Male infertility has many causes from hormonal imbalances to physical problems, to psychological and/or behavioural problems. Moreover, fertility reflects a man’s “overall” health. Men who live a healthy lifestyle are more likely to produce healthy sperm. The following list highlights some lifestyle choices that negatively impact male fertility, it is not all-inclusive:
- Smoking significantly decreases both sperm count and sperm cell motility.
- Prolonged use of marijuana and other recreational drugs.
- Chronic alcohol abuse.
- Anabolic steroid use causes testicular shrinkage and infertility.
- Overly intense exercise produces high levels of adrenal steroid hormones which cause a testosterone deficiency resulting in infertility.
- Inadequate vitamin C and Zinc in the diet.
- Tight underwear increases scrotal temperature which results in decreased sperm production.
- Exposure to environmental hazards and toxins such as pesticides, lead, paint, radiation, radioactive substances, mercury, benzene, boron, and heavy metals.
- Malnutrition and anaemia.
- Excessive stress
Modifying these behaviours can improve a man’s fertility and should be considered when a couple is trying to achieve pregnancy.