in the male body will cause hormone imbalance and sometimes infertility. Estrogen sources are everywhere in our culture. From the plastic tupperware you carry your lunch in (plastics contain chemical compounds that mimic estrogenic actions in the body), to the soy latte you drink every morning (soy is a phytoestrogen). One of the biggest: dairy products. If you’re in the habit of drinking many glasses of cow’s milk every day, consider cutting back. Dairy comes from pregnant cows = a great source of estrogen. I’m not suggesting you give up the cream in your coffee, just be moderate.

Mechanics: If you live and work in downtown Toronto, chances are, you are a commuting cyclist. This is great for the environment, but not-so-good for blood flow to your bits. When circulation is interrupted for your 90 minutes of commuting everyday, sperm quality and production can be affected. Consider purchasing a bike seat that gives your boys some room to breathe.

Do you participate in athletic endeavours that involve a lot of bouncing? Try some supportive undies when you’re jumping on the trampoline!

Nutrition: It is important to eat a clean diet of only whole foods to prevent a wide array of conditions and avoid systemic inflammation. This will also ensure that you receive all of the vitamins and minerals you need for proper production of hormones and sperm. The big one for men: Zinc. Just remember “Zink for the dink”. You can make improvements to diet, try a supplement or eat specific foods. Oysters and pumpkin seeds are especially rich in zinc. No wonder oysters are considered an aphrodisiac!

Male reproductive pathology is rarely hormonally based. It usually requires a few lifestyle and diet adjustments and presto! If it is hormonal in nature, however, there are herbal remedies which can be very effective in treating hormonal imbalances.

Herbal help: Herbs such as Saw Palmetto and Puncture Vine may be helpful as well. You should, however, consult with a qualified Herbalist or Naturopathic Doctor before trying herbal remedies, as they might not be right for your body.

 

 

Michelle Kapler
Michelle Kapler
When I’m not working, you can find me knitting socks, writing for my blog, eating oysters that my husband has lovingly shucked, creating and co-creating meals for loved ones or hanging out with my Herbal Medicine Textbooks and and a very specifically pulled espresso.
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