If I told you that over the last 40 years, the single biggest health hazard as measured by percentage decreases, is male fertility, would you believe me? One study estimated that over those 40 years male fertility has fallen by over 50% with an additional 1.4% decreasing each year. As you can imagine, this is not something that most men want to discuss and it also goes hand in hand with low testosterone symptoms. (1)
Natural Treatment For Men's Infertility
Further estimates after semen analysis (which is typically the only step that men take to improve their fertility) state that upwards of 30% of male infertility stems from unknown causes. Might these “unknown causes” be related to sleep, stress and nutrition deficiency? Maybe but it certainly can’t hurt to improve all of these issue and have your system performing better. (2)
Your Diet & Male Infertility
Step one is to assess your diet and your nutrient deficiencies. Studies have shown that everyday essentials, in combination, vitamin C, vitamin E, coQ10 may improve semen levels. (3)
Pro testosterone nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin D3, fenugreek, zinc and DHEA may increase fertility levels via boosting testosterone.
Do you eat enough fruits and vegetables? Studies have shown that men who ate more fruits and vegetables had greater semen motility (4). This makes sense since we know that fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense, improve detoxification of environmental toxins and also reduce inflammation.
We also see that diets high in saturated fats, processed meat and sugar seemed to reduce semen. Now this is an important note. I said “processed meat”, not wild caught meats like bison or elk and not grass fed meat or organic eggs. Also we know that sugar increases inflammation in the body and inflammation reduces testosterone.
I’ve written about it before, time and time again, a ketogenic paleo type of diet that favors high protein, moderate carbohydrates to support training (we’ll talk about training and boosting testosterone shortly) and moderate healthy fat intake favoring nuts, olive oil, coconut oil and omega-3 fish oil. (6)
Gut Health Causes Male Infertility?
Yes, your gut health is directly implicated in your testosterone levels and male fertility. There is one protective thin lining that is designed to keep toxins and unprocessed foods out of your gut until they can be digested. Unfortunately due to lifestyle and stress factors, this thin protective lining becomes weakened and we get leaky gut which increases inflammation and oxidative stress. Simply known as the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants, ROS builds up and causes damage to your cells, proteins, DNA and sperm DNA (7)
The next step is to increase your overall gut health. As we’ve talked about before, you want to reduce carbohydrates in your diet. At the same time we want you to start supplementing with helpful leaky gut nutrients such as glutamine, omega-3 fish oil and curcumin. Foods such as sauerkraut and bone broth should make their way into your diet daily.
(How does vitamin D raise low testosterone levels)
Probiotics should be added as we know that gut microbes play a key role in gut diversity and digestive enzymes can reduce gut inflammation.
Lose body fat and build muscle as a natural treatment for male infertility
Insulin levels and high body fat can increase male infertility (8). Bodyfat itself is a stress signal that leads to hormonal problems such as low testosterone and increased estrogen. Erectile dysfunction is a clear sign of testosterone problems.
(What causes low testosterone and how to treat low testosterone naturally)
Yet we know that losing weight and increasing lean muscle improves the quality of sperm. (9). Lucky for us, you don’t need to perform a functional bodybuilding program, just three aerobic sessions per week have been shown to improve sperm count and testosterone.
(These are my favorite kettlebell crossfit workouts)
There is a delicate balance between training too much and too little but ultimately, the best type of training is one that’s more consistent and requires progressive overhead. There is absolutely a mental component to being a man. Lifting a heavy kettlebell or doing a bunch of deadlifts is part of that mentality which is why I favor more of a heavier weightlifting tactical athlete approach.
(BCAAs support muscle growth)
Sleep & Male Infertility
Sleep is critical for muscle repair and just one night of impaired sleep quality reduces insulin sensitivity (10). After just one week of restricted sleep length (5 hours or less), subjects saw a decline in the next days testosterone by 10-15%. Not only were their testosterone levels lower but they have reduced energy, libido and less concentration. (11)
Improving Male Infertility Naturally
In order to improve male infertility issues, you have to understand that it is a constant process that requires consistent commitment to getting sleep, working out, eating right and stressing less. Your bodies amazing, keep it right.