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Toxins in Everyday Items Can Lead To Male Infertility
a blog by RMA of Texas, June 5, 2014
Are you and your partner having issues conceiving? Have you been through countless tests trying to diagnose the issue? Unfortunately, conceiving a child is not always easy and sometimes the things that seem inconsequential end up being the cause of the problem.
New tests are being done on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and how they affect fertility, especially male infertility. These toxic EDCs are found in many everyday products such as food, textiles, drugs, and household and personal care products such as plastic bottles, plastic toys, soap, sunscreens, toothpaste and cosmetics. These endocrine disruptors impair sperm function such as their swimming and navigational skills as well as their ability to fertilize an egg. Tests on 96 out of 800 common and allegedly non-toxic products that mimic natural hormones in the body found that nearly one third hindered male fertility.
Some of these EDCs are added to sunscreens to filter out UV rays. While others make plastic food packaging easier to mold and shape, and some EDCs are fed to livestock to make them grow faster. Yet more are chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides or fungicides that are added to food, toothpastes, soaps, cosmetics and even some toys to help them produce the products.
So how can men improve their chances of fertility?
- Eat tomatoes: By eating tomatoes this can increase male fertility by as much as 70 percent. Tomatoes contain a key nutrient lycopene that gives the fruit the bright red color, and it improves sperm count and swimming speed as well as reduces the amount of abnormal sperm. Other studies have shown that lycopene reduces diseases of the prostate and may slow down or even halt the progress of prostate cancer.
- Avoid hot baths and hot tubs: Repeated exposure to high water temperatures can affect a man’s fertility.
- Stop smoking: Smoking can reduce sperm production as well as damage DNA.
- Get busy: According to one study, having sex daily produced the highest pregnancy rate but even having sex every other day produced about the same results but not having sex for more than five days may affect sperm counts adversely.
- Avoid toxins: Avoid toxins that can reduce infertility (see above).
- Avoid spermicidal agents found in some lubricants as well as some commercially available water-based lubricants: Spermicidal agents found in some lubricants can decrease fertility. Some commercially water-based lubricants may inhibit sperm motility by 60 to 100 percent.
- Improve diet: Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and try to eat organic as much as possible because otherwise you’ll ingest toxins found in pesticides. Maintain your ideal weight because food deprivation in men leads to a loss of sex drive and causes structural changes to reproductive tissue leading to infertility. On the other hand, too much weight is linked to low sperm count and impotence.
- Exercise: Lots of exercise such as marathon running can be a cause of infertility because it can lead to a lowered sperm count in men. But the American Society of Reproductive Medicine recommends regular exercise to enhance fertility by keeping body weight at normal levels as well as relieving stress and anxiety. They recommend working out five times a week for at least 45 minutes.
- Take vitamins: The most important vitamins for men to take to improve fertility are Vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin C helps prevent sperm from clumping and sticking together and zinc increases testosterone levels, sperm count and sperm motility. High zinc food sources include oysters, organ meats, lean beef, turkey, lamb, herring, wheat germ, legumes and nuts.