Fertility rates are declining and it’s not just the women who are at risk. There are reasons for the sharp decline in male and female fertility. The drastic reduction in sperm count and progressive motility, and diabolical increase in abnormal forms – just in the past 5 or 10 years – have been attributed primarily to an increase in stress and exposure to environmental pollutants that disrupt normal hormone production.
There are many free therapies you can enlist.
Over the past 35 years of helping couples make families, I have watched various quick fixes (IVF being the most expensive, and wasteful). Modern reproductive technology is not going to help you if there is a quality issue with the raw ingredients – especially the sperm. So much is said about maternal age and eggs and ovarian reserve (not about health and returning her to vitality that would raise this).
Not the scope of practice of a medical professional – of any description – they deal with disease, and with the instant and high tech.
It is easy to improve her health. She at least will come in for treatment and take herbs and vitamins. He is harder as why would he? He is told his sperm is ‘good enough’ .. .. He may fail to see that he makes half the baby.
When infertility is mentioned, or miscarriages – it is all about her – but she can’t make a baby by herself. Why no mention of the men? What can a medical specialist do when they actually ignore and discount the real causes of problems – the lack of great nutritional value in what is on offer to eat, the lack of common sense that got their forebears through all manner of wars and depressions – especially how to grow their own food, and the casual relationships between habits and consequences.
I have a folder of recently acquired sperm results – and NONE of them are fertile relative to even 10 years ago. Forget about in their own father’s day. Where are the great sperm results that are partnering the women who apparently are ‘too old’, ‘too fat;’, ‘endometrially challenged’? They are missing as they are fathers – so is it REALLY a woman’s issues being not a mum?
What has happened? Modern life. What to do?
More sleep, more clean water to the exclusion of all other beverages, more protein and fat (to make hormones) and heaps of veggies factor here. More fun, more deep breathing, more leisure and definitely simplifying your life in preparation for the pitter patter . .. Lifestyle changes make a huge difference in almost all ‘diseases’ and definitely in whether you are to have a great baby in your life or not.
- Turn off the TV FOR GOOD – consign it to the spare room, and place all manner of barricades in front of it. Life is for living, not watching others.
- Rediscover each other. Go dating again. Take walks after dinner EVERY night. Go to bed early and play.
- Start the day earlier with more play time. Go for a brisk (pre breakfast) walk
- Budget for weekends away from the house, the phones, entertainment and TVs;
just the two of you, and rediscover why you want to be together/making a family.
If this sounds all too confronting, it is far easier to discover that you do not actually like this person you are tied to, and quit before there are children to deal with as well.
- Drink plenty of PURE water; tap water is not good enough (invest in a filter – water will be important for all of your life). Do not freeze your stomach (food factory) with chilled water, as this brings with it a raft of other digestive issues.
- Change the time that you eat, utilizing the early morning to have a COOKED protein breakfast. Eat far less in the evening when your metabolism is about to go into repair/ regeneration mode for the evening.
- Change what you regard as ‘food’.
Quality sperm and eggs, and uterine linings need protein and fat. Fat is the base ingredient for hormones – especially the thyroid (metabolism) ones.
This information can be found in Heather’s e-book “Helping Yourself to Health and Vitality” Briefly this means a small protein snack every 3 hours, abolishing gluten (wheat, rye, oats and barley – read labels from now on – you will be stunned) three cups of coloured veggies daily (each).
- Avoid exposure to anything heating in vibration. This means the modern ‘conveniences’ all forms of wireless technology, microwaving and remotely controlled devices.
Why? They fry the sperm, create heat (thus toxicity) in all the tissues, and cause reproductive distress.
How practical is it? It is possible – Do the best you can.
Why does no one else say this?
It is not difficult to find come statistics on the toxic effects of modern living on sperm.
Common sense aligned with basic acupuncture theory would say that going backwards in time, with all aspects of living would indicate the better conception chances of generations gone.
- Make sure that your intimate sexual relations are not a matter of mechanical sperm sexual deposits.
Women need much touching and intimacy to feel like being as sexual as I suggest.
Every second day at least – as you are both on supplements, and herbs, any libido differences can be assisted.
As with all health concerns, what you choose to eat and how you choose to live, plays a huge role in addressing male fertility issues. Many studies have shown that using traditional medicines that support the body heal itself have huge benefits in assisting fertility.
Male Subfertility: Often the only reason that there is “Unexplained Infertility”
It is not uncommon to see couples in clinic who have been told that there is no medically discernible reason that they are not pregnant.
The woman is fine; (if she is nowhere near 40 – the magic age) and does not have endometriosis – which is just an indication that she is reproductively awry and her body and gut need urgent attention – and if the partner has been given the “all clear”.
On closer inspection, his “normal sperm” (often even considered ‘supersperm’, simply as they are more than the minimum needed for ICSI), results are often showing as bright a reproductive picture as you would expect.
The baseline definitions these days for “normal sperm” are 14 million sperm/mL or more (used to be 200 million/ml), 50% or more progressive motility, less than 97% abnormal forms (used to be 20%), volume between 2mL and 6mL. No mention of pH – which should be under 8.2.
When looking at their “normal” semen analysis the results are less than amazing and many are borderline (within a few percent) with two or more factors. Often they are patently ‘fails’ yet the doctor has decreed that they ‘pass’ – yet they are not dads so how could they? Is it then all up to her to make the baby entirely by herself?
It is important to get a copy of your results to show them to me for intepretation. You may also wish to ask for a referral to a urologist or a male fertility specialist who would have more knowledge of male infertility than regular (women based) fertility specialists.
Environmental Pollution, Stress and Impaired Hormone Function
Every day we are exposed to environmental pollutants that have been shown to interrupt normal endocrine processes. Our endocrine system is primarily responsible for production and regulation of hormone levels.
- Phthalates and parabens found in shampoos and skin care products
- PBDEs found in TVs, stereos, computers, mobile phones and pre-2005 foam furniture: mattresses, couches, carpets.
- Other anti-androgen chemicals from pesticides and pharmaceuticals. An anti-androgenic substance is one that stops or interferes with the production of testosterone. Little is known about how these compounds interact with each other, particularly in the quantities that most of us are exposed to in the air and in our water. On their own these substances are not enough to cause any serious diseases, but with long-term low level exposure and in conjunction with other compounds it is believed to be a major factor in male infertility and subfertility.
The best was to combat environmental pollutants
is to reduce your exposure to the various compounds:
- Trade your shampoos and skin products for those that don’t contain parabens or phthalates. More popular brands such as Alchemy shampoo and conditioners, weleda don’t contain parabens and phthalates.
- Reduce your exposure to PBDE compounds, used as flame retardents in electrical equipment such as laptops, mobile phones and televisions, and in furniture made prior to 2007
- Reduce stress as much as you can. Start meditation, gentle exercise if not already, take time out each day to do something you enjoy
- Keep groin area free from heat and low-level trauma. No phone wearing at all. This means getting a far more testicle friendly bike (recumbent) or at least new seat, otherwise reducing or giving up bike-riding, not using laptops on the lap, and wearing looser fitting briefs and pants
Supplements That Can Help Improve Male Fertility Factors
Overall – Zinc as it is missing from soils and thus plants grown on it – in Australia and New Zealand. Easy to take a Zinc Challenge test and then take what is recommended by your health care provider.
B Complex – highly needed to assist overall stress reduction and assist healthy sperm growth. (Not just folic acid alone).
Magnesium to help distress and assist adrenal function but also to help remove toxins as environmental ones lurk everywhere.
Fish oil and Vit E (preferably with Selenium to assist detoxing and also T4 to T3 regulation – thyroid assistence).
To improve motility: CoQ10, selenium, zinc, Chinese herbs will help greatly.
To increase sperm count: Reduce stress and stop overworking.
To reduce abnormal forms: Take attention to all written before.
- Drink more water.
- Take Chinese herbs to clear out the residue of modern living.
- Take liquid activated zeolites to make very sure you have. .
- pH adjusted Vitamin C complex with Hesperidin.
To reduce “clumping” of sperm: Pay attention to all written before.
- Drink more water.
- Stop smoking.
- pH adjusted Vitamin C complex with Hesperidin.
Natural health promotion.
Chinese Medicine Treatment
Studies have shown that acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine can be useful in treatment of male infertility and subfertility factors.
- improving sperm count
- reducing abnormal forms
- increasing motility
Chinese Medicine looks for the following main patterns with male subfertility:
Symptoms include low sperm count, high abnormal forms, red/flushed complexion, high blood pressure, irritability, insomnia.
This pattern is caused by lack of common sense. Lack of rest, water and moderate sensible eating. Made far worse by excessive alcohol intake, prolonged irritability or emotional frustration, too much spicy foods, excessive coffee or smoking.
Magnesium in all forms is vital here as is drinking far more water, cutting out all substances, getting exercise in daily and dropping back the caffeine, salt, sugar, chemicals all through your life.
Yin or Jing deficiency
Symptoms include low sperm count, low sperm volume, sweating at night, premature greying, premature aging, lower back pain, dry eyes, hot feet at night.
This pattern is caused by all the above and by living the fast life, having inadequate rest, late nights, inadequate nutrition, severe or prolonged illness, long term emotional upset, stress.
Magnesium deficiency – you can’t take too much when living in stress. (LINK to mag please) Excess heat if left unchecked can cause the yin and essence to “dry up” and become deficient, much like no oil in the motor.
Symptoms include high abnormal forms, headaches, tight/stiff muscles, prone to anger/irritability, feels better for exercise.
This pattern can be caused by and made worse with not speaking out, hence gaining stress, by overworking, not looking after your own needs, leading into improper regulation of anger and frustration, lack of exercise, and then gives rise to tendency to depression or low mood.
May feel temporarily better with alcohol or/and caffeine as both beat the adrenals making the Qi flow. Magnesium in all forms will help all irritability in mood and muscles and and help heal from this.
Symptoms include reduced motility, low sperm count, lower back pain, fatigue, feels the cold, pale complexion, poor digestion, tendency to depression, allergies, weight gain.
This pattern is caused by and made worse by overwork, chronic illness, prolonged exposure to cold, parental tendencies to thyroid problems, inadequate nutrition, modern living, especially not enough sleep in the early evening.
Response to Treatment
You may feel better after the first session. Lighter, brighter, no back or other aching, sleep better and have a perkier attitude. Quality of life improvements, energy levels and mood are typically the first things noticed – these are all signs that your health is improving and that your pattern of disharmony is starting to resolve.
It only takes a couple of months for sperm to complete their growth cycle and reach maturity. Improvements with semen analysis factors can be seen in as little as 4 weeks, more dramatic improvements are seen within an 8-12 week time frame.
Men who are able to adopt dietary changes in addition to their acupuncture /herbal medicine treatment will quickly increase their semen quality.