“Movember” – A great time to get educated about male infertility
It’s time to talk about male infertility.
Although men often have difficulty expressing their feelings about infertility, the truth is that infertility affects men just as often as it does women. Additionally, talking about the diagnosis is an important part of the journey through care.
So what better time to talk about male infertility than “Movember,” which has unofficially become the month of men’s health?
Whether you’re a man looking for more information about male infertility or someone recently diagnosed with male factor infertility in Florida, there are several important things you should know.
Dr. George Patounakis at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Florida explains the four things men should know when it comes to fertility.
1. It takes millions of sperm.
Sperm are tiny. In a healthy sperm sample, there are millions of sperm – at least 15 million sperm per milliliter is the magic number. If your sperm count is lower than that, you may need to seek fertility care.
2. Motility matters.
While a high sperm count is good, a high ‘swimming’ sperm count (motility) is just as important. In general, about a third of the sperm in a healthy sperm sample will swim. It’s these swimming sperm that will hopefully find the egg and drive your chances of achieving a pregnancy. For patients that have extremely low swimming sperm count, fertility specialists can perform special procedures as part of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to help couples that would otherwise be unable to become pregnant.
3. Watch what you eat (and beat the heat).
Although there are several causes of a low sperm count, one of the more common is obesity and poor overall health. Changing your diet and exercising more could make a difference for men struggling with male infertility. Another cause of low sperm count is being exposed to higher temperatures, like frequent exposure to hot tubs and saunas. Dilated blood vessels around the testicle (called a varicocele), abnormal testosterone levels (including taking testosterone injections), and environmental factors are other causes.
4. Boxers or briefs? It’s up to you.
Here’s one thing you don’t have to worry about: what underwear you put on. Men should feel free to choose whatever underwear fits best without having fertility concerns. While it was previously thought that briefs increased the temperature of the testicles and affected sperm production, this turned out to be an old wives’ tale.
Based in Lake Mary, Reproductive Medicine Associates of Florida is a leading infertility center focused on science, success and support. If you or your partner are struggling with male infertility, book a consultation to meet with Dr. Patounakis today.