There’s been so much in the press recently about the serious decline in male fertility. Sperm studies suggest that sperm counts have decreased by as much as 52% since the 1970’s! We are certainly seeing many couples facing such issues in our clinics on a daily basis, but perhaps more worryingly is that the demographic is extending to even younger people.
There is no real explanation of what could be causing such a sharp decline, but I have my suspicions…
To me this highlights two things:-
One – if sperm quantity and quality is on the decline then potentially egg quality may also be an issue as female reproductive health is affected by many of the same physiological and environmental influences as men
Two – the effect of rapid sociological changes is having a material effect on the fertility of the western population. Why is modern day life influencing things so drastically?
So what could be causing this and what can we do about it?
These days both men and women live in quite stressful environments, we rarely have the capacity to ever switch off! Technology is constantly enticing us back to work or we spend our downtime on devices that overstimulate our already tired minds. This in turn can lead to sleep deficiency which compromises both sperm and egg quality.
The demands of modern day living mean that we are often working full time, running a house, looking after children, pets, and much more besides. Our minds and bodies have not evolved to cope with such demands and as such are in a constant state of a heightened stress.
Many of us work in an office seeing very little natural daylight and take very little exercise. In the 70’s when sperm counts were high this wasn’t the case, men were more active, walked a lot more and saw plenty of sunlight on a daily basis. A lack of vitamin D can have an impact on both sperm and egg quality. To make matters worse, our mental health is also greatly compromised by a lack of fresh air and sunlight.
Because current lifestyles are more sedentary, obesity levels are much higher than they used to be. With 62% of adults in England being classified as overweight. Obesity lowers testosterone levels in men and can cause hormonal imbalances in women leading to diseases such as Poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis with their associated impact to fertility.
Food is another culprit. Not only do we eat on the go, often filling our hungry tummies with processed sugary foods, we eat foods that unfortunately contain chemicals, pesticides and other hormones which were less prevalent in the 1970’s.
Poor diet and nutritional deficiencies are all too common, we need nutrients and vitamins to make healthy sperm and good eggs. We need a healthy balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and foods that do not cause inflammation.
In our fast paced lifestyle, we are more prone to not eating regularly. Some have breakfast at lunch time, others consume only one highly caloric meal a day. Bingeing or starving can cause our blood sugars to become irregular, which places great stress upon our vital organs, in turn creating hormonal issues leading to increased chances of fertility issues.
“If the body is under stress, thinks it’s starving, has a lack of nutrients, gets very little sunlight and is constantly on the go – do you think it’s going to concentrate on your fertility or do you think it’s going to focus its attention on keeping you alive?”
This won’t be fixed by a pill, injection or hormone patch…
Let’s get back to basics and take a more holistic approach to our fertility!!
Sperm and eggs work in 3 month cycles so there’s lots you can do to help yourself.
- Get more sleep by putting the devices down 2 hrs before your bedtime.
- Eat healthy food every couple of hours and start by eating breakfast just after you wake.
- Consider having some Acupuncture or Reflexology. If the body is balanced and de-stressed you are more likely to conceive. Both therapies encourage the body to work towards homeostasis.
- Supplement missing nutrients. (contact us for our sperm health fact sheet)
- Stay active daily, have a goal of 10,000 steps per day.
- Eat really healthy foods, organic where possible. Look at the food labels on your food and if you don’t understand them – don’t eat them.
- Get more sun exposure and fresh air. Use your lunch break to go for a walk. Aim for 30 minutes per day.
- Stay hydrated by drinking more water, filtered if possible. Aim for 2 litres per day.
- Give yourself some time back, it’s really important that you do nice things – just for you. If that’s playing a round of golf or going to a gentle yoga class, do something every day that makes you happy! The happier you are the happier your body will be.
If you want to make changes to your fertility and you want to talk to someone that really understands and is as serious about your fertility as you are, get in touch with The Natural Fertility Clinic today and book your FREE 15 minute consultation with one of our Clinic Directors on 07796 557921 or 07557 979142