Did you know that for approximately 40% of couples who are having trouble conceiving a child, the problem is found in the male partner?…No?
Well, that may be because infertility has traditionally been framed as a “women’s issue”. Quite often we see women being cautioned to watch out for their daily diet as well as smoking and drinking habits in order to protect their reproductive health, but men almost never receive the same warning. However, recent research has illustrated that low sperm counts or damaged sperm can impact pregnancy outcomes, such as miscarriage, low birth weight, and childhood illnesses.
Lifestyle habits such as stress, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake as well as nutrient-deficient diets have also been linked to sperm robustness. Other environmental factors, such as pesticides and endocrine disrupters (BPA, chemicals often found in common items such as personal-care products and plastic containers), may contribute to male infertility.
With that being the case, men’s reproductive health isn’t just the absence of STDs. In fact, male sexual health is defined as a state of well-being that allows a man to fully participate in and enjoy sexual activity. Consequently, it refers to a range of physical, psychological, interpersonal, and social factors that influence a man’s overall health and well-being.
For these reasons, both parents need to start thinking about what they eat and how they live their lives well before they decide to conceive. Men should also talk to their doctor if they experience a sudden change in their sex drive, the ability to have sex, erectile dysfunction, problems with ejaculation, and/or infertility.