What is Infertility in Men?
Infertility may be a very serious cause of concern if you are trying to conceive but see no results. Infertility in men refers to the inability to get your partner to conceive, and this happens when the sperm count, sperm vitality, and motility falls very low.
Normal Sperm Count Range
Anything below 15 million sperms per milliliter of semen is considered to be a low sperm count. Often people spend lakhs of rupees trying to correct this, but do not realize that just a few simple lifestyle changes could save them these lakhs of rupees and a countless number of trips to the hospital.
Do you know the first place you need to look at when you start making these lifestyle changes? It’s in the kitchen. Yes, you read it right.
It could be highly possible that you have been eating your way to infertility. We have put together a list of the foods that could be a reason for your infertility. Once you identify them, it is to better to substitute them with foods that are, in fact, good for sperm health. You of course understand that this a lifestyle change and not just a one-day per a one-week change.
Foods that Affect Fertility and Sperm Health
1. Fried Food AKA Junk Food
Fried foods contain high amounts of trans fats. Research shows that trans fats affect the levels of testosterone in the body, change the sperm morphology, and affect sperm vitality as well as motility, over time.
Trans fats also increase the chances of heart attacks and blockages in the arteries, when consumed routinely. Apart from disturbing the concentration of sperm, trans fats can also cause erectile dysfunction by reducing the blood flow to the reproductive organs.
Consuming large amounts of fried food also leads to obesity that again leads to a drop in testosterone levels in the body and an increase in estrogen. All of them are directly related to infertility. So, if you love your French fries but also want to have a baby, it may be time to ditch your fries!
2. Processed Meats
You should not be surprised at the mention of this because we are all aware that processed meats are “processed” and come loaded with synthetic preservatives. They include hot dogs, sausages, salamis, and even your beloved bacon.
Research conducted by Harvard School of Public Health showed that men who routinely consumed one to three servings of processed meat per day had worse quality of sperm as compared to men who had fewer servings.
3. High-Fat Dairy Products
While milk is good for your skin, bones and overall health, it might not be as great as expected for your sperm health. Some studies have shown high-fat dairy products lead to reduced sperm motility and abnormal sperm shape. One such study showed that high-fat dairy products led to reduced sperm morphology in men with at least one reproductive disorder. These fatty dairy products include cheese, whole milk, cream, and oh yes, processed cheese just like processed meats.
4. Soy Products
This one could be a bit surprising because soy is generally considered very healthy and is recommended, especially while losing weight or building muscles. However, one study showed that men who consumed two servings of soy or soy products like tofu twice a day showed 41 million lesser sperm per milliliter than those men who had never consumed tofu.
However, if, along with consuming soy products, you suffer from obesity, the repercussions could be much more intense. However, if soya is one of your primary sources of protein, you could probably lower the consumption and substitute it with other healthier options.
5. Bisphenols and Chemicals
Now you would say, who eats chemicals? Well, all of us do. Most of our foods these days have traces of pesticides in them or are subjected to chemical treatments, so they look juicier or more colorful.
Bisphenols, on the other hand (a.k.a BPA), is a type of industrial chemical that is used to make plastics that, in turn, get used in making plastic containers, pet bottles, pouches, etc.
When we store our food in these containers, the BPA seeps into the food and contaminates them. While there are other effects of such toxic elements entering our food, there are also proven results that bisphenols are a threat to male reproductive health.
This one had to be on this list, didn’t it? While you drink alcohol and do not “eat” it as our list suggests, it still forms a part of our diet if consumed regularly. A drink or two occasionally is fine, but a glass of wine or a mug of beer every day with dinner might lead to a filling dinner but eventually an unsatisfactory sex life.
Alcohol has been said to affect the testosterone levels in the body, cause erectile dysfunction while also reducing the sperm count. Also, even though alcohol might help you set the mood or loosen up a bit, having too much of it might lead to conditions like the infamous “whiskey penis” where you might not be able to indulge in the activity at all.
Now that you know which foods could be the ones taking you to the doctor’s clinic, what you could do is substitute them with foods that are good for your sperm health. Believe us, there are many.
Simple Tips for Improving Sperm Health
Instead of having processed meats you could switch to having fish or farm-grown chicken for that matter. Instead of soy, you could have nuts and seeds. You could replace alcohol with fresh fruit juices and opt for low-fat dairy products. It’s just about making the right choices.
Once you’ve had a look at your pantry, you can start making other changes like staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water every single day. If you find yourself on the heavier side of the weighing scale, it could also be time to start moving around and inculcating at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
So dear men, no process works in isolation, and it is important to note that some changes might take some time. Like everything else, be consistent and make lifestyle changes and not some minor changes to just have a baby. It will take you a long way on your journey to better health.
Be Aware, Be Healthy and Happy.