Protecting Male Fertility: 6 Things Every Man Can Do
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The Male Biological Clock
What Every Man Can Do
The evidence seems clear that at least the possibility of a male biological clock exists, not everyone believes it comes with a male fertility alarm. Indeed, some experts cling steadfastly to the notion of omnipotent and virtually indestructible male fertilty and healthy sperm at any age.
"I'm not at all convinced [age is a factor]. These are not prospective studies and you cannot pick the disease state and then work backwards. You can't do it that way because you're going to come up with the wrong conclusion. You may have the observation, but you don't have the link," asserts Andrew McCullough, MD, director of sexual health and male infertility at NYU-Langone Medical Center in New York City.
He adds that until there is a study that controls for all the variables -- which may be impossible -- all we have are assumptions and no proof.
"These are observations worth noting, but to say 'Aha, this is the answer' -- well that's a real stretch," says McCullough.
Silverman comments that while the evidence on male fertility may be too new to draw finite conclusions, he says the findings thus far are relevant and a portent of things to come.
"Eventually I believe we will have the research to show that when it comes to fathering a child, time isn't always on a man's side," says Silverman.
In the meantime, as embryologist McCulloh points out, every man can protect his fertility and his parenting potential at any age by taking better care of his overall health.
McCulloh says, "If you don't smoke, only drink in moderation, exercise daily, and eat a healthy diet, you are likely to remain healthier in general -- and that means a healthier reproductive system overall."
Protecting the Health of Sperm
Experts also say men can take additional steps to protect the health of their sperm as well as their potency, and their fertility at every age. Try the following:
* Avoid steroid use. Muculloh says it's one of the most prominent causes of male infertility.
* Control blood pressure. If you are already taking medication for hypertension and thinking about fathering a child, tell your doctor. Muculloh says certain blood pressure medications can be detrimental to sperm and male fertility.
* Reduce alcohol intake, particularly in the three months prior to conceiving.
* Get adequate cardiovascular exercise. The healthier your heart is the less likely you are to develop circulatory problems linked to impotence.
* Limit the use of a notebook computer directly on your lap, as well as other sources of high heat, including hot tubs and Jacuzzis. This can impact sperm production and male fertility.
* Avoid exposure to heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium, as well as radiation and toxic chemicals, including some pesticides. All can have long term effects on sperm production and male fertility.
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Copyright 20056 -2007 -Colette Bouchez. Any and all use requires the author's explicit permission , which may be assigned or revoked at any time, for any reason. . Any unauthorized use of these articles shall be considered a breech of copyright law.