Infertility: What about my partner (contributor of sperm)?
I was asked recently what about my partner (contributor of sperm)? What can he do? I feel like it is all my responsibility. Does the guy not have any impact on us getting pregnant?
This is such a common question and an important one too. It is not uncommon for the woman to start to resent her partner as a result of what can be a stressful fertility journey. I wanted to share how I respond to this question about the male’s involvement and the advice we give at Acubalance in Vancouver that can turn that resentment into more love for him and increased chances of conception too.
The man and the woman both impact the health of their future child. The healthy baby equation is
Healthy Baby = Healthy Egg + Healthy Sperm + Healthy Uterine Environment
So, in order to support your chances of conceiving and impacting the health blue print of your unborn child it is important that both your egg(s) and his sperm reach their peak fertility potential at the time of conception. And it takes approximately 100 days at a minimum to reach peak fertility.
Often it is just the female being proactive while the guy does not participate much except for contributing his sperm around ovulation because he is misled that a normal semen analysis means that he is fertile and ready to pass on good epigenetics to the child. Unfortunately, the current test is rather rudimentary and tells us only about count, motility and shape and it does not tell us about underlying factors that could impact conception and the health blueprint of your child. We do know now that men have a biological clock and sperm's ability to fertilize an egg and the health impact for your child go down on average by age 40 for men.
As a result, we encourage the men to do their part in getting their sperm to their peak fertility potential, especially if age 40 or over, regardless of their semen analysis. There are papers taking men in their twenties and giving them a poor diet and seeing a decline in sperm quality. So, lifestyle factors can have a negative impact on sperm quality regardless of age. Basically, I suggest men of any age to be proactive so they can provide their child the best gift by positively influencing their future health blueprint.
At a minimum, we recommend for the male in the relationship:
- diet and antioxidant therapy
- maintaining a healthy weight (being overweight not good for sperm)
- not smoking,
- avoiding exposure to chemicals
- avoid hot tubs and heat insult to the testicles
- and only moderate drinking of alcohol.
If he has low count, poor motility or morphology then I recommend you add acupuncture and laser acupuncture (LLLT/photobiomodulation) 2/week for a mimimum of 5 weeks to above recommendations to help his sperm reach its peak fertility potential.
The following are some dietary advice to help the man’s sperm reach their peak fertility potential.
- no soda (pop, coke, 7Up etc). Drink water or herbal teas.
- avoid processed foods
- no added sugar
- avoid white flower and simple carbs
- eat lots green leafy vegetables
- eggs and meat OK, but really focus on lots of veggies with each meal
Resources on what the man can do:
One last tip I give guys... your significant other finds it really supportive to her if you are participating in the fertility journey (to her standard, not yours). And this support is evident to her when you, the guy, take your supplements without being reminded, avoiding hot tubs, not getting intoxicated or smoking and eating well. Compared to what she has to go through it is really much simpler and definitely not nearly as invasive either. So basically, I encourage us guys to man up and do our part and do it with a smile too. What if you do not believe in it? The good news is you do not need to believe in it for it to work and benefit you and your future child. Just pretend it does, fake it. She will feel supported by you as a result and love you more for it.
Remember you are in it together. You are on the same team although at times it may not seem so during what can be a stressful journey. And I am happy to support you both through advice and natural treatments and remind you are on the same team while we help you each reach your peak fertility potential
Make the next 100 days count. Be proactive and use the 100 days’ preconception period to your advantage to reach your peak fertility potential. Make it Count!