Preconception health care should take place for four months. Put simply it takes approximately 100 days for eggs to mature and 116 days for sperm to generate. During this time they are vulnerable to toxicity/nutrient deficiency, trauma, illness and radiation so health of both parents for the 4 months prior to conception is extremely important. It should be noted that sperm are more vulnerable than eggs as they are smaller and more exposed, and are developed within the present environment.
If you have been trying to conceive unsuccessfully for 12 months, have had trauma to your reproductive area, work in a high risk occupation, are overweight, have a history or alcohol, antidepressant or cigarette use it is advisable to have a sperm analysis performed at an IVF laboratory. This test can be requested at your first consultation with Kylie if necessary.
Sperm parameters including morphology, motility, DNA fragmentation, sperm antibodies, number and agglutination can all be improved with the correct advice on supplementation, dietary and lifestyle support. Kylie’s favourite herbs and supplements for sperm support include: vitamin D, Co enzyme Q10, selenium, alpha lipoic acid, vitamins C, E, B9, B12, D3, essential fatty acids Zinc, L-argininge, ginko, tribulus, panax ginseng and sarsaparilla. Whilst all of these remedies will enhance sperm health, it is best to have these professionally prescribed dependant on your sperm analysis to ensure you are getting the best fit for your particular needs.
You can start today however to improve your sperm health by: wearing boxer shorts, keeping the testes area cool, stop smoking, drinking and drug use, eating a healthy clean diet (as outlined in Fertility Formula), maintain healthy weight and reduce exposure to radiation by not carrying your mobile phone in the pocket of your trousers.
This information is not meant to scare you, but to make you realize the important role that men play in the conception of a healthy baby and to encourage you to follow the recommended nutritional, herbal and lifestyle advice given to you:
- Leukaemia, asthma, bronchial/respiratory system, mental development/disease in offspring are all linked to the father’s health.
- There is a 10-fold increase in testicular cancer for offspring of men exposed to organic solvents.
- There is a higher rate of respiratory disease, including asthma, particularly associated with the father smoking before conception.
- Miscarriage rates are linked to the health/morphology of sperm.
- Study in Karolinska, Stockholm showed 14% abnormal sperm= 14% miscarriage, 43%abnormal + 84/84% miscarriage. Half the miscarriages in the study were due to the male.
It should be noted that preconception care can make a difference to the risk of age related problems such as miscarriage and congenital defects.
- Research at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto analysed the sperm of men and found DNA damage in men >45 years was double that of men
- Research carried out at a Columbian University, and the Chaim Sheba Medical Centre and Hebrew University in Israel found that children born to men >40 years of age are almost six times more likely to be autistic if Dad is
Thyroid disorders impact male fertility
In men, hyperthyroidism appears to alter sex steroid hormone metabolism, spermatogenesis and fertility. Sperm motility is mainly affected. These abnormalities reverse after restoration to normal thyroid function.1 Most male patients with chronic thyroid disease experience some sexual symptoms, such as premature ejaculation in hyperthyroidism and delayed ejaculation in hypothyroidism. Hypoactive sexual desire and erectile dysfunction can be symptoms in both conditions.2
Pesticide exposure reduces male fertility
In a recent study, strong associations were drawn between pesticide exposure and poor semen quality in men living in American rural areas, compared to men living in urban areas. The researchers report, “This is the first population-based study to demonstrate links between specific biomarkers of environmental exposures and biomarkers of male reproduction in humans.”
My goal is to help you choose appropriate male infertility treatment options to achieve your dream to become parents of a healthy baby. Given the current widespread use of these pesticides… the implications for public health and agricultural practice could be considerable.”3 This study highlights the support we may offer to our male fertility patients by recognising and addressing toxicity with a comprehensive detoxification program.
Healthy sperm are essential for conception
A healthy male ejaculation contains at least 40 million sperm – and yet only one is required to fertilise the ova. So why are so many required?
- Millions of sperm are lost immediately by spilling from the vagina.
- Millions more are destroyed by the cervical mucus.
- Once in the uterus, thousands more are destroyed by uterine contractions or by immune surveillance.
- Only a few thousand sperm reach the fallopian tubes, where half will go the wrong way, leaving the last few hundred to finally reach the waiting egg.
- Many sperm are required to break down the outer defences of the ova so a path can eventually be cleared for one sperm to make contact with the oocyte membrane receptors. As soon as this sperm is accepted by the egg, the entire oocyte membrane potential alters to block the entry of any more sperm, so that the ovum is fertilised by just one sperm.
1. Krassas GE, Pontikides N. Male reproductive function in relation with thyroid alterations. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab 2004; 18(2): 183-95
2. Carani C, et al. Multicentre study on the prevalence of sexual symptoms in male hypo- and hyperthyroid patients. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005; 90(12): 6472-9
3. Swan SH, Kruse RL, Liu F, Barr DB, Drobnis EZ, Redmon JB, Wang C, Brazil C, Overstreet JW; Study for Future Families Research Group. Semen quality in relation to biomarkers of pesticide exposure. Environ Health Perspect. 2003 Sep;111(12):1478-84