Karen Vaughan, L.Ac., Registered Herbalist (AHG) posted this in Alternative Health on October 18th, 2013
With so much sperm per ejaculate, it seems that sperm quality would hardly matter in infertility. A healthy male discharges 50 million sperm in one ejaculation. During sexual intercourse, of all those millions of sperm, only a couple hundred will make it to a mature egg that is ready to be fertilized. But 40% of infertility is from the male, including males who passed the semen analysis tests. The average sperm count today is between 20 and 40 million per milliliter in the Western world, having decreased by 1-2% per year from a substantially higher number decades ago. A study of 26,000 men showed sperm counts plummeting 33% among men in the industrial world between 1989 and 2009. But quality rather than quantity maybe more important.
Studies on declining sperm quality are surprisingly lacking and are often correlations rather than studies that prove causation. That said, most of the suggestions are healthy and easy to implements. Here are some things you can avoid that reduce sperm quality and quantity.
1. Heat. Keep that laptop off of your lap, wear boxers instead of briefs, cotton rather than synthetics and let your testicles stay cool. That is why testicles hang outside of the warm torso. Avoid saunas and steam rooms while you are trying to conceive.
Sperm and stressStress inhibits the production of testosterone (in the Leydig’s cells.) Cortisol also isn’t good for yourhormoneproduction or enjoyment of sex.
2. Plastics: It is estimated that 93 percent of the US population have bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that can be found in canned goods, in hard, and polycarbonate water bottles, in their body. Even 40% of receipts from cash registers and your ATM contain BPA. PCBs have been added to plastics, inks, adhesives, paints, and flame retardants. as well as being used as coolants and lubricants in electric equipment. PCBs are in the air and water, and many people are exposed to them through eating certain fish — especially those highest on the food chain. Phthalates are found in toys, food packaging, hoses, and personal care products. Avoid all plastics, not just BPA.
3. Gore-tex raincoats, Teflon coating and non-stick pans use perfluoroalkyl acids like perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), that reduce sperm counts dramatically according to a Danish study.