Sedentary lifestyle impacting sperm quality

Poor diet and not enough exercise are key
  • Deborah Condon

The move to a more sedentary lifestyle is having a detrimental impact on men's sperm, a consultant gynaecologist has warned.

According to Dr Bart Kuczera, a fertility expert with Beacon CARE Fertility in Dublin, new research suggests that the quality of men's sperm is continuing to fall because of a lack of exercise and the consumption of too much fast food.

He was responding to two new studies, which were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine this week.

One of the studies involved 124,000 men who had attended fertility clinics in Europe and the US. It found that sperm quality has reduced by almost 2% per year. A second study involving 2,600 sperm donors found a similar pattern.

"This research indicates that our change to a more sedentary lifestyle is having an impact on fertility, with men tending to eat far more unhealthy food compared with a generation ago. I would urge any man that has concerns about their fertility to have a comprehensive semen analysis, which is a simple and non-invasive test for male fertility," Dr Kuczera said.

He pointed out that there are ground-breaking medical treatments available for men with fertility problems, but in the meantime, anyone who is concerned about fertility, should consider the following lifestyle changes:

-Ensure you get proper sleep
-Avoid anything that can raise the temperature of your groin, such as sitting still for long periods of time, particularly when driving long distances, hot baths and saunas, using a laptop on your lap, wearing tight underwear or working in a hot environment such as a kitchen or bakery
-Eat a healthy diet
-Do not smoke
-Drink moderately and stay within the recommended weekly consumption of alcohol
-Do not use recreational drugs as they impair sperm health


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