Man in the Moon?
by Meredith Nathan, LMT
A man and a woman walk into a fertility center (I know, this sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but please bear with me). Both get tested. Both check out normal. The man is told that he is ‘fine’. The woman is told she has ‘unexplained infertility’.
Does it seem a little sexist? Perhaps, especially when you consider that roughly half of fertility issues are male factor. And yet the burden of treatment, especially when dealing with ART, tends to fall on the woman. Furthermore, there is a misconception running rampant that men with fertility issues only have one course of action: IVF. And there again 95% of the work of IVF will fall on his partner’s shoulders, even if she had no fertility issues at all. It does seem a little lopsided…
But it takes two to tango – creating a healthy baby requires two ingredients: a healthy egg AND a healthy sperm. So whether optimal health and a proactive pre-conception strategy is the focus, or whether his swimmers need a fertility fix, healthy lifestyle choices and holistic treatments can go a long way towards increasing your odds of conception. And remember, the lifespan of a sperm is 60-70 days, so any positive changes made can increase your chances for conception for the following two or more months! Here are some top tips to keep those sperm in tip top shape:
- Make healthy lifestyle choices; habits like smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and sleep deprivation can all negatively impact sperm quality.
- Turn down the heat! Saunas, hot tubs, and steam baths can warm the scrotum and negatively impact fertility. In addition, laptops on laps and cell phones in pockets are not only warming but also may emit unwanted radiation.
- Get a nutritional boost; vitamin deficiencies can negatively impact sperm production, and sporadic, inconsistent meal times can create blood sugar spikes and crashes, throwing the hormones off balance.
- Keep stress in check! Stress also creates hormonal imbalance and interferes with sperm production. So bring on all relaxation activities, whether going on walks, prayer, meditation, fishing, golf, or getting massaged.
- Moderate exercise is healthy and good, but overly intense workouts can draw blood away from the core and deprive the reproductive organs. On the flip side, blood building acupuncture & massage techniques can help to rebuild reproductive circulation and provide a fertility boost!
I’m often asked if I see a lot of men at our center. I know the power of having both partners come to table as healthy as can be. On a personal note, my husband and I struggled to conceive for 18 months until I decided to include him in my wellness plans. And so whenever people ask me how many men I see at Pulling Down the Moon, my response is always the same, “I wish I saw more.”