Male Infertility and Lifestyle

Minor changes in your lifestyle might help in conception.

Even though specialists know the causes of male infertility, what’s not always known is the cause behind the cause. There are many factors — lifestyle, genetics, and physiology — that might explain low sperm count, slow sperm mobility, abnormal sperm shape, and so on.

Recent developments in treatment have made fertility possible for many men. But before undergoing any complicated procedures, there are some simple lifestyle changes that can better the odds of a successful conception. (These tips are helpful for any couple trying to conceive, whether or not infertility has been diagnosed.)

  • Stop smoking cigarettes or marijuana. Smoking tobacco has been linked to low sperm counts and sluggish motility. Long-term use of marijuana can result in low sperm count and abnormally developed sperm.
  • Decrease your drinking. Alcohol can reduce the production of normally formed sperm needed for a successful pregnancy.
  • Watch your weight. Both overweight and underweight men can have fertility problems. With too much weight, there can be hormonal disturbances, and when a man’s too lean, he can have decreased sperm count and functionality.
  • Exercise in moderation. Excessive exercise could lower your sperm count indirectly by lowering the amount of testosterone in your body. And as you might have guessed, stay off the steroids — they can cause testicular shrinkage, resulting in infertility.
  • Value your vitamins. Low levels of vitamin C and zinc can cause sperm to clump together, so keep your numbers up. Vitamin E can counteract excess free-oxygen radicals, which can also affect sperm quality.
  • Turn your back on toxins. Landscapers, contractors, manufacturing workers, and men who have regular contact with environmental toxins or poisons (pesticides, insecticides, lead, radiation, or heavy metals) are all at risk of infertility.

Have you ever heard the debate about whether men should wear boxers or briefs?

It goes something like this: Briefs are tighter, so it’s possible that they can raise your body temperature above the norm for sperm to survive. So if a guy wants to be really fertile, boxers are the way to go. Truth is, this has yet to be scientifically proven. But if you’re trying to get pregnant, there’s no harm in wearing loose clothing and staying out of hot tubs and saunas.

Since infertility affects one in 25 men these days, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude is the way to go if you’re considering becoming a father.


It is recommended that women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should drink no more than  one or two units of alcohol once or twice per week and should avoid episodes of intoxication as it reduces the effectiveness of assisted reproduction procedures, including IVF.

Prescribed drug use

There is evidence that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit ovulation. Immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory drugs for rheumatic diseases may affect conception. Antidepressants, tranquilisers or asthma medication were reported to have elevated risks of  anovulatory infertility.

Chemotherapy treatment with cytotoxic drugs can induce  ovarian failure at different rates for various types of malignancies and treatment regimens.

Medication such as cimetidine and sulphasalazine and long-term-daily use of some antibiotics and androgen injections can affect semen quality and cause oligozoospermia. The effect is reversible after three months following the withdrawal of medication.

Use of beta-blockers and psychotropic drugs may lead to impotence. Chemotherapy treatment can induce azoospermia,  which is permanent in most cases.

Please inform us if you are taking any of these medications or are using any medications on a regular basis.

Recreational drug use 

The use of recreational drugs or drugs of abuse such as marijuana and cocaine can adversely affect ovulatory and tubal function. The use of drugs such as anabolic steroids and cocaine can adversely affect semen quality. Overall, the use of these recreational drugs diminishes the fertility potential of the couple.