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Male fertility: Knowledge is power

Don’t be in the dark about your sperm health and fertility. Gain information and support to improve your chances of growing your family.

Male fertility: Knowledge is power

What causes male infertility?

Of all couples suffering infertility, approximately half will include an element of male factor subfertility.

There are a variety of medical causes of male infertility together with a range of other factors that can have a significant impact on your ability to father a child.

These factors fall into various categories such as environmental, social, lifestyle and nutrition. All of these areas impact sperm cell quality and may result in the following:

Male infertility

What are the signs and symptoms of male infertility?

If you have not conceived within 12 months of regular unprotected intercourse you should speak to your doctor. A semen analysis is relatively quick and easy to arrange and will identify the results of the standard parameters: count, motility and morphology.

DNA fragmentation is not routinely measured but is commonly found in sperm where there is reduced motility or morphology, or when there are likely environmental or lifestyle factors involved.

 

Can male infertility be treated?

Yes. In many cases, reduced sperm function can often be significantly improved. Changes to your lifestyle such as regular exercise, stopping smoking, limiting alcohol intake, a balanced diet and supplementation can be useful. 

Environmental factors such as pollution and poor diet can cause oxidative stress which in turn may cause DNA damage (DNA fragmentation) in the sperm. Most fertility supplements promote the use of strong antioxidants to combat oxidative stress, however, the latest Cochrane review shows that there is very little improvement in pregnancy rates from taking these.

Strong oral antioxidants can upset the delicate metabolic balance necessary for optimal sperm production. Therefore they could be doing more harm than good. It’s important to choose a supplement that maintains this vital metabolic balance, such as Impryl®.

More serious male infertility diagnoses may be treated with hormone therapy or even surgery. Advanced Reproductive Technologies (ART) have been extremely successful in helping infertile men conceive through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) using the technique of Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).

couple with hands clasped nervously waiting for IVF results

Does your fertility decrease as you get older?

Although the focus tends to be on a woman’s biological clock, the average sperm count drops continuously for men from the age of 20. Men can also experience abnormal sperm function, blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm, illnesses, injuries, chronic health problems, lifestyle choices and other factors that may contribute to male infertility. So it’s important to make healthy lifestyle choices and, if you’re having difficulty conceiving, speak to your doctor to carry out the appropriate tests and checks.

What to do if you have an abnormal semen analysis

An abnormal semen analysis could mean that you have; a low sperm count (fewer than 15 million sperm per ml of semen), poor morphology (high percentage of abnormally formed sperm), or poor sperm motility (a low number of sperm swimming in a straight, progressive direction).

If you’re told that this is the case, you should look to cut down on smoking and drinking alcohol as both have been shown to reduce sperm count and quality.

Exercising regularly, being a healthy weight and ensuring you’re having a balanced diet are all beneficial to the overall quality of your sperm.

Standard sperm tests focus on quantity, motility and morphology but don’t test for DNA fragmentation. DNA fragmentation is the ‘snipping up’ of DNA in the sperm head, caused by oxidative stress (environmental and dietary factors), which can contribute towards difficulties in conceiving and/or miscarriage. 

Impryl®

Taking a supplement, such as Impryl®, can help to maintain the delicate metabolic balance required for optimal sperm production. It takes 3-4 months for your body to generate new healthy sperm, so be patient and give your body time to adapt.

Unlike Impryl®, many other male fertility supplements contain strong anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, CoQ10 (ubiquinol), vitamin A and carotenoids, which can cause reductive stress leading to DNA decondensation (the unravelling of the DNA in the sperm head), meaning that conception is not possible at all. Impryl®’s unique balance of micronutrients prevents DNA fragmentation without causing DNA decondensation.

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