Is male fertility a taboo subject? It’s a potentially sensitive topic, and one that apparently many men are unwilling to discuss or address with their partner or even a GP.
New research commissioned by Nuffield Health and Infertility Network UK showed over half of all men said they would not be open to discussing fertility with their partner and 46% of men said they would not be open to discussing it with their GP.
Fertility expert and Consultant at Nuffield Health Glasgow Hospital Helen Lyle said: 'From my experience, it is clear that men may be embarrassed to talk about fertility problems and it’s generally women who make the first step towards addressing fertility concerns. However, with one in six couples facing fertility issues, it is important to reassure men that this is not a taboo subject and to take away the stigma around discussing fertility.'
So for our final post in our fertility fortnight, here’s five factors about male fertility you might not be aware of:
- Many factors you wouldn’t consider can affect sperm count. Alcohol lowers sperm count - even when you're only drinking small amounts - as do recreational drugs. Smoking has been shown to reduce both the sperm count and the sperm motility. And unfortunately even your phone could be a factor – according to research by scientists in Hungary, men who keep mobile phones switched-on in their trouser pocket have significantly lowered sperm counts and risk their fertility being cut by up to a third
- Diet is also an important factor for sperm count, so make sure you're getting enough of the right foods and nutrients; it all helps
- Did you know that men’s sperm counts are higher in the morning? So time your trying well – take advantage of it!
- Sperm count is higher at cooler temperatures (so stay away from hot tubs, hot showers and tight fitting underwear)
- Find a good work / life balance – tiredness and stress can have an effect your sex drive, so make sure you're not all about work. And if you use exercise to relax make sure you swap the exercise bike for the treadmill. Repeated banging of the crotch against the bicycle seat can damage critical arteries and nerves (ouch!)