Male Fertility Myths and Facts

male fertility facts
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Male Fertility Myths and Facts

  When it comes to male fertility – it’s important to get your head around the facts. But with so many myths out there and the whole internet heaving with contradictory information, sometimes it’s tough to separate fact from fiction. Here we bust some of the most common male fertility myths – and give you the info you can trust.   

Male Fertility Myth #1: Fertility Struggles Usually Come Down To The Woman 

 

Male Fertility Fact:

  This is definitely not true – and one myth we really need to bust.  For too long, it has been assumed that fertility struggles –  from finding it hard to conceive to recurrent miscarriage – are largely down to female factors. The fact is, that when it comes to infertility, it is fairly evenly split between male and female issues. For couples experiencing infertility, research indicates that around 40% of cases are down to male factors, 40% are due to female factors and 20% are a combination of both partners.  The narrative that infertility generally only impacts women puts unfair pressure on our female partners, which is something we need to challenge. It is also one reason why there is such a lack of research and support around male infertility – and why men often feel sidelined and overlooked during their fertility journey. If you are trying for a baby with a partner, it’s important to start this journey together from the very start and remember that your individual fertility is equally important. Testing at the same time and making lifestyle changes together will not only give you the best chance at conceiving, but will also strengthen your partnership.   

Male Fertility Myth #2: A Man’s Age Has No Impact On His Fertility 

 

Male Fertility Fact:

  It’s easy to see why this myth is believed by so many – it is certainly possible for men to have children much later in their life compared to women. Whilst women have a finite number of eggs that declines with age – and menopause gives a clear ‘end point’ to their baby-making years – men can have many children much later. In 2012 Ramjit Raghav became the world’s oldest father at 94! However, just because it is possible, doesn’t mean it’s common – and it also doesn’t mean that age has no impact on male fertility.  On the contrary, just like female fertility, male fertility reduces with age – albeit more gradually. As men get older, their testosterone levels decline, which can have a knock on effect on sperm production. Even if you are still producing enough sperm to get your partner pregnant – the quality of the sperm may be poor. You may find that the sperm morphology and motility are sub-optimal and the sperm cells are also more at risk of DNA Fragmentation. These issues can not only make it harder to conceive, but they can also lead to a high risk of birth defects.  If you are looking to conceive later in life, it’s a good idea to get your sperm analysed for motility, count and morphology, using our at-home Exseed sperm test. It’s also worth investigating DNA Fragmentation, as this can be more common with age – Examen Lab is a great company that specialises in this.      

Male Fertility Myth #3: Certain Sexual Positions Can Improve Your Chances of Conceiving 

 

Male Fertility Fact:

  This is a male fertility myth that gets a lot of air time. When you start trying for a baby, you’ll find endless blogs on the ‘best sex to conceive’. You might even hear stories from people who claim that certain positions not only helped them get pregnant but even influenced the gender of their baby! Whilst it can be fun to try out a bunch of new positions when trying to conceive, the fact is that it doesn’t really matter how you do it – as long as you’re doing it! Healthy sperm are pretty fast movers and will make their way to the cervix in seconds and the fallopian tubes – regardless of the position you’re in.  Instead of positions, you want to focus on the regularity and timing of your sex life. Regular ejaculation can actually help to improve your sperm health as sperm left in the testicles for too long can become damaged. It’s recommended to have sex every other day when trying to conceive and then at least once a day during your partner’s fertile window (the few days surrounding ovulation).                         

Male Fertility Myth #4: The More Semen You Have – The More Fertile You Are 

 

Male Fertility Fact:

  This is a bit of a complex myth to bust – because there is a slice of truth in it. Low semen volume can be an indication of a few issues that can make conceiving harder. It could be a symptom of retrograde ejaculation – a condition where the semen goes into your bladder rather than out your penis when you orgasm. It might also be a sign of low testosterone, which can have a negative effect on sperm production. The WHO recommends that the optimal semen volume range starts at around 1.5ml, so if you are concerned that you’re not producing enough, definitely reach out to your doctor.    That said – it’s important to remember that lots of semen doesn’t necessarily equal high fertility. You may have a high semen volume, but if the sperm cells inside are slow, damaged or abnormally shaped – it can lead to issues with fertility. You might even have an optimal semen volume with absolutely no sperm inside it – known as azoospermia. It’s really important not to judge your semen by its cover (so to speak). We can’t see sperm quality with the naked eye, so getting your sperm tested and analysed is the best way to understand your fertility.   

Male Fertility Myth #5: Testosterone Supplementation Can Help You Get Pregnant 

 

Male Fertility Fact:

  It’s easy to see why men may think this is true – testosterone is important for sperm production and fertility, so surely more of it is not a bad thing? Wrong.  It’s true that low testosterone levels can make getting pregnant harder, but testosterone supplementation can actually inhibit your body’s natural production of the hormone and throw everything off balance. This also goes for steroids – synthetic hormones that some men take to increase strength and muscle mass.  If you are struggling with low testosterone and want to conceive in the near future you should always let your doctor know your plans as they will be able to prescribe medication that can help, not hinder, your chances of conceiving. You could also always try natural testosterone boosters like increasing your exercise levels, lifting weights, and eating foods that are high in protein, magnesium, and zinc. You can also take supplements to support healthy conception – supplementation has actually been found to increase the chance of pregnancy in infertile men by 197%.   There is a lot of misinformation out there guys, but remember – if in doubt check in with healthcare professionals and not just Dr Google. The ExSeed app allows you to speak directly to experts after your sperm test – which means you’ve got guidance you can trust in the palm of your hand, for the next stage of your fertility journey.
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