It is a lesser known fact that overweight men have significantly lower sperm counts than men of normal weight but male reproductive health is rarely discussed in India or anywhere in the globe and even when infertility is recognised, it is met with disappointment and humiliation since the capacity to reproduce is assumed. Men’s overall health influences fertility and sperm quality is a crucial element of a male fertility but it’s not the only factor.
The reproductive health of women is often discussed frequently but men often fail to know how to take care of their reproductive health. As there are misconceptions related to this topic, we got a doctor on board to share some fitness tips for millennial men to take care of their reproductive health.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital in Kharghar, shared, “Nowadays, one is unable to concentrate on reproductive health owing to stress, an erratic lifestyle and a lack of physical activity. Thus, poor reproductive health can be a matter of concern for millennial men. There are many reproductive health challenges when it comes to men. They may have problems such as low sexual desire, ejaculation disorders, erectile dysfunction, genital ulcers, sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) , testicular disorders, prostate cancer, and infertility owing to which marital conflict can emerge.”
He added, “Stress has a direct effect on the mental, emotional and physical health of men. It may decrease testosterone levels and sperm production, such as glucocorticoids. Poor diet and no physical activity can impact male reproductive health too. Alcohol, tobacco and smoking cause fertility complications in males. Tobacco has been tied to low sperm count as it affects spermatogenesis. Other factors such as environmental pollution, diabetes, hypertension and obesity can also lead to low sperm count and infertility.”
Tips for millennial men to take care of their reproductive health:
Dr Surabhi Siddhartha listed 5 tips on men should take care of their reproductive health. These include:
1. Regular STIs screening: There should be enough amount of awareness among men regarding sexually transmitted diseases like HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), Syphilis, Chlamydia and Herpes. Till now there is no vaccine for them, prevention is the only key to protection regarding these diseases. The use of contraceptives should also be promoted. You will have to follow the doctor’s instructions when it comes to screening.
2. Quit smoking: Smoking can impact sperm quality. So, do not smoke.
3. Try to maintain good personal hygiene: You must avoid using any chemical products down there. Try to wear undergarments of a good breathable fabric like cotton and make sure that it is not tight.
4. Eat a well-balanced diet: You need to opt for a diet inclusive of all the vital nutrients. Try to eat eggs as they contain protein and vitamin E, improve sperm motility and sperm count and protect them from oxidative stress. Go for berries as they contain antioxidants and can help one to have a good sperm count. Spinach encourages sperm production. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids and tend to improve the motility of your sperms. Avoid junk, packaged and canned foods as they can be problematic.
5. Regular exercise: This can help to increase the sperm count. Try to exercise for at least 5 days a week for half an hour. You can opt for swimming, cycling, gymming, yoga, aerobics or running. De-stress by doing meditation.