In young couples problems of infertility are frequently observed. In some cases, specific pathologies are diagnosed that may hinder conception (endometriosis, varicocele, etc.). In other couples, however, no specific problem is observed and infertility is attributed to an incorrect lifestyle and to the concurrence of environmental factors such as smoking, stress and unbalanced nutrition. Body weight can play an important role in fertility, about 12% of infertility is caused by weight problems.
In men obesity can promote infertility; in any case, based on the literature data available to us, it seems that only very serious obesity can have these effects. However, it has been observed that high concentrations of trans fats can reduce sperm concentration. In conclusion, a normocaloric diet is recommended to promote male fertility, balanced and in some cases rich in antioxidants.
General dietary advice for male infertility:
- Follow the recommendations for proper nutrition in the general population regarding the reduction of fats especially of animal origin, beverages and foods rich in sugar and the intake of adequate portions of fruit and vegetables.
- Consume a full breakfast (milk or yogurt + carbohydrates).
- Eat full meals (carbohydrates + protein + vegetables) for lunch and dinner.
- Ensure good hydration.
- Ensure a correct intake of vitamins and antioxidants. Evaluate antioxidant supplementation with your doctor using commercially available carnitine, arginine, vitamin and other substances such as zinc and coenzyme Q10.
Lifestyle advice for increasing fertility
Regular physical activity, preferably aerobic, low intensity and long duration (such as running, walking, swimming, etc.) favors weight loss. Make the lifestyle more active (abandon sedentariness! Go to work on foot, by bicycle or park far away, if you can avoid the use of the elevator and go up the stairs on foot). Smoking as a lifestyle habit, too, promotes infertility.
In the case of overweight or obesity, it is recommended to reduce the weight and the “waistline”, that is the abdominal circumference, an indicator of the quantity of fat deposited on a visceral level. Waist circumference values greater than 80 cm in women and 94 cm in men are associated with a “moderate” cardiovascular risk, values higher than 102 cm in men are associated with a “high” cardiovascular risk.
Beware of sexually transmitted diseases. Follow the rules for proper hygiene. It is advisable for men to avoid excessive heat in the scrotal area (sedentary life, many hours driving, immoderate use of mobile phones often stowed in the pocket, too tight clothes, synthetic fabrics): too high temperatures can damage spermatozoa (not in permanently), especially if continued for long periods.
Men who use anabolic steroids to increase strength and muscle mass can negatively affect the ability to procreate.