It’s Male Fertility Week on EatRightMama.com. What better time to highlight the best sources for male fertility info on the web! If you ask “Dr. Google” about male fertility, she’s going to return almost 4.5 million results! Even if you’re a fast reader, this is difficult to sort thru–to say the least! How to narrow the good from the bad? I’ve done some of the sorting for you.
What’s considered a low sperm count anyway?
Low sperm count is defined as less than 39 million sperm per ejaculation or fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter. Keep that in mind as we discuss the research.
The most recent research from Denmark shows once again, that diet does make a difference! Read the article in JAMA Urology here. The men who ate closer to the “prudent” diet had a median sperm count that was 66 million higher than men who followed a more “Western” diet. The “Prudent” diet included mostly fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit and water. The “Western” diet was composed of processed and convenience foods like pizza, snacks, french fries, sweets, sugar-sweetened drinks, processed and red meat, snacks and processed grains. In other words a typical diet of many young adults. The vegetarian leaning diet, which had a lot of vegetables, soy milk and eggs, with little to no red meat or chicken was linked with the second highest sperm count, which was 33 million higher than those eating the “Western” diet. This large study of almost 3,000 men definitely gives us food for thought on how to improve fertility in a way that’s not too expensive or invasive!
Some Good Reads on Male Fertility
Even back in 2013, when Sharon Palmer RD interviewed me for this Today’s Dietitian article, it was common knowledge that declining sperm count was a thing–and that it was happening around the world. She also highlighted two respected researchers in the fertility field, Jorge Chavarro MD from Harvard and Wendie Robbins RN, PhD from UCLA. ( I shared the stage with Dr. Chavarro in Florida when we both spoke about male fertility at the Florida Academy of Nutrition.) Dr. Chavarro wrote The Fertility Diet (along with colleague Walter Willett MD.) Chew on this: Dr. Robbins found that college students who ate 2.5 oz of walnuts a day had better sperm parameters than those who didn’t. Yes, you should go nuts over walnuts! To find out about more fertility-friendly foods, see this post. And a nice overview about diet, lifestyle and male fertility from “Guyatitian” Dave Grotto RD here.Some reliable reads here about #malefertility. #maleinfertility #tryingtoconceive #eatingforfertility bit.ly/2egodhz Click To Tweet
Just the facts, Man!
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) is an organization of health professionals involved in reproductive medicine. Their website has a large library of reproductive health topics and it links to articles from the medical journal Sterility and Fertility. This is a reliable source for up-to-date, science-based information.
WebMD is known for it’s spot-on articles about health and nutrition. In addition, they have lots of great info about fertility for men and women. I especially liked this Check Your Fertility IQ Quiz. Here you’ll find a large library of articles about male infertility. Topics range from semen analysis to vasectomy reversal.
Did you know that everyday items we use and come in contact with contain chemicals which can affect both male and female fertility? I discuss the topic in my book Eating Expectantly.) For example, dioxins, found in bleached coffee filters, cleaning products and paper towels, have been linked to higher rates of infertility in men. (Infertile men had twice as much dioxin in their bloodstream than did fertile men.) For more info about chemicals in the environment, check out my post on a healthy lifestyle here.
From a Guy’s View
Most noteworthy from a perspective that men will appreciate is Don’t Cook Your Balls. You can tell by the title that it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek. The site describes itself as a A Light-Hearted Guide to Men’s Sexual and Reproductive Health. For example, here’s a post about Low Sperm Count that tells you everything you need to know. And here’s another good one: Are You Cooking Your Balls? It’s a 10 minute quiz that’s a comprehensive assessment of your reproductive health. What I really like? The articles are referenced–it’s important to know that the posts are backed by science.
Finally, here is a video of Jennifer Neily RD and I discussing the topic of male fertility on YouTube. (Consider subscribing to Neily on Nutrition!)