In honor of Men's Health Week, we're exploring common men's health issues.
Infertility is a common problem for both men and women. The latest statistics show that one in eight couples in America and one in six in Canada will experience some sort of difficulties conceiving. Currently, we think that one-third of these cases are due to a problem with the man.
There are a number of risk factors that are linked to male infertility. These include:
- Smoking tobacco or marijuana
- Drinking alcohol excessively (effects are very mild after 5 drinks per week, bad effects with more than 25 drinks per week)
- Being overweight (according to a 2006 study, the odds of infertility increase by 10% for every 20 pounds a man is overweight)
- Exposure to environmental toxins
- Having past or present infections
- Overheating the testicles (bike rides, laptops, saunas & hot tubs, tight underwear consistently)
- Having medical conditions, including tumors and chronic illnesses
- Taking medication or undergoing medical treatment such as radiation for cancer (chemotherapeutics and possibly male alopecia meds)
Changes in lifestyle can effect male fertility. Weight loss, especially in high bmi patients, can have very fast effects. Other changes like eliminating smoking, moderating drinking, implementing a mild exercise routine and regulating temperature can sometimes increase fertility in as little as three months.
Listen to one couple's experience with male infertility on Steve's podcast, Waiting for Babies.
Steve Mavros, L.OM., is co-founder of The Healing Arts Center of Philadelphia. He has been an acupuncturist and herbalist since 2001. Though he treats a wide variety of conditions, he has been focusing on female and male infertility since his first month in practice. Working hand-in-hand with reproductive endocrinologists and even treating on-site at fertility clinics, Steve has helped pioneer the acupuncture for fertility field in Philadelphia. His practice also includes other focuses including chronic pain, headaches and migraines, menstrual issues and menopause, anxiety, stroke rehabilitation and fibromyalgia.
The views and nutritional/herbal advice expressed by Steve Mavros, L.OM. is not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider. No information offered here should be interpreted as a diagnosis of any disease, nor an attempt to treat or prevent or cure any disease or condition. Information and statements regarding products and/or services made available by Steve Mavros, L.OM. and the Healing Arts Center have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.