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14 Tips to boost your fertility
Give your tiny foot soldiers a fighting chance by following the MF guide to having healthy Sperm
By Sam Haddad September 2006



1 Don’t smoke
Sucking down fags doesn’t massively lower your Sperm count but it does damage your sperm’s DNA, which could cause genetic defects in any resulting children. Sperm takes three months to form fully, so make sure you quit at least 90 days before you start trying for kids. (But anyway, you know, quit.)

2 Get some sun
Being in the sun has been shown to boost men’s Testosterone levels, which must be kept nicely topped up for healthy sperm production. The sunshine also reduces levels of the Hormone melatonin, which suppresses fertility.

3 Give yourself a break
If Ejaculation occurs more than twice a day, through sex or solo activities, it can take a while for sperm levels to build up again. But you shouldn’t save up sperm either because it will get old and wither. Sex once every one or two days is the ideal for your weary troops.

4 Be aware of STIs
Most of us don’t like to think about them but sexually transmitted infections are on the rise, particularly gonorrhoea (24,000 cases in England and Wales last year), and some of them can cause Infertility. Using a Condom for chance encounters will reduce your risk, but if you’re in pain or notice anything unusual down below and think you may be infected already, see your doctor.

5 Be a healthy weight
Having a body mass index (BMI) below 20 will reduce your fertility, while a figure above 25 means your sperm count will be 22 per cent lower than normal. To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in kilos by your height in metres squared. Shedding extra pounds through exercise, rather than dieting, is thought to be better for your fertility.

6 Steer clear of steroids
They can seriously reduce your sperm count, in some cases to virtually zero, and it will take several years to get back to normal, according to Dr Pacey. They’ll also shrink your balls to the size of peas – urgh! However, legal nutritional bodybuilding supplements won’t affect your fertility at all.

7 Don’t drink to excess
Unless you have a serious booze problem, drinking is unlikely to make you infertile. However, alcohol is nonetheless one of the major causes of Impotence, so try not to get too wasted.

8 Remember, you’re not Charlie Chaplin
Chaplin may have been 73 years old when his youngest son was born but French scientists have recently shown he was the exception rather than the norm, because male fertility declines with age. It doesn’t fall at the same rate as women’s fertility, but one in four men over the age of 40 will struggle to have a kid.

9 Drink green tea and ginkgo
Green tea is thought to boost energy levels, while ginkgo has been shown to increase circulation to blood capillaries, which leads to improved sexual energy and performance. For more information, visit qi-teas.com.

10 Reject the reefer
You’re not a Cypress Hill-loving teenager any more, so it’s time to stop acting like one. Pot smokers tend to have lower sperm counts, less seminal fluid and sperm that swim abnormally – which should hardly come as a surprise. A chemical called THC in marijuana messes up sperm’s timing, which means it dashes to reach the Egg too quickly and then suffers burnout, forgets where it is and, basically, falls asleep.

11 Load up on antioxidants
Getting lots of vitamins A (from cream cheese, for example), C (green peppers) and E (sunflower seeds) in your diet will help repair any damage done to the DNA of your sperm. Eating foods rich in zinc, such as oysters, and folic acid, such as broccoli, will boost sperm health, too.

12 Chill out
Prolonged or repeated exposure of the Testicles to heat can negatively affect sperm production, so wear loose-fitting trousers and underwear, says Andy Glew, senior Embryologist at The Essex Fertility Centre. He also advises against taking hot baths and using laptops (on your lap) for long periods.

13 Get the right job
Studies have shown that working full-time in a kitchen can reduce your sperm count because of the constant exposure to high temperatures (don’t worry – you’ll be safe if all you use your kitchen for is to heat up the occasional Pot Noodle). Carpenters may also be prone to infertility owing to the wood preservatives released during woodcutting, while people working with lead, such as roofers and plumbers, can suffer temporary sperm impairment.

14 Learn to relax
Fifteen per cent of men have a reduced sex drive and five per cent suffer from sexual impotence as a result of stress, according to research by Vitabiotics Wellman. Regular exercise is a great coping mechanism for stress and it has the added bonus of boosting fertility by improving the function of your immune and circulatory systems.

 

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