Many couples who are TTC (trying to conceive) often jump to the woman for blame. She’s the one who “gets” pregnant, right? “Must be her fault we’re not getting pregnant…” But about a third of the time, it’s the guy’s health issues that are contributing to lack of pregnancy, miscarriages or “unexplained infertility”. So what’s a guy to do? Besides jumping straight to an IUI (intra uterine insemination), IVF (in vitro fertilization) or ICSI procedure, plenty!
Let’s start with the easiest thing first: food. Lots of guys say they eat healthy and then they jump over to a fast food joint for a hurried lunch break with the guys. Hmm. If you are what you eat…we don’t wanna know (#pinkslime). But this one is easy: tomatoes. Even having some spaghetti sauce or tomato paste (even 1/4 cup) has enough lycopene for the day. This antioxidant rich substance is a powerful way to clear the damaging, excess free radicals from the system, which contribute to deformed sperm and morphology issues. In fact, about 90% of sperm are not perfectly shaped, indicating that the DNA inside of the head of the sperm may be less than perfect, leading to a miscarriage or a woman not getting pregnant from that sperm, or having some irregular development with an irregularly shaped sperm and egg combination. So eat your tomatoes boys! Zinc isn’t just for your nose, lifeguard boy. Pile this on your plate for a healthy sack of goodness! Try adding a little extra beef or yogurt to your diet for an extra boost of this power-packed punch of sperm and virility awesomeness. Another key ingredient necessary for building strong swimmers is folate. Try spinach, cooked into stir fries or steamed veggie plates, chuck ’em in smoothies and soups, or use them for wraps to take to work.
Speaking of work, if you’re the average male bear living in a big city, you might find yourself sitting all day long. Add in an hour commute on either side of that and you’ve got a pretty sedentary situation. How can you combat this and not damage your sperm, and more so, make it stronger and healthier? Move. If you have to do weight-bearing activities in the parking lot or in your office before that 9am meeting, go for it. Squeeze in 20 squats, take the stairs, and if you really want to go for it, start lifting weights. Lifting weights not only gets the blood moving, increasing the circulation to your nether regions, but it also helps the body make testosterone and other goodies that can help with sperm production and formation. Side effect: burns fat and increases libido! So you can get more workouts in the bedroom, and out. Just don’t start taking one of those body-building powders, which can contain artificial sweeteners and other terrible things that can be a nightmare for your little guys. Check with your fertility team about what protein powders are safe for TTC and sperm, and which ones to avoid while you are focusing on making some great soldiers.
If you’re swimmers are really struggling, and you want to do everything you can to optimize your chances of getting pregnant, start doing regular acupuncture sessions. Once or twice a week is enough to get your guys in shape for the job, whether you’re going for au natural, or planning on doing an IUI, IVF or ICSI. Acupuncture therapy can increase sperm count, improve morphology, help banish those sperm-destroying free radicals, regulate the immune system, increase circulation and decrease inflammation, all leading to a healthier gang of guys to get the job done. Side effects? Increased libido, better sleep, better digestion, less chances of getting a cold or flu, and more relaxed energy. We’ll take it! Your acupuncturist may also suggest tweaks to your diet and go over your supplements and vitamins with your to help keep you on track and make sure you’re doing everything you can to get the best sperm and health possible, so that’s a bonus, and if you’re open to taking herbal medicine to help speed up the process, they’re your guys (and gals) – herbs & acupuncture together can significantly improve not just overall health but specifically fertility and virtility. Sign us up!