It’s becoming alarming that male fertility is declining at a fast rate. And the World Health Organization says that the knowledge of male infertility is very low. Female fertility and infertility has gained a lot of attention over the past years with little attention being paid to males.

Currently, sperm count is considered the best way to measure male fertility and a report reveals that sperm count among men in Western countries such as America, New Zealand, Europe, and Australia have dropped substantially over the years. Collective sperm count among this group of men has dropped more than 50%.

Study did not explain why sperm counts might be down in this group of men, but several theories says that drops in sperm counts have, in the past, been associated with environment and lifestyle factors including prenatal chemical exposures, adult pesticide exposures, smoking, stress and obesity.

I got curious about men who are not in this group, that is, who are not part of the western countries, has there been a decline in their sperm quality as well?

Results shows that There hasn’t been enough data from non-Western countries to reach any conclusions about whether sperm counts are falling there, too. “We can’t say if there’s a decline or not for non-Western countries, but if there is a decline it’s to less extent than the steep decline that we see for Western countries. Says a researcher named Levine. Although, a recent research in China shows a decline.

The purpose of this article is to create an awareness on some unhealthy lifestyle that could increase male infertility so that preventive measures can be taken especially for those in the non Western countries. Prevention they say, is better than cure.

Some of these unhealthy lifestyle include :

Strenuous riding such as bicycle riding or horseback riding : A study carried out by a Boston area fertility centre found that men bicycling more than five hours per week had a lower sperm concentration than either sedentary men or those doing other types of exercise.

Long distance cycling support a significant percentage of weight on the perineal body area between the testis and the rectum. This trauma can affect blood flow to the testis, which can also negatively impact the production of sperm. Cycling can also trap heat around your testicles.

Sleep duration: A new study found a link between sleep duration and a measure of chromosomal health in sperm.

It was recently discovered from a research carried out in China that men who sleep 9 hours per day and those who sleep 6 – 6.5 hours in a day have decreased semen volume and total sperm count. These two semen parameters were highest in men who slept 7-7.5 hours in a day.

Exposure to heat, radiation: Sperm thrives better in temperature about 4ºF lower than normal body temperature. This means that small sources of heat can start to add up and cause damage to your sperm.

Prolonged contact with Laptops (on the laps) cellphones (in the pockets) exposes the testicles to direct heat and radiation. Also, hot baths and tubs causes the testicles to be exposes to higher temperature.

Exposure to acid or chemicals : You may be at risk of reduced fertility if you have a job or hobby that regularly exposes you to any of the following: chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, solvents.

This is particularly a concern for those who are consistently exposed to these chemicals without any protective measures.

Drugs, alcohol and caffeine consumption: heavy drinking reduces a man’s testosterone which is necessary for the production of sperm.

Drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroine etc. also have a serious adverse effects on sperm quality and quantity. Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine consumption; all of these have been shown to reduce sperm count and quality.

Stress: Some studies indicate it may have an impact on sperm quantity and quality, while other studies have not been able to find a link at all.

Many experts believe that stress can affect hormonal balance which can in turn affect sperm production.

My next article will provide some tips on some preventive measures to be taken against these unhealthy lifestyles.

Thanks for reading.