Five ways to protect your fertility without freezing sperm

As a male below the age of 50, you’re probably not worrying about your fertility just yet.

Although it’s true that fertility problems tend to arise the older you get, in your younger years your sperm can be affected by your lifestyle choices, potentially limiting your chances of starting a family.

A great way to preserve and protect your fertility is to consider our sperm freezing treatment. We offer a quick and non-invasive procedure, which is fully regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), and allows us to quickly preserve your semen, and thoroughly check the specimen once your sample is required.

This treatment is a key part of our fertility preservation services, and has been used successfully at RHG for many years.

Freezing sperm allows those with male fertility problems, or men undertaking medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, to protect their fertility at any age.

There are lifestyle changes you can make to ensure that your sperm count remains high, and that the quality of your semen is as good as it can be. Here are five simple ways you can protect your fertility in every day life.

Consider your clothing choices

One of the less obvious threats to your sperm count is your dress sense. Allan Pacey, an expert in men’s health at the University of Sheffield, stated that although there are many things in a man’s life that will change how his testicles function, “The single biggest risk factor for how many swimming sperm produced each day was whether [the subject] was wearing tight pants or loose pants”.

Wearing skinny jeans or tight underwear can increase the temperature of your testicles. Because sperm needs relatively cool temperatures in order to thrive, pushing your testicles towards your body’s warm core when wearing tight clothing can cause them to overheat, and ultimately affect the way your sperm swim.

So, if you’re looking for simple ways to combat male fertility problems, swap the tight jeans for some jogging bottoms!

Reduce alcohol consumption

Cutting down on alcohol is a good way to protect your fertility.

Unfortunately, alcohol is very harmful to the male reproductive system. Even moderate drinking can cause physical harm to the testicles through shrinkage, upsetting the balance of hormones needed to create healthy, normal sperm.

When it comes to restricting how much you drink, there’s no clear-cut limit on how much alcohol is too much. Based on research, it appears that around five to six standard drinks every week can affect sperm count and quality.

Quit smoking

There are so many reasons to stop smoking, and the affects of cigarettes on fertility is now widely known. Tobacco is proven to decrease the number of sperm in male smokers, as well as diminish its quality.

It can also disturb the antioxidants levels in semen, which protect the sperm, preserving their mobility and ability to fertilise an egg. If you’re concerned that you may be suffering from male fertility problems, saying no to nicotine is a great way to positively affect that.

Cut back on the sunscreen

Protecting our skin from the sun’s rays is so important, but did you know that too much sunscreen can cause fertility problems for guys?

Sunscreen works by using chemical and mineral filter substances to either absorb or reflect UV rays from the sun. These chemicals can penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream of the user. Some of these chemicals were found to disrupt the calcium levels in the sperm, and therefore change the inner workings and decrease their movement.

While we would never recommend not using sunscreen in the sun, it might be a good idea to consider protection with physical UV filers instead, such as zinc oxide. Another way to protect your skin and your sperm count is to head to the shade.

Refine and improve your diet

Another excellent way to combat fertility problems and improve your general health, is to look at what you consume.

Men with a diet that is high in saturated fat have a lower sperm count than those who consume omega-3 fatty acids, which is present in fish. It’s also a good idea to avoid high levels of sugar, as this can increase the presence of an enzyme which converts testosterone into oestrogen.

The best things to include in your diet to improve your fertility is lots of fruits and vegetables, especially those high in antioxidants, nuts, poultry and seafood.

Whatever your age, male fertility problems can occur at any stage of your life, and so it’s important to know what steps you can take. Alongside these lifestyle changes, we would advise that you consult an expert in fertility. If you want to learn more about our sperm freezing procedure, please contact a member of our team who can help with any queries you might have.