Several generations ago it was common practice to get married young and start a family. However, modern couples now pace themselves a bit more in life, spending their twenties getting established in their chosen career before becoming homeowners, tying the knot, and starting a family. Whilst there are certain advantages to starting your family later in life, there are also a number of disadvantages, one of which being fertility problems.
What affects fertility?
A man’s sperm count can be affected by a number different factors. If you are having trouble conceiving then consider whether any of the following could be lowering sperm count and affecting fertility:
- Age – The quality of a man’s sperm decreases with age. Whatever the age of the mother, if the father is over 45 there is a five-fold increase in the time it takes to get pregnant. Children with fathers aged 40 or more at the time of conception are also statistically more likely to have autism, learning difficulties, and mental health problems.
- Smoking – Heavy smokers produce up to 20% fewer sperm than non-smokers; and the genetic material in the sperm, i.e. DNA, can also be damaged by the chemicals in cigarette smoke. The good news is the negative effects of smoking on fertility are reversed after a year of stopping smoking.
- Alcohol – Drinking alcohol excessively can lead to fertility problems as it reduces the quality of a man’s sperm, and also lowers libido meaning the likelihood of regular sex diminishes. Alcohol consumption in both parents also increases the risk of miscarriage so cutting down or stopping altogether is recommended if you’re struggling to conceive.
- Weight – Being overweight reduces the quality of your sperm, as well as causing hormonal imbalances that make men less interested in sex. Men who are very overweight may also have problems getting an erection, so all of these things mean the conception is unlikely if the father is overweight or obese.
- Sports injury – Being knocked in the testicles is never pleasant, but did you know it can also affect your fertility? Keep your testes well protected if you regularly take part in contact sports like football or cricket.
- Heat – The testicles hang outside of the body in order to maintain the right temperature. When you get warm they hang lower to cool down, and when you are too cold they retract up towards your body to warm up. If the testes get too warm this can reduce sperm production, so if you’re trying to conceive a child then avoid hot baths and don’t have your laptop resting on your lap for too long.
If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for a year or more without success then it’s time to seek help. Get in touch with us here at TCM HealthCare; we’re the fertility experts and have helped many couples to achieve their dream of being parents.