Know the Facts
Did you know, males are solely responsible for 20-30% of infertility and 50% of combined (male and female) cases.Male infertility is a condition that lowers the chances of a man to get a fertile woman pregnant.
The phrase Survival of the fittest is apt for a sperm.
Power of the Motile Sperm
What is a motile sperm? Are all the ejaculated sperms motile?
Sperms are produced in Testes, a key male reproductive organ for sperm production. A healthy male can release between 40 million to 1.2 billion sperms in a single ejaculation; however, it takes only one sperm to fertilise an egg. For that one sperm to reach the fallopian tube where the egg released from the ovary resides, it has to have one key characteristic—Motility.
Sperm Motility refers to the ability of the sperm to move efficiently.
More active and motile the sperm is, more chances are of a successful conception.
Survival of the Motile Sperm
Out of the millions of sperms that releases during ejaculation, not all are active and motile. Only about 15% of the sperms ejaculated have ideal characteristics. Sperm do not move in a specific direction, hence some get lost on the way in the female reproductive tract, therefore only a few thousands can make it to the fallopian tube. Only the sperms that have an ideal motility and structure can reach the egg so as to fertilise it.
The egg is alive for 24hours and is best fertilized in the first 12 hours after being released from the ovary. Hence, the volume, movement, and structure of the sperms are key characteristics of a sperm.
What are the Lifestyle Factors That Affect Sperm Production?
Lifestyle is the most underrated factor considered for male fertility. One might enjoy fancy habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption, etc. However, what these habits indirectly do, is adversely affect sperm production. The sperms are vulnerable to environmental toxins and certain habits such as.
Smoking and Alcohol Consumption: Cigarettes have chemicals which harm the sperm function affecting male fertility. Alcohol has a dose dependent effect on semen parameters and it together with smoking has an additive effect.
Recreational Drugs: Marijuana, cocaine, anabolic–androgenic steroids (AAS), opiates (narcotics), and methamphetamines have a negative effect on sperm function.
Obesity: It causes lower volumes of semen and sperm counts, and affects motility. Obese men who attempt infertility treatments like Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) have reduced rates of success per cycle.
Psychological Stress and Sleep: Work or personal stress have an inhibitory effect on the hormones that produces sperm. Adequate sleep plays a vital role in balancing the hormones.
Diet and Nutrition: Wholesome foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vegetables and fruits, fish and poultry, cereals, and low-fat dairy products positively affect sperm quality.
diets high in red and processed meat, refined grains, and high-energy drinknegatively affect sperm quality.
OccupationalFactors: Prolonged sitting, long exposure to high temperatures, can effect sperm production
History of fever/ infections in the past 3 months can effect the sperm
Environmental toxins/chemicals/pesticidesL also have a detrimental effect on the sperms.
What OVUM FERTILITY CENTRERecommends?
The sperm with the ideal motility and morphology will win the race to the egg. The above listed lifestyle causes are obvious and known factors. All these factors make it all the more difficult for the sperm to reach the egg and hinder the journey of the sperm.
Therefore, better lifestyle choices are the need of the hour.
However, paying a little more attention on those habits and actions and adapting to a healthier lifestyle, can bring in a difference.In this view, to bring in awareness and to recognize the impact of these risk factors present in daily life is crucial. As most of these factors are reversible, couples may benefit from early counseling.
There are ways to analyze semen and check for the quantity and quality. Couples failing to conceive for more than a year, can benefit from counselling and clinical intervention from experts at OVUM FERTILITY CENTRE.