Processed meat kills sperm. Bacon Harms Male Fertility?

Emerging literature suggests that men’s diets may affect semen quality, but there is little knowledge about the relation between meat intake and male fertility. A new study, currently published in Fertility and Sterility, showed that processed meat intake was negatively associated to fertilization rate in conventional IVF cycles. Even though it was found no link between overall meat consumption and successful fertilization, men who avoided processed meat such as sausage, bacon, and canned meat had a 28 percent higher success rate than those who consumed these foods daily.

Processed meat was associated with lower sperm concentration and morphology, reflecting sperm normality.

These data are in an agreement with findings of another recent study which examined the association between intake of meat and fish in relation to semen quality indicators among men attending a fertility clinic. It appears that just one piece of bacon a day can damage a man’s fertility, while eating a portion of whitefish such as cod or halibut every day can improve it. More specifically processed meat was associated with lower sperm concentration and morphology, reflecting sperm normality. Men who consumed less than a slice of bacon a day had 30% more normal sperm than those who ate higher quantities of processed meats.

On the other hand, foods like poultry and fish have been positively associated with fertilization rates. It is already known that high intake of processed meat is linked to other health issues and so advising men to consume more fish and white meat instead of processed red meats may improve their health generally as well as possibly be good for their fertility.

Would you keep your man away from bacon?

Male fertility. Are men under extinction?

Are men under extinction?

Are men under extinction?

Are men under extinction and what does this have to do with the declining male fertility?

Over the last 40 years the percentage of infertility has been quadrupled: from 4% in 1965 to 16% in our times. Nowadays, one of the most common cause of infertility is poor sperm quality and low sperm count. So what’s wrong?

There are several factors affecting male fertility more or less, both environmental and genetic. All these combined can change the overall sperm quality in time.

How does male genetics contribute to this outcome?

Sperm production in males is controlled by a series of male-specific genes found on Y chromosome. Y chromosome structure, however, is not as stable as of other chromosomes’ since it lacks a gene necessary for fixing mistakes made during duplication of the genetic material. That means that Y cannot efficiently fix genetic mistakes leading to its gradual degradation over time and consequently to declining male fertility.

Experts estimate that due to the inherent fragility of male sex chromosome Y, men are heading towards extinction. Whether this happens or not, that is something for evolution to determine but certainly this event signifies the possibility of men dealing with growing reproductive problems in the future.

Luckily, the constant development of male infertility treatments allows fertility specialists to help men with low or even zero sperm count to become fathers. In such cases, sperm is harvested straight from the testicles and directly injected into the oocyte for a successful fertilisation.

This technique, ICSI, is the only one that can efficiently assist an infertile man with poor sperm quality. Technology (ART) enables infertile men to father a child while, on the other hand, such a cure supports gene perpetuation from practically infertile fathers to boys potentially suffering from the same reproductive problems in the future.

The positive side of the subject is that first of all, everyone has the right to use assisted reproductive technology. Secondly, scientific progress might even be able to cure men’s reproductive problems in overall, on a genetic level someday in the future.

Do you think science could solve this ‘’men under extinction’’ problem in the future?

Complex structure at the tip of the sperm tail

New studysperm tail led to the discovery of a novel, complex structure at the tip of the sperm tail that has never been seen before.

Since sperm motility and morphology are determinants of male fertility, understanding the functional role of the TAILS complex may have clinical implications relating to male infertility and contraception.

Male Fertility Declines with Age

It now appears that women are not the only one who have to worry about their biological clock since male fertility declines with age as well, research reveals. Although, there are differences between male and female fertility, experts now advise male population wishing to have biological children, to avoid losing time. ’’Men too cannot afford waiting forever’’ says Dr. Paula Fettback of the Huntingdon Reproductive Medicine Centre in Brazil.

Male Fertility Declines with Age

At the age of 45 chances of a man to father a child drop to 35%.

Dr. Fettback lead a study focused on the outcome of 570 IVF treatments carried out at her clinic. More specifically, fertility outcome was analyzed for 570 men under fertility treatment from March 2008 to April 2011. In order to eliminate female infertility factors, researchers only studied cases of IVF treatment where eggs from young and healthy women were used through egg donation.  They came to result that in couples who had difficulty in conceiving male age was greater than in couples who achieved pregnancy. Actually, for couples where the man was 41 years old chances of conception were about 60%.

‘’Our investigation showed that for each extra year of paternal age pregnancy chances exhibit a decrease of 7%’’, highlighted Dr. Fettback. Furthermore, at the age of 45 chances of a man to father a child drop to 35% and these chances are dropping even faster in older ages, indicating that male fertility declines with age.

The effects of female age on human reproduction are more or less known. As for men, even though there is data suggesting that male fertility declines with age, the effects of male age factor are not fully elaborated, explains Dr. Fettback.

According to experts, attention should be paid to the fact that a growing number of men globally are following the trend of older parenthood. In Germany, for example, the average age of married fathers has increased from 31.3 to 33.1 in about 8 years. In England, fathers aged 35-54 accounted for 25% of overall child births. 10 years later this percentage reached about 40%.

Since more and more men are now choosing to become fathers in advanced age, a better understanding of male age factor as well as men’s sperm quality renders quite critical for public health.

What do you think? What is the ideal age for fathering a child?

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Chemicals threaten male fertility?

Research findings suggest that common chemicals threaten male fertility by affecting sperm quality. Chemicals commonly found in toothpaste, soaps and sunscreens could affect the sperm cells behavior, scientists warn.

chemicals and infertilityFor the first time a study presents evidence of a link between chemicals contained in household products and sperm abnormalities. Researchers report that the chemicals found in abundance in most of every day products may be partly responsible for the steadily increasing male fertility issues in the west world.

For the study German and Danish researchers examined approximately 100 chemicals of everyday use, revealing that about 1/3 of them affected sperm function. The study, as published in EMBO Journal and carried out with Timo Strünker of the Centre of Advanced European Studies and Research in Bonn, Germany, reported that some of those male fertility threatening chemicals are contained in sunscreens. Triclosan, a chemical with antimicrobial properties found is some soaps and toothpastes, is also included in the list of harmful chemicals in terms of male fertility.

In vitro experiments showed that chemicals at levels normally men are exposed to affect the sperm motility. Thus, chemicals do threaten male fertility. According to researchers these chemicals act by disrupting the endocrine system and  for that reason are commonly referred as ‘’endocrine-disrupting’’ chemicals. They could be found anywhere: food, fabrics, medicine, household and personal care products, plastic bottles and even children’s toys.

The innovation of the study is that, thanks to a novel method developed, scientists were able to test hundreds of chemicals for their impact on sperm function in short time. Endocrine-disrupting factors seemed to affect sperm function by impacting their motility as well as their sensitivity to progesterone, prostaglandins and the enzyme released by them. These enzymes are necessary for sperm to penetrate the egg, so these chemicals impact the sperm’s fertilizing ability.

The European commission is currently examining the possibility of revising its policy concerning the Endocrine-disrupting chemicals as this study provided well documented evidence that may suggest changes to international rules and practices.

Would you consider replacing commercial products to natural ones for reducing the chemicals impact on your fertility?

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Mobile phone addiction hurts male fertility

Mobile phone addiction hurts male fertility, scientists warn! Are you using your phone while charging it? Keeping it in your pocket or perhaps talking on the phone for over an hour daily? Well, if you are a man and these habits sound familiar to you then you are more likely to deal with fertility problems according to new research.

mobile addiction

The sperm quality of men in Western countries keeps decreasing significantly

The sperm quality of men in Western countries keeps decreasing significantly while for approximately 40% of couples struggling to conceive poor sperm quality is the cause of infertility. Heating by electromagnetic activity is to blame for a reduced sperm quality, contributing to increased infertility issues, scientists suggest.

Scientists collected data from 106 men attending a fertility clinic for a year and their study results were published in the journal of Reproductive Biomedicine  Online. They found that men who were talking on their mobile phones for over an hour daily were 50% more likely to have poor quality sperm compared to those who talked less. Moreover, men who used to use their phone while charging it were also two times more likely to suffer subfertility compared to others.
Researchers also reported that 47% of men who tend to keep their mobile phone too close to their body (less than 50 cm) had their sperm and fertilizing potential seriously affected as opposed to only 11% of the general population.

Professor Gedis Grudzinskas, a fertility consult ant St George’s Hospital London and in Harley Street commented that ‘’men should think about their well-being and stop being addicted to their phones’’. ‘’ If you wear a suit to work put the mobile phone in your chest pocket instead of close to your groin. It will decrease the risk of your sperm count dropping’’ he added.

The conclusion of this study is that men who are trying to conceive need to have their mobile phones turned off while charging them or at least keep them, minimum as far as half a meter away. Scientists advise men of reproductive age to pay attention to the study results, considering them as a warning to change their phone habits for standing a better chance when it comes to conception.

So, is hurting fertility enough reason for you to abandon your mobile phone addiction?

Common chemical may be linked to male infertility

Men’s exposure to common chemical, DEHP (a so-called phthalate), may be linked to male infertility, new study suggests.

Approximately 15% of couples are infertile. That means they can’t conceive even if they have unprotected intercourse on regular base for a year or longer. For about half of those couples, the inability to conceive is related to male factor infertility. Moreover, scientists warn that male fertility is fainting and men are estimated to have their sperm fertilizing potential reduced by 2% each year. Practically, that means that it is not only the sperm concentration that is reduced but their motility as well.

But what is to blame for such a sperm quality decrease? Fertility doctors argue that the cause is more acquired than genetic. Exposure to chemicals commonly found in products of everyday use, like plastic, is a major acquired cause of male infertility.

chemical DEHP infertility

DEHP may be linked to male infertility

Researchers from Lund University studied metabolite levels of the phthalate DEHP, a chemical that leaks out from plastics, in urine and the sperm quality of 314 men aged 18-20 from the general Swedish population. The reason the study population comprised of men from the general population rather than from men attending infertility IVF clinics, diagnosed with infertility, often dispose poor sperm quality that is caused by several different factors.

They found that men with higher exposure to this phthalate chemical had their sperm progressive motility decreased. More specifically, sperm progressive motility was lower by 11 percentage points for the group with the highest exposure to DEHP than in the group of men with the lowest exposure. Additionally, men in the group with the highest DEHP exposure had 27% higher HDS (high DNA stainability) a marker of sperm immaturity. Thus, the researchers concluded that exposure to the common phthalate chemical may be linked to male infertility, as it was negatively associated with sperm motility and maturation.

So, plastic use is not recommended for young men of reproductive age who wish to protect their fertility while materials like wood, metal and glass would make some hormonally healthier alternatives.

Is this enough reason to avoid plastic products?

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Sunlight exposure makes women more fertile

There are numerous health benefits of sunlight and one of them is linked to increased fertility.

Sunshine, warm weather and absence of rain lead to a more effective IVF treatment

Sunlight is related with fertility

Sunlight exposure makes women more fertile, boosting their chances to conceive according to a new

Belgian research study. Researchers of University Hospital Ghent’s Centre for Reproductive Medicine, analyzed success rates of 6.000 women who underwent IVF treatment over a time period of about six years. These data were associated with climate conditions of the month that each woman started their fertility treatment.

They found that live birth rates increased from 14%, during less sunny periods, to 19% when the weather in terms of sunlight was improved. Moreover, in periods with at least 4 hours of sunshine per day fertility was increased by one third.

Researchers highlight the fact that women had 35% increased chances of conception following IVF if they were exposed to sunlight a month prior and not during IVF treatment.

Vitamin D appears to have the most critical role in terms of sunlight benefits to female fertility, as it directly affects egg quality and melatonin levels contributing to a normal ovulation cycle.

‘’Sunshine, warm weather and absence of rain lead to a more effective IVF treatment. And even though this study focused on the outcome of women who treated for infertility we believe that weather conditions may positively affect natural conception chances as well’’, said Dr Vandekerckhove who led the study. This study was presented at the annual meeting of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Portugal.

At this point it should also being noted that sun can increase male fertility as well, according to previous studies. It appears that sperm is relatively more effective and capacitated from July to August compared to winter months.

How about planning a trip somewhere warm for increasing your pregnancy chances?

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