Approximately 2,000,000 men per year are diagnosed with infertility in the United States.
1 Myth: In a healthy male, all sperm are healthy.
In an average male, only 14% of sperm by strict morphology have a normal shape, size, and ability to move properly. While this may seem low, remember that you only need one sperm to fertilize an egg and become pregnant.
2 Myth: Male infertility is genetic.
While male infertility can be genetically passed down, there are several different factors that can cause male infertility. A cancer diagnosis or injury can result in male infertility, while repeated infection or immunity problems can decrease male fertility. A multitude of lifestyle choices such as diet, nutrition, smoking habits, drug use, exercise habits and body weight can decrease male fertility.
3 Myth: Diet does not affect male fertility.
Quite simply, you are what you eat. Men who consume high-fat diets have been found to have a decreased sperm count. Conversely, a mostly plant-based diet has been found to improve fertility and overall health. Fill your refrigerator and pantry with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables while avoiding thick cuts of meat and refined carbohydrates such as white bread and cookies.
4 Myth: There is no common diagnosis with male infertility.
While the specific cause of male infertility can vary greatly, the most common diagnosis associated with male infertility is low sperm count.
5 Myth: Cell phones, laptops, hot tubs and bicycles don’t have an effect on semen quality.
Heat in extreme amounts can damage the testes and decline semen quality. A recent study by Fertility and Sterility found that the heat created from laptops can affect sperm motility and cause DNA damage. Cell phone emissions can also cause sperm damage, so keep phones in the back pocket and put a fan under your laptop. Men should be careful of putting too much time on the bike or lounging too long in a hot tub. Not to worry – semen quality typically declines only in extreme use or regular exposure. Enjoy your life and simply be aware and moderate in your habits.
6 Myth: Smoking doesn’t affect male fertility.
Statistics don’t lie. Smoking increases chances of male infertility by 30 percent. Cutting out cigarettes is an obvious health advantage, but many don’t realize how harmful cigarettes can be to fertility. A report by the British Medical Association showed that smokers may have up to a 10-40 percent lower monthly fecundity (a.k.a. fertility) rate. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has estimated that up to 13 percent of infertility may be caused by tobacco use. The effect is dose dependent on the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Smoking as few as 5 cigarettes per day has been associated with lower fertility rates in males (and females).