About one quarter of infertile couples have trouble conceiving due to issues with male fertility, most often a low sperm count. If male factor infertility is suspected, your doctor will want to perform a semen analysis. This test looks at both the number and the quality of the sperm. Many doctors start with this test, since diagnosing male factor infertility is easier than female infertility and the doctor may want to rule it out before starting a battery of tests on the woman.
A diagnosis of male factor infertility is difficult, but it isn’t necessarily the end of the road to having children. There are some things you can do to enhance fertility in the man to increase the chances of conception. Here are some steps you can take to increase your sperm count.
Change your underwear. Numerous studies have shown that the type of underwear a man wears can have an impact on sperm count. Loose boxers are better than briefs. The reason is the increase in temperature of the testicles with tight underwear.
Have sex more frequently to boost sperm count. The common wisdom has been that couples should refrain from intercourse on the days leading up to ovulation. A recent Australian study is calling this advice into question. The study found that men who ejaculated more frequently had a higher level of healthy sperm than men who had less frequent activity.
Give up alcohol for a few months prior to trying to conceive. Alcohol lowers the sperm count and decreases the motility of the sperm. It also affects the absorption of nutrients that are important in sperm production. You should quit for a few months before trying to conceive for the optimum benefits. Caffeine can have the same affect, so you will want to limit that consumption as well.
Quit smoking cigarettes. Smoking lowers the sperm count and affects the motility of the remaining sperm. In addition, smoking increases the number of abnormal sperm, which won’t fertilize an egg. If they do, the pregnancy is more likely to end in miscarriage. You have another good reason to quit, your child. The more a man smokes, the more his fertility will be affected.
By now you may be thinking of the numerous smokers, and maybe even a few alcoholics, you know that have plenty of children. This can make you wonder if any of this is accurate. The answer is that it depends on the individual man. A man with a high sperm count may not be affected by a slight drop in his fertility from any of these sources. However, a man with a low or borderline low sperm count will be more affected, since he has a lower count to begin with.