As with the more broadly recognized potential obstacles to normal female fertility, male fertility is subject to deleterious environmental influences with the potential to hamper a successful pregnancy. Researchers have conducted a range of studies on evident and hidden environmental factors suspected to hinder male fertility; tentative analysis has revealed a relatively small array of activities and habits that exert a disproportionate effect on expected healthy sperm production. Prudence dictates that a hopeful father will take steps to ameliorate these problems.
Give up Smoking: Habitual inhalation of tobacco smoke produces systemic changes resulting in a decline in sperm count and increase in abnormal sperm. Also, there is a higher probability of impaired erectile function (impotence) for smokers. Additionally, available lung capacity almost certainly will shrink, with a concomitant reduction in somatic functionality.
Don’t Misapply Anabolic Steroids: The practice among some bodybuilders of misusing anabolic steroids for enhancing muscular growth is accompanied by the risk of testosterone suppression, leading consequently to sharply reduced sperm count, testicular atrophy, potential loss of libido and even impotence.
Avoid Cocaine: In particular, cocaine in any of its available forms exhibits a pernicious tendency to reduce male fertility. In addition to the unpredictable complications arising from the unknown and occasionally poisonous adulterants typically employed by unscrupulous individuals to “cut” the final street products, the drug itself has been found to reduce sperm production and to inflict significant damage to the sperm making it abnormal; moreover, significant traces of the drug may be transferred to the egg through the sperm, retarding fetal development.
Limit Alcohol Consumption: Excessive ingestion of ethanol-rich comestibles, especially beyond normative liver and kidney capacity to metabolize them, will induce increased levels of malformed sperm and may result in abnormal hormonal ratios and persistent erectile dysfunction, aka impotence.
Forbear from Smoking Marijuana: Notwithstanding the popular misapprehension that frequent inhalation of the combustion byproducts of cannabis is harmless, this habit can cause semen volume and sperm count to fall.
Protect Against Industrial Contaminants: Open exposure to pesticides or to a wide range of industrial chemicals can seriously harm reproductive capability; adherence to prescribed safety measures is strongly indicated.
Monitor Prescription Drugs: Medications for hypertension and mood disorders may affect fertility; potential side effects should be discussed with a physician, who may be able to suggest alternatives.
Vigorously Combat Obesity: A suboptimal ratio of lean body mass to stored lipids may reduce male fertility in much the same manner as for female fertility. Regular exercise and a balanced diet containing adequate nutrients hold considerable promise for gradually restoring sexual functions.
Two other relevant issues that have been more recently studied are the potential reductions in fertility inflicted on males by sustained groin pressure from cycling and by heat from laptop when kept on lap (close to testicles). The first of these may be ameliorated with soft and wide bicycle seats; the second either by relocating the device or by using thick, cool intervening materials.
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