Specialist Q&A , Health & Wellness , Fertility & IVF , Sexual Health
Covid-19 is coming to a close and it’s time to start a new chapter in your life, hopefully with a child to complete the family. But if it’s not going as planned, the problem could be with us guys, as in male fertility being the issue. Here are some pointers that will hopefully make 2022 a much better year.
Tip 1: Keep 'Them' cool
Temperature is key to sperm production. Strangely, this piece of knowledge is one of the few that’s actually evidence-based. The male reproductive organs are located outside of the body for a reason: to keep them at temperatures lower than our normal body temperature.
These are simple, easy steps that will make a difference.
Tip 2: Have frequent sex, especially a couple of days before and after ovulation
Sperm stay alive for 48 hours in the body, hence if they are in the womb when your wife ovulates, the egg will be fertilized. So, in a woman with 28-day cycles, sex on days 10, 12, and 14 (or more often) will ensure the egg and sperm come in contact. Eggs are released on day 12 and will last for 72 hours.
Prolonged abstinence is not going to improve your chances and will probably result in lots of dead sperm post ejaculation.
Tip 3: You are what you eat
It makes sense to eat the right foods for improving the vitality of your sperm. Eating foods that contain antioxidants will reduce the amount of free radicals that damage your cells and will help maintain your hormone balance.
Here are some guidelines on what kinds of food to eat:
Tip 4: Cut down on that soy
Some Malaysians love soya bean milk, tofu, and soy pudding (tau fu fa). It’s a good source of protein, but it’s bad news for men. Why? Soy protein raises the body’s level of estrogen (the main female hormone) and this has a direct negative effect on testosterone levels. Testosterone is needed for sperm to be produced and for it to grow.
Tip 5: Stop smoking
Yup, this is the toughest thing for most people – quitting smoking. Studies have found that smoking has negative effects on sperm health, including decreased sperm counts, decreased sperm motility, and sperm shape. Need I say more?
Tip 6: Avoid toxic chemicals in the workplace
Sometimes it is your environment that is at fault for reducing your fertility. Toxic chemicals emanating from your workplace could be the problem. Protective gear is the way forward.
This problem is more prevalent among men who work as farmers, painters, metal workers, and varnishers who have a much higher chance of infertility compared to men who work in other professions. The cause could be from the chemicals found in paint, varnish, metalworking, and farming chemicals (pesticides, for example), which may damage the sperm.
Tip 7: Aim for a healthy weight
Fat in men converts testosterone into estrogen (the female hormone)! Several studies have noted that weight was associated with an increased estrogen level and decreased testosterone level. A hormonal balance upset also leads to lower sperm count.
Tip 8: Reduce the alcohol
Excessive alcohol can decrease your fertility. Moderate drinking is probably okay. However, if you're going through IVF treatment, stopping alcohol is good for you and your wife.
Research has shown that the more men drank, the lower their sperm count is. Alcohol has also been shown to negatively affect the shape of sperm and worsen their motility.
Tip 9: Treat any medical conditions
Certain medical conditions reduce your fertility, such as diabetes, infections of the reproductive system, thyroid disease, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, Cushing's syndrome, and anaemia. Some conditions affect fertility directly due to the hormonal effects on sperm production. Sexually-transmitted diseases or infections will block the tubes and stop the sperm from coming out.
Dr. Muhilan Parameswaran
MBBS (India), FAGE (Manipal), MRCS (Edin), M.S (Malaya). Board Certified Urologist (M'sia),
FRCS (Urology) (Glasgow), Fellow Laparoscopic Surgery (India), Fellowship in Urology (Austria)
Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara
TMC Fertility & Women’s Specialist Centre
For enquiries, please contact us at
Careline: +6019-311 2078 / +6018-211 1088
Landline: +603-6287 1999 / +603-8069 9333
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