How to check sperm count at home naturally

Home-fertility-test-kit
You can test your fertility at home with these simple to use home test kits

If you are concerned about your sperm count it is now very quick and easy to check it at home using a home male fertility test kit. There are several of these on the market and most work in a similar way. The test can be performed in a matter of minutes and will give you a result as to whether your sperm count is within the normal range or not.

Some home tests will just measure the count whereas some will also check motility, as they only count the motile sperm. Sperm motility ie how well the sperm swim,  as well as count, is important when it comes to male fertility.

See our full range of male and female home fertility test kits at Access Diagnostics

 

Cannabis drug use and its effect on male fertility

How does Cannabis impair fertility?

Cannabis sperm motility fertility
Sperm motility

It is known that both Cannabis (Marijuana) can impair male fertility by the effects that it has on sperm motility, and several studies have suggested that Cannabis may also affect sperm production so that the sperm are abnormal in shape and size.

This is obviously quite worrying. If you are trying to conceive, it is sensible to stop using these drugs before you start trying for a baby, as we do not know if these drugs may damage the sperm and lead to problems with the pregnancy.

A study done at the University of Sheffield by Dr Allan Pacey suggested that male Cannabis users should stop using Cannabis well before trying to conceive

How long do the effect of Cannabis and Cocaine last?

Cannabis metabolites are stored in fat in the body and can be detected on a urine Cannabis drug test kit for up to 30 days after last use.

In view of this our advice would be to wait at least 30 days before you start trying for a baby. That will give time for the Cannabis metabolites to leave your system and for new sperm to be produced. You do not need to stop having sex during this time, simply use a condom.

One thing to bear in mind is that sperm can live in the testicles for up to 2-3 months, so it is important to keep having sex  (with a condom) so that the older sperm that have been affected by Cannabis have been used up. Fresh sperm is best for conception.

Will my fertility return to normal after I stop using Cannabis?

As long as everything else is normal, and you are not using other drugs or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol then the sperm morphology and motility should return to normal once the drug causing the problem has left your body, although this could take several months.

The best advice is to stop using drugs well in advance of trying to conceive to optimise your chances of conceiving quickly and having a successful pregnancy for your partner and a healthy baby.

 

 

Laptop caused heat damage to sperm & revealed as culprit in couples difficulty conceiving

An article in The Daily Mail this week, revealed how a couple who had been trying for a a baby for about 6 months without success, expressed concerns to their GP. Because the man had previously had mumps, he was referred to the hospital for a sperm test.

The results of the test where startling, showing that although he had a healthy number of sperm, the sperm showed abnormalities consistent with heat damage. The tails of the sperm where wrapped around the heads meaning they could not swim properly.

On closer questioning of the couple it was revealed that the man spent several hours every night with his laptop on his lap. He was advised to stop this practice, and to put the laptop on a table instead. He did this and 3 months later his wife was pregnant, and they now have an 11 month old daughter. The couple had no idea that the laptop could damage sperm in this way.

Heat can be a cause of infertility in men, and has long been recognised in chefs who work long hours in hot kitchens.  Laptops emit a lot of heat when they are on and if sat on your lap can cause overheating of the testicles. The widespread use of laptops has meant that this cause of male infertility is on the increase. The good news is it is reversible.

The message is clear. If you are trying for a baby keep your laptop off your lap and give the little swimmmers a fighting chance.

You can read the news article here

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2228121/Couple-conceive-stunned-doctors-reveal-husbands-LAPTOP-cooking-sperm.html?goback=%2Egde_3043944_member_182443828

p.s  Just a thought even if you are not trying for a baby it makes sense to keep your testicles cool. We don’t yet know what other harmful effects sitting a laptop on your groin may have, but it seems wise to exercise caution in this area.

Male Fertility Test | In infertility investigations it is crucial to check male fertility

Fertilityscore home male fertility test UJK
Fertilityscore home male fertility test UJK

We received a phonecall last week from a woman who had been trying to conceive for several years and had been undergoing infertility investigations which had not revealed a cause for her infertility. She was desperate for help & advice.

When questioned we were surprised to find that her partner had not had his sperm checked, and that she had been advised this was ok because he had fathered a child in a previous relationship over 7 years ago. While this is a good sign it does not mean that his fertility is necessarily ok. Fertility can change and seven years is a long time. Our advice to her was that she should talk to her partner & then with his agreement make an appointment with her GP or gynaecologist and arrange for him to have a sperm count done. She seemed to think that they were very unlikely to do this for him as she had asked before and been turned down.

Male fertility is a tricky issue for some men and often there is reluctance on the part of the man to be tested or to come forward for investigations. Particularly when they have already fathered a child in a previous relationship they may feel that the problem must be with the woman.

We regularly receive phonecalls from desperate women whose male partner has refused to be tested by the GP or hospital, and the woman wants to  purchase a home male fertility test kit. Sometimes her partner will agree to doing a male fertility fertility test in the privacy of their own home. Our advice in this situation is to do the home male fertility test. If the fertility test shows a low reading then there is a good chance that the partner will consent to further investigations with the GP or hospital. It may also help to speed up referral if the reading is low. If the reading on the home sperm test is normal then the man may still consent to having a further semen test with the GP ‘just to confirm it’

More information or to buy home male fertility test kit that checks sperm count and motility

Will Zita West tablets, for men help improve sperm count and motility ?

zita west vitamen buy uk online 

 Here is a question that we received this week regarding male fertility:

Hi, Will Zita West tablets, for men help improve sperm count, and motility?? As my husband has a low sperm count, and poor motility sperm. Many thanks. Look froward, to hearing from you soon.

Here is our answer:

Vitamen is a multivitamin & mineral supplement designed to support male reproductive health. Deficiencies in vitamins & trace elements have been shown to be detrimental to sperm production & sperm health

Here is the information for Vitamen from the manufacturer below in bold & I have put links to some blog articles we have written on improving male fertility which you may find helpful:

Nutrition for conception

Healthy parents tend to produce healthy babies. And healthy babies, in general, grow into healthy children and adults. Much emphasis is given to the importance of a woman’s health and nutritional status before and during pregnancy. But her male partner plays an equally crucial role at conception.

The creation of a healthy baby requires not just a healthy egg but a good supply of properly formed mobile sperm as well.Over the past few years we have seen an increase in the number of men with low sperm counts.

Recent research suggests that of the one in four couples who take longer than the average to conceive, the cause, in around one-third of cases, lies with the male partner.

Other research has indicated that up to eighty percent of birth defects are caused by defective male sperm. And it is now known that the cause of a Down’s syndrome baby may also lie with either the mother or the father.But don’t worry – there is a lot that can be done simply by making changes in nutrition and lifestyle.

Poor sperm health, whether it be a low count, poor motility or malformations, can generally be improved by optimising the father’s overall health and nutritional status. But it is sensible to start this process as soon as possible.

Sperm take ten weeks to develop sufficiently to leave the body, so planning for a pregnancy should start at least four months before conception takes place. That means giving up smoking, alcohol and social/recreational drugs, checking for genito-urinary infections, avoiding hot baths and tight clothing, eating healthily and taking supplementation, when necessary, to help redress nutritional imbalances.

Vitamen is a high quality supplement specially formulated for men. But remember, it is no good taking vitamins if you are not getting the rest of the basics right. Drinking plenty of water is one of them – at least 2 litres a day. Water is a large component of sperm, so a good, regular supply is vital in the process of production.

Vitamen is a premium multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement. It contains essential nutrients that contribute to a healthy conception and, in particular, the production of healthy sperm.

It may also be worth reading these blog articles on improving male fertility:

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistence 

Kind Regards

8 ways to improve sperm count & motility naturally

  1. Stop smoking
  2. Avoid overexercising which may cause overheating of the testicles-particularly prolonged cycling & horse riding
  3. Stop using a laptop on your lap-causes overheating
  4. Avoid illicit drug use ie use of anabolic steroids, Cannabis etc
  5. Eat a healthy balanced diet with plent of fruit & veg
  6. Avoid very hot baths, saunas etc
  7. Take a male fertility supplement-studies have shown that trace elements in the diet can play a significant role in male fertility
  8. Reduce your alcohol intake

Male infertility on Gavin & Stacey

I watched an old episode of Gavin & Stacey last night on BBC3 in which they tackled the subject of male infertility in a light hearted way yet with sensitivity and understanding.

Stacey has been trying to get pregnant for the last 12 months without success. She persuades Gavin to go with her for tests with the doctor, and they are both surprised when the test results show that Gavin has a low sperm count.

This started me thinking about male infertility.

What is male infertility ?

Male infertility is the inability of a male to produce a pregnancy in a women. Most commonly this is due to a problem with the sperm ie a poor sperm count, poor motility or abnormal morphology of the sperm although sometimes it can be due to other causes such as structural or ejaculatory problems.

How common is male infertility ?

Depending on the source you use, male infertility seems to account for between 30-50% of cases of infertility. Ths figure is surprising to many as public perception tends to be that the problem is more likely to be with the women.

What causes male infertility ?

There are many causes of reduced fertility in men. Sperm quality is thought to be declining in the western world in recent years and this has been attributed to many factors including changing working practices for many men involving long working hours, long periods of time sat either at desks or in cars, diet, smoking, alcohol, drugs, stress.

Some medical causes of male infertility include:

  • obstructive problems (blockages in sperm-carrying tubes)
  • testicular injury and disease
  • varicocele
  • sperm disorders
  • genetic disorders
  • problems with erection and ejaculation
  • hormonal problems
  • general medical disorders that reduce fertility
  • drugs that reduce fertility
  • Environmental toxins and radiation

Other factors that may affect sperm count & quality

  • Anything that causes overheating of scrotum may be a factor for some-ie overexercising, cycling, horse riding, very hot baths, saunas, laptop use, sitting at desk for long periods of time, obesity etc
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Recreational drugs such as Cannabis

Click here for information on home male fertility test & erection aids

The Fertility Focus Telesummit is underway. but there is still time to join in!

The second interview of the Fertility Focus Telesummit was mine, on how “Creating an Effective Support Network Can Make All the Difference When Trying To Conceive.” I’m really excited by the response I have had, with many listeners emailing me afterward to thank me and/or tell me that what I shared really resonated with them. The Telesummit is completely free to listen to the live presentations, and the replays for 24 hours after each interview. If you didn’t know about it before, it’s not too late to get involved.

The 2nd Fertility Focus Telesummit, created and moderated by Sarah Holland, is running this week.  Twelve fertility experts from around the world, and 3 fertility bloggers, are speaking throughout the week on various aspects of fertility health and support.  Sarah started things off on Sunday, the 20th of March, with an introduction to the Telesummit and an explanation of how to get the most out of it.

Yesterday, Monday the 21st, saw the first two interviews; Dr Marion Glenville spoke on the nutritional aspect of fertility health, giving much of her hour-long presentation over to listeners’ questions and providing really comprehensive responses.  The second interview of the evening was mine, on how “Creating an Effective Support Network Can Make All the Difference When Trying To Conceive.”  I’m really excited by the response I have had, with many listeners emailing me afterward to thank me and/or tell me that what I shared really resonated with them.

The Telesummit is completely free to listen to the live presentations, and the replays for 24 hours after each interview. If you didn’t know about it before, it’s not too late to get involved.  Click here to register for the Fertility Focus Telesummit FREE!  You can listen live, and submit questions for each of the speakers, or listen at your leisure to the recordings afterward.  If you are really busy this week and know you won’t be able to listen in, OR you just want to have all 17 audio files to refer to over and over, Sarah provides the option of upgrading to a Golden Ticket so you can purchase the whole Telesummit’s talks, which will be emailed to you as an MP3 file afterward. This is an incredible value, this week only while the Telesummit is running, at US$67, including several bonuses. You can find all the information at the Telesummit website.

Because I’m a bit late in letting you know about the Telesummit and my own presentation on creating a support network, I’d like to share some of that information with you here.  Having been through several challenging years of recurrent miscarriage and secondary infertility myself, I have the benefit of hindsight telling me that I really could have coped far better if I had been more proactive about getting myself, and my husband, the right balance of emotional and practical support.  Infertility put a big strain on our marriage, and I felt very alone and fearful that I would not be able to have the children I had always dreamed of having.  We are fortunate to have come through those rough times, and to have our two children.  Using my training and experience as a fertility coach, I have developed a system to help each of my clients create a support network for their unique needs, thus easing their experience of infertility and efforts to conceive and helping them to feel less isolated and stressed.

During the call, I explained:

  • Why infertility support is so important;
  • The 5 most essential types of support every infertile person needs;
  • Why your partner is not always the best source of support;
  • How you actually create your personal support network;
  • What you can do is someone you expected to be supportive has turned out to be the opposite; and
  • How to maintain a really effective support network over a long period of time.

I’m also offering a Free Bonus to Callers from the Telesummit! I’ve created a comprehensive Worksheet that takes you through the process of creating your own infertility support network, step by step. So, if you haven’t already registered, don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

I’m listening to the other speakers throughout the week myself. I have to say, I’ve been very impressed so far. I’ve learned a lot already from both Dr Glenville and Andrew Loosely, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist. Other expert speakers during the week include Sarah Holland on using EFT for conception, Kristin Hayward, Zita West, Gabriela Rosa, Toni Weschler, Sue Dumais, Nicola Smuts, Deirdre Morris and Cindy Bailey. Then, you can listen to talks from 3 prolific bloggers, including the authors of “From IF to When,” “Eggs and Sperm” and “Survive and Thrive.” I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week.

5 simple things you can change that may increase your chances of conceiving

Its funny how often the simple changes can bring the biggest rewards.

1) Make sure you have sex at your most fertile time .

Now this is not to say that you should only have sex at your fertile time, in fact there is lots of evidence to show the opposite. To keep the sperm supply at its best, you should have regular sex throughout the month but it is pretty crucial that you have intercourse during your fertile time (around ovulation)

How do you know when its your fertile time ? That the subject of a whole other blog post on ovulation predictor tests & methods

2) Replace your usual personal lubricant with a sperm friendly lubricant

These days many couples use intimate lubricants either for foreplay, intercourse or both. Many intimate lubricants (including saliva) in common useage are not sperm friendly ie this means the lubricant can actually impair or damage sperm-not good news when you are trying to conceive.

In the UK there are currently 3 personal lubricants on the market that have been designed especially for couples trying to conceive and are clinically proven to be sperm friendly. They are Pre-Seed, Conceive Plus and Zestica Fertility.

To find out more about fertility friendly personal lubricants click here

3) Stop your man using his laptop on his lap

It is amazing how many men spend most evenings with a laptop on their laps while watching television or travelling on a train. Laptops heat up very quickly and generate large amounts of heat that can be detrimental to sperm. The testicles, which is where the sperm are produced and stored, are outside the body because if they were inside the body the heat from the body cavity would impair & damage the sperm. When a man has a laptop on his lap it is right over his testicles and this is likely to cause overheating.

I recently came a cross a couple where the man’s sperm count had come back with a low motility count, and he was using a laptop on his lap for extended periods most nights. He changed this laptop behaviour & the sperm count and motility has improved.

4) Keep your weight at a healthy level.

There has long been  anecdotal eveidence to suggest that weight is important but now this has been backed up by clinical evidence to suggest that fertility is reduced in both overweight women & underweight women.

5) Relax-

I know its easier said than done, but more and more studies are confirming that stress can be a big factor in unexplained infertility. Sometimes the stress of trying to conceive itself can actually hamper your attempts.

Look at other areas of stress in your life and see if you can reduce or alleviate them. Consider alternative therapies which are often excellent at helping to alleviate or manage stress. Yoga and Pilates for example are great at teaching you to relax. Make a list of things that you can do to help you relax each day and make sure you do one of them each day. It can be as simple as taking a lovely bubble bath or taking a walk outside in the sunshine. You know the things that help you to relax-so make time to do them

Male Fertility Tips-optimising your fertility

We read lots today in the news about how stress, modern lifestyles & enviromental pollutants can affect men’s fertility adversely.

Here are some quick tips of things to do and things to avoid:

  1. Guys keep the laptops off the laps-anything that causes overheating in the groin area can damage your fertility. This is why testicles are not inside your body like the other organs-it is to keep them cool. Make sure you sit at a table when using a laptop so the laptop is not on your lap. (This is also much better for you back as you will tend to sit up straight rather than slouch)
  2. Give up smoking-studies have shown that smoking adversely affects male fertility
  3. Keep alcohol consumption at a low level and avoid binge drinking
  4. Avoid going in very hot baths or saunas as this will cause overheating of the testicles
  5. Eat you 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and eat a healthy balanced diet. Try to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or underweight can affect your fertility adversely.
  6. Consider taking a multivitamin supplement that is specifically for men such as Wellman as they contain key supplements that are important for sperm production and general & sexual health
  7. Avoid taking any recreational drugs as many of them have been shown to affect male fertility adversely
  8. If you are on a prescription drug check with your GP whether it could affect your fertility
  9. Avoid overexercising-extreme over exercise has been shown to affect fertility adversely in both men and women. In men it may be due to the overheating element or their may be other factors. Regular moderate exercise is good-just don’t overdo it and try to avoid overheating in the groin area-wear loose fitting workout clothes, boxers or  shorts. Avoid the tight fitting lycra! Avoid strenuous riding (ie bicycle or horse) which may cause overheating of groin.
  10. Some enviromental pollutants can affect male fertility adversely-check if you are working with any toxic chemicals & make sure you are taking adequate health & safety precautions
  11. Try and relax. Stress can affect fertility adversely. Make time for relaxation every day.

We saved the best two until last:

  1. Have sex regularly. Studies have shown that having sex regularly actually improves your fertility. There is no advantage to saving the sperm up for the fertile time of the month. Old sperm are more likely to be damaged or have poorer motility. Try to have sex regularly 2-3 times a week to kep the sperm replenished and fresh
  2. Enjoy sex. Sex is and should be a pleasurable experience so keep it fun.

You can buy home male fertility test kits and fertility products online in UK from Access Diagnostics 

Theta Healing and Fertility

Theta Healing is and energy healing which allows us to explore and release the memories we hold which may be blocking our full potential.  The Fertility Solutions Programme uses Theta Healing and Hypnosis to gently discover and release any beliefs, memories or emotions that may be blocking conception.  The process can also address physical symptoms such as PCOS.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> Tracy Holloway developed the Fertility Solutions Programme after years of working in the area of fertility.  Tracy has worked as a Hypnotherapist, Psychologist and Theta Practitioner who is renowned in the area of fertility.  She has brought together her rich knowledge and experience to develop the unique programme which explores the well being of the whole person in order to support their reproductive health.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> Using Theta Healing it is possible to address physical symptoms which may be affecting fertility, for example PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis and Sperm motility (to name a few).  It is also possible to address emotional issues which affect couples who are experiencing fertility challenges.  Many of my female clients will talk to me about their grieving each time their period arrives.  They describe their fertility journey as a roller coaster ride. They have hope during the month then the grieving starts as their cycle begins again.  Using the Fertility Solutions Programme it is possible for women to view each cycle as a positive thing, their body is working in the way that will make pregnancy possible at some point in the future, rather than a setback.  Sometimes a simple relieving of stress is enough to support conception.

<!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> One thing that is important to remember is each couple is unique, their journey is unique and they will conceive in their own time.  In other words it’s best not to compare yourselves with others because everyone’s journey is different.  Using the Fertility Solutions programme it is possible to address the emotional stresses and strains and focus on other areas of your life (enjoying your relationship for example) rather than relying on conception to bring happiness.  By addressing both physical and emotional aspects of fertility it is possible to have your best chance of conception.

My journey to motherhood and becoming a fertility coach

As I sit at my kitchen table and write this blog I am incredibly aware of just what a lot has happened over these last few years . And how , for all the noise , tantrums and lack of sleep I will never cease to be amazed that I have finally got here .That I can finally be a mum .I guess thats one of the only advantages to having had such a fight to get my family . I will never take it for granted .Change the scene to about 8 years ago and the situation was very different and in a sense  where our  journey began  . 

I had met my husband at university and always had a strong friendship as well as romantic hope for him . So it was with little suprise that we finally told family and friends that we were getting married in 1997 . We were very much in love and talked from early on about how great it would be to be parents .The summer before we officially started trying I remember being on holiday and writing a list together of our top girls and boys names for the family which lay just within our reach . There was such optimism and such hope . It was to be over so soon .We tried for a family for about 9 months before I could take it no longer and assumed there was something wrong .

I was never known for my patience and thus nearly everyone told me to calm down , stop trying so hard etc etc ….the usual . But deep down I really just wanted reassurance . And so I persuaded a doctor to do some initial tests on both of us . Fully expecting the results to match the helpful comments of friends and family . That we would be fine and to just relax more .However the results for my husband were utterly devestating . He was Azoospermic , there was no sperm whatsoever  present . The ” kindly ” doctor pronounced we would never have chidren and we were sent on our way .

And just like that our world crumbled and a new chapter began .We then went through every test we could do , choosing to use my savings rather than wait ..again that old impatience . I found out information about my inner workings that I never thought I would know . And certainly more about my husband than is common in most marriages !Finally we saw one of the top specialists in the country and were told in no uncertain terms that ours was one of the worst situations a couple could find themselves in .” If I were you mr Sizer i wouldnt put my wife through IVF but would look at Donor or adoption . You have a 1 in 125,000 chance of this ever working “To say my husband was crushed would be an understatement . And I grieved that day as Much for what it was doing to him as  for the loss of our dreams .

Over the next few weeks we re emerged from the duvet and began to talk . ..and talk ..and pray and talk . Until finally , and for no good practical reason we chose to give that 1 in 125,000 chance a go . Not good betting odds but I guess we needed to close the door before moving on .And so we started IVF number one at the lister clinic , a wonderful warm enviroment who supported us all the way , even when they felt it was a run to nothing .The cycle went badly to begin with and then got worse with the realisation that I was what they called a “poor responder ” ( how I hate that phrase !) and probably early menopausal ..just to add to the tension !!Finally however 4 eggs were obtained , my husband had a very painful op to remove the few sperm he did have and the wonderful world of science miraculously made 4 embryos .Just 3 days later 2 little bundles of potential were lit up on a screen and shown going into my womb …and so began the dreaded 2 week wait .Again we were so low on hope that I almost didnt do a test on the set date . But eventually we did . And amazingly 1 little ball had made it .I was pregnant !! 9 months of  elation and anxiety ensued until finally on April 26th 2003 our first miracle was born and Hope Sizer came into the world .We were literally over the moon to become parents and loved those early days with our new daughter .

And yet our dreams of a family had always been of two or more children .And though family and friends pretty much begged us not to keep going we entered the wonderful world of ART once again when Hope was just over a year old . The abridged version of what happened next was that amazingly , our odds actually seemed to get worse ! I was diagnosed with High FSH , and an over active immune system as well as the initial poor responder bit !  We went through 3 more cycles and two miscarriages before our final attempt at the ARGC clinic .This was to be it . Enough of the battering .And so a new regime was started ,new protocol and an immune suppresant drug for a mere £2000 extra .Two embryos put back in and …..well lets just say Barnaby sizer is a very meant little boy !

We finally felt like a family.I have done many things in my life that I am proud of and many things make me grateful . none of them howehver come close to the pride I feel personally and as a couple, in fighting for our family .It was without doubt the hardest thing I have ever done , possibly ever will do  , and amazingly it was worth it .During my time going through IVF I retrained from a counselling background , into Life coaching and began to specialise in supporting encouraging and resourcing couples through Infertility .

To come up with specific coping tools  through this most emotional of times .One of the key things I always say to people is to never belittle what you are facing . Infertility has recently been given a stress point reading akin to Cancer and Bereavement and as such a person dealing with fertility issues needs support . A new chapter has again then started for me through this work . A new chance to help support and encourage other people facing the difficulties of Infertility . Whether it is running the support group , running workshops or speaking to the media I remain passionate that people facing Infertility should be as best looked after as possible .

Best of luck to everyone reading this 

Anya Sizer

www.thefertilitycoach.co.uk     

Facing Many Crossroads, Together

Part Two: Coming upon a Crossroads, What You Need To Make Your Decisions

The first crossroads is likely to be when you decide to see the doctor because, despite your efforts, you have not conceived.   It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, or culture, to expose their intimate life to the scrutiny of doctors or undergo blood tests and scans, checking for something “wrong.”  Some uninformed men may be unwilling to provide a semen sample, for fear of what the results may suggest about his manliness.

Both the woman and man may feel some anxiety about whose family line may be to “blame” for their inability to become pregnant.  If this pertains to you or your partner, you must cast these outdated stigmas aside and take some relatively simple tests to discover the cause of your infertility.  If having a baby is your ultimate goal, your value system may have to adapt to accept the help that modern medicine and technology offer.

The second crossroads is deciding whether to pursue more invasive medical investigations and/or treatment.  With a clear diagnosis and readily available treatment, it is easier to decide what to do because the options are more clearly set out.  Your personal life may present the deciding factor: your relationship, finances, career, religion or emotional wellbeing may all be taken into consideration.  Many couples have to contend with unexplained infertility, where early test results were ambiguous.  If you (or your doctor) are operating in the dark, it won’t do much for your confidence.  In this case, the dilemma about which treatment to pursue may be decided by not knowing what else to do. 

Whatever your decision, the most important factor is agreement between the partners, not only because cooperation, understanding and support are vital to keeping stress levels down, but also because it could mean the difference between having a genetic child or not.  From the point that you choose assisted conception you enter a different world; one where your daily life centres on the fertility clinic. For working men, the clinical, inconvenient scheduling, financial and sexual aspects of trying to conceive while being treated, put them into unfamiliar territory and cause stress.  Women will physically experience all of that, and possibly, mood swings, pain, invasive procedures and fear that time is running out as well. 

The decision-making shifts to:

  • Are you happy with the doctor/clinic you started with?
  • Should you try less invasive treatment first, or go straight to IVF?
  • Should we try complementary therapies before, or alongside, traditional medical treatment?
  • How will you pay for your treatment?
  • When should you begin treatment?
  • Can this be managed around your work and/or other obligations?
  • How many embryos do you want to implant? 
  • How many times will you undergo treatment?

These questions may have the two of you at a new crossroads every week. While some people may sail through and others agonize, it’s more likely that some decisions will bring up unexpected issues.  Pay really close attention how you are both functioning.  Your emotional state is important: Do either of you feel stressed, resentful, guilty, desperate, depressed, or hopeless?  Is one of you leaning one way and the other in another direction?  Are you fighting? That is where mutual respect, communication and agreement come into play.

Lisa Marsh is a Fertility Coach working with people on all aspects of fertility, including female and male infertility, pregnancy loss, assisted conception, alternative means of family-building and menopause.  Visit her blog http://yourgreatlife.typepad.com or her website http://yourgreatlife.co.uk for more information.  For coaching, email lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk

Shortage of sperm donors in UK

Just read a really interesting article at BBC online. It seems that since the changes in 2006 (sperm donors no longer anonymous) fewer men have been coming forward to donate sperm to sperm banks. This means many fertility clinics are having difficulties, & couples are have to go on waiting lists for sperm.

The article is very interesting and highlights one way the Centre for Reproductive Medicine at Barts Hospital has dealt with the problem, by setting up their own sperm bank

Click on link below to read the article

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8292694.stm

Male Factor Infertility

Male Factor Infertility

Infertility has historically been viewed as a predominantly female issue, but Male Factor Infertility may well be a larger problem than you think. Statistics exist suggesting Male Factor Infertility is the main cause of difficulty in anywhere between 30% to over 70% of couples having problems conceiving, (the 70% having been reported in
Cheshire, Merseyside and
West Lancs. in 2005)

However, new sperm are produced every day with the good news that simple lifestyle changes along with acupuncture could help improve both quality and quantity.*

Best wishes to all and remember the Chinese saying; ‘where the mind goes, energy flows’ so be relaxed and positive in all you do.Jenny Sercombe MBAcCPracticing in
Manchester and
Stockport. Call 07970 515 391 if you wish to make an appointment.
ACUPUNCTURE IMPROVES SPERM QUALITY

website  www.acupuncturewithjenny.co.uk 

(Fertility and Sterility, Volume 84, Issue 1 , July 2005, Pages 141-147)

Asian J Androl 2003 Dec; 5: 345-348

Sex every day could increase your chances of being a father

New research indicates that sex every day may enhance the genetic quality of men’s sperm, and could improve their chances of conception and becoming a father.

New research indicates that sex every day may enhance the genetic quality of men’s sperm, and could improve their chances of conception and becoming a father.

Couples trying for a baby are usually recommended to only have sexual intercourse every other day in order to avoid reducing the man’s sperm count. A low sperm count may negatively affect men’s fertility levels and chances of fatherhood.

However, a new study conducted at Sidney IVF, a centre for infertility treatment, suggests that daily sex for a week could significantly enhance the genetic quality of sperm. Although refraining from sexual intercourse for a few days allows the sperm count to recover, the quality of sperm may be damaged from infrequent ejaculations.

It is believed that the DNA of sperm may become damaged while sperm rests in the epididymis due to heat and oxygen-free radicals exposure. Therefore, the longer sperm rest in the epididymis, the greater the risk of genetic damage. Dr Greening, who led the study, said that “through simply clearing the epididymis and testicles, DNA damage has less time to occur. There’s less time for vandalism.”

Since frequent ejaculations empty the sperm reservoir, newly produced sperm of higher genetic quality are more likely to be quickly available. Having sex every day during a woman’s most fertile days is therefore critical to achieving pregnancy, according to Dr. Greening.

The findings of this study are of particular relevance for couples undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment. Before IVF, the man is usually asked to refrain from ejaculating for a few days before providing a sperm sample which is used to fertilise his partner’s eggs. Many couples do not have frequent intercourse during IVF treatment either.

A pilot study conducted two years ago found that daily ejaculation decreased levels of DNA damage by 12 per cent. The study was carried out on 42 men with high levels of sperm DNA damage, and was then repeated on a further 118 men. Incidences of DNA damage in the sperm of 81 per cent of these men fell by 12 per cent, although sperm DNA damage increased in the remaining 19 per cent of the men involved in the study.

According to Allan Pacey, a senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, clearing the sperm reservoir is particularly important in cases in which the sperm have high levels of genetic damage. There appears to be a clear trade-off between the quantity of sperm and genetic damage; according to the study, if a man has a decent sperm count but high sperm DNA damage, ejaculating every day will increase his chances of becoming a father.

Visit Access Diagnostics for ovulation test kits , ultra early pregnancy tests, Pre-Seed, Conceive plus, Male fertility test kits and lots more fertility advice and products.

Male Fertility Tips

There has been a lot of coverage of male fertility issues in the news this week, so I thought it would be worth doing a quick review of the info and some tips for improving male fertility

The good news is a recent study has shown that having sex frequently is good for male fertility.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5697634/Couples-trying-for-baby-should-have-sex-daily.html

Not so good news is that extreme cycling is very bad for fertility. Read this article if you guy spends a lot of time cycling, even if its at the gym.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8124458.stm

And those laptops are still causing problems !

http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20090515023655data_trunc_sys.shtml

Tips for maximising male fertility:

  • Avoid anything that gets the testicles over heated, as excess heat can damage sperm-this is why the testicles are external and not inside the body. Things that may cause overheating are:laptops on the lap, saunas, hot baths, tight underwear, cycling, medical conditions such as varicoele (varicose veins in scrotum-if you think you have this see your doctor)
  • Stop smoking as smokers have higher incidence of sperm problems
  • Keep alcohol consumption within safe limits
  • Eat a balanced healthy diet high in antioxidants, eat lots of fruit and veg & cut down on the meat-make sure he gets his 5 a day. A recent Spanish study has shown that men who eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, in particular peppers, spinach and citrus fruits, have higher quality and faster swimming sperm.
  • Check if he is on any medication that may damage sperm e.g. some antidepressants, check with your doctor.
  • Exercise moderately-remember keep those testicles cool, and wear loose fitting boxers and clothes. May be best to avoid the tight lycra
  • Avoid recreational drug use-research has shown that cannabis may reduce male fertility http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/3586115.stm
  • Taking a multivitamin containing L-Cartinine may help

If you would like to check your fertility at home you can purchase a home male fertility test kit that checks sperm count and motility from Access Diagnostics fertility site in UK

 

Maximise His Fertility

5 tips to maximise his fertility

1) Make sure he eats a healthy diet-consider a vitamin and mineral supplement designed to support male fertility

2) Get him to give up smoking

3) Avoid tight fitting underwear or trousers (and anything else that may raise testicular temperature) no saunas and keep the laptop off his lap !

4) Avoid recreational drugs, keep alcohol consumption within safe limits

5) Does he have any underlying medical condition that could affect fertility eg varicoele (varicose veins in scrotum), chlamydia or any other illness. If concerned book appointment with doctor for check up.

Click here to view male fertility supplements, fertility tests & fertility products

Chemicals are ‘feminising’ unborn boys & may affect male fertility

Just read this article in Daily Mail online

Chemicals in food, cosmetics and cleaning products are ‘feminising’ unborn boys and raising their risk of cancer and infertility later in life, an expert warns today.

Professor Richard Sharpe, one of Britain’s leading reproductive biologists, says everyday substances are linked to soaring rates of birth defects and testicular cancer, and to falling sperm counts.

The government adviser’s report published today is the most detailed yet into the threat posed to baby boys by chemicals that block the action of the male sex hormone testosterone, or mimic the female sex hormone oestrogen.

Professor Sharpe says many could be harmless on their own – but warned that their cumulative effect could be devastating for developing foetuses and warned women trying for a child to avoid them.

‘You can’t do anything about chemicals in the environment but you can control what you expose a baby to through your lifestyle choices,’ he said.

Read the full article here

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1180957/Gender-bending-chemical-timebomb-fear-boys-fertility.html

Are we neglecting male fertility issues ?

Just read an interesting article  at BBC online by Dr Allan Pacey who is a fertility expert at the University of Sheffield in which he gives his personal viewpoint on male fertility issues. 

Around one in six couples experience fertility problems at some point in their lives and seek advice from a doctor.Tests show that between 30% to 50% of problems are with the male partner. During any one year, millions of men throughout the world struggle to father children, and many more may not be aware of a fertility problem because they have not yet decided to start a family. Others may realise there is a problem and simply give up trying. Of the many reasons why a man may not be able to father a child the most common is that he simply does not produce enough sperm, or that the sperm he does ejaculate are of poor quality. In some European countries, such as Denmark, it has been estimated that up to 25% of young men have poor semen quality. A worry is whether this proportion has increased in recent years, and whether today’s men are as fertile as their fathers were.

Read the full article here      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8009703.stm

Click here for information or to buy home male fertility tests to screem sperm count & sperm motility

The Great Sperm Race was excellent viewing

I watched it last night with dh and we both found it very informative & quite awe inspiring.

What those sperm go through to fertilise the egg is amazing. It is a true miracle of nature they even reach the egg. Good job I’m not a sperm-I think I would give up at the start-lol

Dr Ellington (Sperm Physiologist & CEO of ING Fertility the makers of Pre-Seed) was one of the narrators and did a great job.

If you missed the programme you can view it online at channel 4-link below

Watch The Great Sperm Race online

More about ‘The Great Sperm Race’ C4

Tune in on 16th February on Channel 4 to see Pre-Seed’s inventor Dr. E as she helps narrate this exciting show.

It’s the most extreme race on earth – a contest with 250 million competitors, only one winner and relentless obstacles thrown in for good measure.

Click here for more information about The Great Sperm Race

The Great Sperm Race Channel 4 16th February 2009

I have it on good authority that there is a programme to be screened on Channel 4 on 16th february called ‘The Great Sperm Race’ which features Pre-Seed inventor Dr Joanna Ellington (sperm physiologist & CEO INGfertility)

Watch this space for more info 

Click here for more info about Pre-Seed

Vitamen fertility supplement for men from Zita West

What is Vitamen ?

Vitamen is a premium vitamin & mineral supplement for men designed by Zita West (renowned London based fertility guru) for fertility & preconception

Vitamen is a fantastic vitamin & mineral supplement specially formulated just for men. . Zita West has spent a great deal of time researching what really makes a difference to sperm health and Vitamen supplement is the result of all her hard work.

90 capsules – 1 month’s supply

Vitamen is suitable for vegetarians

How do I take Vitamen ?

Vitamen from Zita West is specially formulated for men, to be taken in an easy capsule form, three times a day, with or after food

What does Vitamen contain ?

Vitamen from Zita West is a premium multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement. It contains essential nutrients needed to prepare for conception and produce healthy sperm.

Vitamen is free from artificial colours, preservatives, gluten and is certified non-GM.

How long should Vitamen be taken for ?

Vitamen should ideally be taken for at least 3 months prior to conception.

Three capsules a day typically provide:

Vitamen – Ingredients and their benefits to male fertility:

Arginine – an amino acid vital for sperm health
Ginseng – an all-round general tonic
Lysine – an amino acid essential for sperm health
Selenium – contributes to sperm health. Research suggests a possible link between low levels of selenium in older parents and babies with Downs Syndrome.
Vitamin B12 – helps to maintain a high sperm count
Vitamin C – increases sperm count and motility and decreases the risk of sperm damage. Helps to remove lead from the body. Particularly important if the diet is low in fresh fruit and vegetables.
Vitamin E –important anti-oxidant. Deficiency can cause damage to reproductive tissues.
Zinc – needed to make the outer layer and tail of the sperm. Zinc is lost with each ejaculation, so an active sex life and a low zinc diet places a man at risk. Deficiency can cause impotence, infertility, and a low sperm count.Source Ingredients:Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid), L-Arginine Hydrochloride, Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose, Magnesium Oxide,  L-Lysine Hydrochloride, Modified Corn Starch 1, Korean Ginseng (Panax Ginseng), L-Carnitine-L-Tartrate, Vitamin E (D-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate 2), Taurine, Soya Oil 2, Silica, Zinc Citrate, Sunflower Oil, Vegetable Magnesium Stearate, Niacin (Nicotinamide), Water, Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Lycopene, Colour: Titanium Dioxide, Coenzyme Q10, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) Allergen Information: – 1 From Corn 2 From Soya

Vitamen Allergen Information

Derived from Corn: Modified corn starch
Derived from Soya: Vitamin E (D-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate); Soya Oil

Will Zita West Vitamen improve sperm count ?

Research has shown that the vitamins and minerals used in Zita West Vitamen help with sperm health. Sperm health includes mobility, motility, formation, and sperm count.

All Zita West nutritional products have been approved by the HFMA (Health Food Manufacturers’ Association) and have been formulated in accordance with Department of Health guidelines.

Visit Access Diagnostics fertility site for home male fertility tests and fertility products 

 

Can working in a hot kitchen make men infertile ?

This is an excellent question and answer session on this very subject that I read online last year, and wanted to share with you.

SEX ADVICE :CAN A HOT KITCHEN MAKE ME INFERTILE? From The Times February 9, 2008

Q My son works in a commercial kitchen. I’ve heard the chef Gordon Ramsay talking about “heat stress infertility” – but is this a real danger to my boy?

DR THOMAS STUTTAFORD

A Gordon Ramsay’s phrase “heat stress infertility” encapsulates two factors that might make it difficult for your son to impregnate a woman. Either the stress of being shouted at and harried from morning to night could be dampening his sexual desire, or the heat in the kitchen may be toasting his testes.

Any exhausting and stressful job – and there is no better example of this than a professional kitchen – will shrivel libido. Physically tiring or emotionally draining work leaves a man longing for peace and quiet, a pillow and sleep, rather than the embrace of a woman.

It was always believed that recruits when first joining the Army had bromide added to their tea to remove their libido. Not so. The true reason for their loss of interest in sex was that they were shouted at all day as they worked hard from 5am to midnight.

Most men’s libido would also suffer from life in a hot kitchen. The effects of heat on the physiology of the testis will become more pronounced the longer the exposure to high temperatures. And the harmful effect on sperm production may take up to three months to disappear. Testes need to be kept at a temperature that favours spermatogenesis, the manufacture of sperm. This process is not at its best if the heat is persistently abnormally high. High temperatures will affect the results of a standard comprehensive semen analysis, the sperm count, and the more detailed sperm DNA fragmentation tests.

Although men with poor-quality semen and low sperm counts are more likely to have sperm that show DNA fragmentation (abnormalities that can also affect fertility) the relationship is not consistent. Men with normal sperm counts may have DNA abnormalities. Research shows that many things can affect the ability of sperm to fertilise eggs: too few sperm, too many abnormal sperm, too little semen; or laggardly sperm which, instead of swimming purposely towards the ovum like greyhounds after a hare, stroll like shoppers down Bond Street. Conversely, excessive sperm fragmentation and DNA abnormalities reduce the chance that the ovum will develop normally.

The factors that affect male fertility in one way or the other are poor diet, smoking, environmental pollutants, drugs – including so-called recreational drugs – and excessive alcohol. Other causes of reduced fertility are: chronic infection, varicose veins in the scrotum, tight trousers, so that the testes can’t hang loosely but are held firmly against the crotch, or working in a sweaty, busy kitchen.

If your son is infertile, the first step is for him to have a comprehensive sperm assessment. When the results are known you and your son will know whether some change in lifestyle is going to be necessary if you are to have grandchildren to play with in old age.

If your son only has to give up drinking half a bottle of whisky a day, forswear cigarettes, refuse recreational drugs, and buy boxer shorts rather than Y-fronts, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. It may be rather more difficult if he has to change his career. If he can’t face life without having a celebrity chef swearing at him like a drill sergeant, and the rest of his lifestyle is sound, there may be little that you can do.

Dr Thomas Stuttaford, The Times doctor, spent many years working in a genitourinary clinic

Read the fulll article here
http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/body_and_soul/article3334560.ece

Fertility Damaging Chemicals-male fertility

This is an extract from an article I read online earlier in the year, about how chemicals that painters & decorators are exposed to may affect sperm motility

Male painters exposed to fertility-damaging chemicals
23 May 2008

Men working as painters and decorators who are exposed to glycol ethers are more likely to have poor semen quality, according to research carried out by scientists from the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester.
The findings from the research, which have been published in the BMJ journal Occupational Environmental Medicine, show that men who work with solvents such as glycol ether have a 2.5 fold increased risk of having a low motile sperm count compared to men with low exposure. Glycol ethers are widely used in many products including water-based paints – a product used by many painters and decorators.

Sperm motility is an important factor in the fertility of men and the concentration of motile sperm per ejaculate has shown to be linked with conception. However, the size and shape of sperm (morphology) and the quality of sperm DNA are also important factors that may be affected by chemical exposure.

The findings are a result of a major collaborative UK study to determine the occupational risks of male infertility through chemical exposure in the workplace. The study, undertaken in 14 fertility clinics in 11 cities across the UK, examined the working lives of 2,118 men.

The researchers however did conclude that, apart from glycol ether, there are currently few workplace chemical threats to male fertility. 

In additional to chemical exposure, the study looked at other non-chemical factors in the men’s lifestyle. The researchers discovered that men who had undergone previous surgery to the testicles or who undertook manual work were more likely to have low motile sperm counts, whereas men who drank alcohol regularly or wore boxer shorts were more likely to have better semen quality. 

Dr Andy Povey, senior lecturer in Molecular Epidemiology at the University of Manchester, said: “We know that certain glycol ethers can affect male fertility and the use of these has reduced over the past two decades. However our results suggest that they are still a workplace hazard and that further work is needed to reduce such exposure.”

Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in Andrology at the University of Sheffield, added: “Infertile men are often concerned about whether chemicals they are exposed to in the workplace are harming their fertility. Therefore it is reassuring to know that on the whole the risk seems to be quite low.”

The study was funded by the UK Health and Safety Executive, the UK Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, the UK Department of Health and the European Chemical Industry Council.

Information taken from
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/display/?id=3672

Which are the best sperm for fertilising the egg ?

Just read this article below at Times online about the results of a recently published study into which sperm can swim the fastest.

Size does not matter when it comes to a sperm’s ability to reach and fertilise an egg, a study published today suggests.

Research in the London-based journal BMC Evolutionary Biology casts doubt on the common scientific belief that sperm with longer tails can swim faster. The speed at which a sperm swims is a key factor in its capability to fertilise an egg.

While a longer tail does mean more thrust, this can be cancelled out by the drag caused by a correspondingly larger head. The proportions of the sperm – and ratio of head size to tail length – is the key factor, the researchers found.

Stuart Humphries, from the University of Sheffield, who took part in the study with collaborators from the University of Western Australia, said: “It is commonly believed that selection for increased sperm performance will favour the evolution of longer sperm. In fact, the relative lengths of a sperm’s parts, rather than their absolute lengths, are likely to be the target of selection.” The authors added that looking at liquid dynamics could allow research to progress rapidly.

The artcile can be found here http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article5225778.ece

What can you do to improve your sperm count ?

What can you do to help improve things if you have a low sperm count ?
-Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
-Take regular exercise.
-Try to maintain your weight in the ideal range.
-Don’t smoke.
-Keep alcohol consumption within recommended limits.
-Don’t use recreational drugs.
-Try to reduce stress.
Two other actions have been suggested that may help
Avoid tight underwear or wear boxer shorts
Cold showers or scrotal soaks – while these might take the mind off fertility concerns for a few moments, there is no evidence of their effectiveness.

You may also consider taking a dietry supplement

Click here to see a range of supplements suitable for men trying to conceive

Why do men get fertility problems?

There are many possible causes of fertility problems in men.

They include:
-obstructive problems (blockages in sperm-carrying tubes)
-testicular injury and disease
-varicocele
-sperm disorders
-genetic disorders
-problems with erection and ejaculation
-hormonal problems
-general medical disorders that reduce fertility
-drugs that reduce fertility
-Environmental toxins and radiation.

Male Fertility Tests-low sperm count

A survey recently carried out by Norwich Union Healthcare revealed that only five percent of men were aware they might have a lower sperm count than average. Many men may be too embarrassed to get their sperm checked by their GP or at a fertility clinic and for them a home male fertility test can be a useful screening test that can be used in the privacy of their own home.

Research has found a rising number of men are now being treated for reduced fertility. Some studies show average sperm counts have fallen by more than half and although the causes are uncertain experts suspect lifestyle factors such as alcohol and drug use, lack of exercise, smoking and obesity as well as environmental factors may be to blame for this alarming increase in the figures.

With 1 in 4 couples suffering from fertility problems and some experts predicting this to increase to 1 in 3 in the near future, the problem of male subfertility needs to be addressed.

The FertilityScoree home male fertility test allows men to check the quality of their sperm in the privacy of their own home simply and quickly. It measures the amount of motile sperm (sperm that are able to move freely) concentration within minutes and can give a strong indication as to the quantity of motile sperm in the sample, which is one of the most accurate indications of sperm quality and quantity.

The home test is positive if it represents 20 million sperm per ml, which is the cut off quantity recommended by the World Health Organisation between fertile and infertile. In a clinical study the FertilitySCORE Home Male was shown to be 93% accurate in identifying semen samples containing 20 million or more motile sperm per ml. Click here to for more information or to buy home male fertility test (home sperm counts) visit Access Diagnostics Fertility Test site

Australian fertility expert says a small dose of daily sunshine could help men with fertility problems

Just read this article online and thought it was very interesting. Seemed surprising to me that Australian men do not get enough vitamin d with that lovely sunny climate.

May be something for couples having difficulty conceiving to consider. And look on the bright side (no pun intended) getting out in the sunshine for 10 minutes a day is good for us in lots of ways, improved mood, exercise, reducing risk of SAD (seasonal affective disorder), stronger bones-the list could go on and on. At this time of year it is lovely to go for a walk in the sunshine or get out in the garden-the autumn colours are fantastic.

Here is an extract from the article

Couples struggling to conceive should consider getting out more, research suggests.

A study found almost a third of men experiencing fertility problems have low levels of vitamin D, the ‘sunshine vitamin’.

Just spending ten minutes outside in their shirt sleeves would be enough of a boost, according to Anne Clark, the medical director of an Australian fertility centre.

Previous studies have shown vitamin D, produced from natural light and found in oily fish and eggs, is important for a healthy pregnancy.

But the latest findings show a deficiency may also affect sperm.

‘The results show lifestyle changes can be beneficial,’ Dr Clark told the Fertility Society of Australia, in Brisbane.

The vitamin D deficiency could have been caused by worries about skin cancer and by men trying to avoid too much exposure to sunshine, Dr Clark

Other basic lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking, losing weight, and reducing caffeine and alcohol intake, would also help. 

In her group, 105 men agreed to the changes, and to take multivitamins and antioxidants for two to three months.

Afterwards, tests revealed ‘an improvement in the shape of the sperm, which can enhance conception,’ said Dr Clark.

Click here to read the full article

Click here for Access Diagnostics fertility site for help trying to conceive

Home Male Fertility Test

Home male fertility test kits have been available to buy for nearly 5 years. Male fertility test kits start from under £20 and offer the user all the convenience of a complete home test with results in under half and hour.

We think the best of the bunch is FertilityScore as this tests both the sperm count and screens the motility of the sperm present. Without a test for motility, the sample count may be good, but the fertility poor, with many dead or inactive sperm which will never result in a pregnancy.

All tests work to the WHO recommended count of 20 million sperm per ml . Above this level is considered high enough to result in pregnancy normally. A sperm count of less than 20million/ml is considered low, and male fertility may be reduced and conception take longer, even if the motility is 100%.

FertilityScore is also the only test which works on the complete ejaculate. This is important as sperm clumping and other inconsistencies can affect the result, if only a sample of the male ejaculate is collected for testing.

FertilityScore also includes 2 complete tests. The tests are performed at 7 to 10 day intervals. Again the importance of this is that the count and quality of sperm in ejaculates varies. It is therfore vital to test at least 2 samples over a period of time, to determine that a healthy fertile count is being achieved and maintained. Two positive results are a good indicator of healthy male fertility with high confidence ratios that the donor should be able to father kids normally.

The home male fertility test offers these advantages

  • Cheap and easily available without waiting
  • Privacy
  • Accurate results in under 1/2 hr
  • Determine if there is a male problem and fast track professional help

The last advantage is critical. Most fertility centres and Drs will not consider investigating male fertility issues until the couple have tried for at least 12 months (if female < 35 years) By home testing, a low or imotile sperm problem can be brought for early investigation and treatment.

FertilityScore Male Fertility Test is available from online retailers and good pharmacies

Chlamydia-can it affect male fertility ?

I was browsing through the Times online Fertility File and found this interesting article about Chlamydia and male fertility.

It is well known that Chlamydia can affect female fertility adversely by causing infection in the female urogential tract and blocking the fallopian tubes. Chlmaydia can also be a cause of recurrent miscarriage if untreated.

Here is an extract from the article

Chlamydia, the sexually transmitted infection (STI) carried by one in ten sexually-active young British adults can make men infertile by damaging the quality of their sperm, new research has shown.

While the condition, which usually passes undetected, has long been known to threaten female fertility, scientists from Spain and Mexico have now established that it presents similar risks for men.

Men with chlamydia have three times the normal number of sperm with genetic damage that can impair their ability to father children, the study found.

Antibiotic treatment can reverse the effect, and preliminary results indicate that it may dramatically enhance pregnancy rates when couples are trying for a baby. But the discovery suggests that the prevalence of the disease may be contributing to infertility across an entire generation of young adults.

Click here to read the full article

Click here for information or to buy home male fertility tests

Exercise and Male Fertility

Decided to research how fertility is affected by different kinds of exercise. Found a really interesting article which has some advice on how mens sperm count can be affected by over exercising amonst other things.

It seems, for example, that marathon running or long-distance cycling, can affect mens sperm counts & motility. Cyclists should wear padded cycling shorts (to avoid scrotal damage) and avoid prolonged times in the saddle and excessive jolting.

Click here to read the full article-recomendations from Zita West

Male home fertility test kits and fertility products

Self-help measures for improving healthy sperm production

  • Avoiding hot baths
  • Wearing boxer shorts and loose trousers
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Drinking only moderate amounts of alcohol
  • Not smoking
  • Avoiding stress

Oh if only life was that simple-lol

Male fertility test kit for use at home

Men who smoke marijuana (cannabis) may be impairing fertility

Men who smoke marijuana (cannabis) frequently have significantly less seminal fluid, a lower total sperm count and their sperm behave abnormally, all of which may affect fertility adversely.

The Study was first conducted at the department of reproductive physiology at the University at Buffalo 2003.

Marijuana contains the cannabinoid drug THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is its primary psychoactive chemical, as well as other cannabinoids.

”The bottom line is, the active ingredients in marijuana are doing something to sperm, and the numbers are in the direction toward infertility,” said Lani J. Burkman, Ph.D., lead author on the study. Burkman is assistant professor of gynecology/obstetrics and urology and head of the Section on Andrology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. UB’s andrology laboratory also carries out sophisticated diagnosis for infertile couples.

Men involved in actively trying to concieve a child should avoid THC, probably for at least a month prior to TTC.

You can buy a Cannabis drug test kit here to see if the cannabis is out of your system.

Male fertility test kit for home use

Does Obesity Affect Male Fertility ?

I was doing some research on this subject this morning, and came across this online news article about male fertility, which I wanted to share with you.

Diabetes and obesity are linked to male infertility From Times Online July 9, 2008
Mark Henderson, Science Editor, in Barcelona

The obesity epidemic could be contributing to falling sperm counts and increasing male fertility problems, according to research that shows that both excess weight and diabetes can reduce the quality of a man’s sperm.

Men who are obese or overweight are significantly more likely to produce abnormal sperm and low volumes of semen than those of healthy weight, and those with diabetes — which is commonly triggered by obesity — are more likely to have sperm with genetic damage, two British studies have found.

You can read the full story at Times Online.

Male fertility tests for home use and male fertility products are available to purchase online in UK at Access Diagnostics fertility site

Home test kits for diabetes may be purchased online in the UK from Valuemed

 

Male Fertility Tests | Male Fertility Test Kit | Fertility Test for Men

MALE FERTILITY TEST-an increasing number of men are checking their fertility by using a male fertility test kit at home.

Home Male Fertility Test Kit-What should we do if the result comes back low?

First thing to say is don’t panic. A low sperm count does not mean you can not conceive it may just make it more difficult. However you do need to go and see your doctor now for examination & further sperm tests-this is very important.

Some of the following factors may be worth considering while you are waiting for the appointment to see the doctor.

1) Was the sample ideal? Did you follow the instructions precisely? It may be worth repeating to check this. Cooling the sample or a delay in performing the fertility test can alter the number of active sperm, and give a false result.

2) High testes temperature. Sperm are made in the testes which are in the scrotum. This is the body’s way of keeping the testes slightly cooler than the rest of the body which is best for making sperm. It is often advised for men who have a low sperm count to wear loose fitting underpants and trousers and to avoid very hot baths, saunas, etc. This aims to keep your testes slightly cooler than the rest of your body, which is thought to be good for sperm production. It is not clear whether these measures improve a sperm count, but they seem to be sensible. Also best not to let him sit with his laptop on his groin !

3) Smoking can affect the sperm count. If you smoke, you should stop completely for optimum sperm production.

4) Alcohol. More than 16 units per week (equivalent to about 8 pints of normal strength beer or 16 small glasses of wine) may interfere with optimum fertility.

5) Drugs and medicines. Most do not interfere with sperm production, but some may do. These include: sulphasalazine, nitrofurantoin, tetracyclines, cimetidine, colchicine, allopurinol, some chemotherapy drugs, cannabis, cocaine, and anabolic steroids. They are always finding new drugs that can affect sperm. If you have a low sperm count, tell a doctor if you take any drugs or medicines regularly

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