BEFORE YOU BLAME HER FOR NOT GETTING PREGNANT, ASK YOURSELF, IS YOUR SPERM HEALTHY?

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“My wife has undergone a series of tests to find out the cause of her barrenness but no abnormalities have been discovered so far. She has been on expensive supplements to boost her chances of getting pregnant, but to no avail. Four years of marriage and still no children. This woman has made me a laughing stock among friends, family and society” Mr. Chike Ade Umaru (Mr. C.A.U) lamented.

Are you Mr. C.A.U ? Is Mr. C.A.U you? Do you know a Mr. C.A.U?

I bet you do!

Listen carefully sir. That you are ejaculating during intercourse or not is not the real deal. The big question is “IS YOUR SPERM HEALTHY?”

Further probing also revealed that Mr. C.A.U has neither attended any hospital appointment with his wife nor undergone any tests to establish his fertility. Fertility is a major determinant of a successful marriage with the women taking the largest chunk of the blame when conception is delayed. We need to be reminded that it may not be solely the woman’s fault. It takes two to make a baby. To explain in the easiest way possible, it takes a healthy ovum (eggs) and sperm, among other determining factors. 

In couples experiencing infertility, approximately 35% is due to male factors, 35% is due to female factors, 20% of cases have a combination of both male and female factors, and the last 10% are unexplained causes. 

Sperm disorders are the commonest cause of male infertility. For this reason, the semen must be analyzed (semen analysis) to determine the sperm count, volume, motility, morphology, chemical make up and liquefaction time. Treatment will be offered based on laboratory findings. Low sperm quality can be attributed to any of the following:

1.Stress

2.Obesity

3.Poor nutrition

4.Cigarette/Tobacco Smoking 

5.Recreational Drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, e.t.c, 

6.Exposing the testes to radiation and heat

7.Recurrent, untreated, chronic Sexually transmitted Infection(STIs), etc

Having considered the above factors, some simple steps can be taken to increase your chance of producing a healthy sperm.

1.Maintain a healthy weight.

2.Eat a healthy diet.

3.Instead of processed foods, eat organic foods.

4.Instead of red meat, eat fish and eggs.

5.Eat foods rich in Vitamin A, Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and folate.

6.Instead of soda and artificial drinks, drink natural juices, smoothies and plenty of water.

7.Eliminate or reduce sugar from your diet.

8.Reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet.

9.Eat more fruits and vegetables.

10.Avoid sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sexually transmitted infections — such as chlamydia and gonorrhea — are a cause of infertility for men. To protect yourself, limit your number of sexual partners and use a condom each time you have sex — or stay in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who isn’t infected, emphasis on “mutually monogamous” as the popular saying goes “even your boo fit get another boo.”

11.Manage stress effectively. 

12.Exercise at least 3 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes per session.

13.Quit smoking. 

14.Limit alcohol intake. The “TGIF” crooners, beware. The quality of your ‘juice’ may be dependent on the quantity of your alcohol. Heavy drinking can lead to reduced testosterone production, impotence and decreased sperm production. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

15.Seek medical advice before taking drugs. This one is for the patrons of roadside drug peddlers. Take it easy darling, some drugs like Calcium channel blockers, antidepressants, anabolic steroids,anti-androgens and other medications can contribute to fertility issues, so before you pop that pill, you would want to know its effect on your sperm health. DO NOT SELF MEDICATE. Ask your doctor first.

16.Stay cool. Not only does the body love cool temperatures, your testes will thank you for being cool. Increased scrotal temperature can hamper sperm production.

17. Although the benefits have not been fully proven, wearing loose-fitting underwear, reducing the time you spend sitting, avoiding saunas and hot tubs, and limiting scrotum exposure to warm objects, such as a laptop, frequent hot baths might enhance sperm quality. Let me mention again, Laptops, yes, the offending group know themselves. (winks)

Dear men, you have an equal role to play to achieve conception. Do not place all the responsibility on your partner alone. Also, do not fold your arms and trust God for a miracle, you have to play your own part to improve your sperm health.

So when next you see a Mr. Chike Ade Umaru, blaming any woman for not bearing children, please ask them if they have analyzed their own sperm yet.

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Credits: Dr KEL.

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