Men’s Health Awareness Month June 2024 – The Link Between Men’s Health and Male Fertility

Every year in June, Men’s Health Month is observed internationally with the objective of achieving several important aims including raising awareness about men’s health issues; promoting healthy living practices among men; and emphasising the importance of prevention, early detection, and treatment of diseases that commonly affect men.

One medical condition that is increasingly common among men globally is infertility. In this article, we explore the link between men’s health and their fertility, and also provide some excellent health advice specifically geared to boost male fertility.

Men’s Health Month is an annual initiative to heighten the awareness of male health problems, and to promote healthier lifestyles as well as encourage prevention, early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

It is an important initiative, given that the World Health Organization (WHO) [] research indicates that men go to doctors less frequently and consistently report unmet healthcare needs. In addition to lower use of medical services, men are also more prone to poor health behaviours, with higher rates of smoking, more unhealthy dietary patterns, higher alcohol consumption levels and higher rates of injuries.

Poor health has many negative consequences, but the substantial negative impact it has on fertility is not widely known, even though male infertility is becoming a global health concern.

Male infertility on the rise

Growing numbers of men worldwide are experiencing male infertility, a medical condition that results in the abnormal functioning of the male reproductive system.

Infertility is a reality for one in six couples worldwide. While, traditionally, infertility was regarded as a women’s problem, the reality is that currently, as many as 40% of all infertility cases are due to a male factor.

This already sobering statistic is increasing, given a recent global study revealing a concerning decline in sperm counts all over the world.

The study showed a significant worldwide decline of over 50% in sperm counts in the past five decades, which has also accelerated in recent years.

The researchers say that the link between sperm count and infertility is well-recognised, and that the decline in sperm counts reflects a global crisis related to our modern environment and lifestyle.

What causes male infertility?

In the majority of cases, male infertility is due to problems with the sperm.

There is a long list of medical conditions that can also cause problems with the sperm – from blocks in the testes or the ducts leading out from the testes related to infection, to problems with sexual activity, genetic and hormonal problems, or physical problems with the production of sperm. Male fertility can also be harmed by the use of anabolic steroids and by medical treatments, such as radiation.

However, it is well known that poor health also affects male fertility.

The impact of poor health on fertility

In the simplest terms, male fertility requires healthy sperm. Poor lifestyle choices and the lifestyle diseases that result from it negatively affect men’s overall health and, therefore, compromise male fertility as well.

Environmental and lifestyle factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake and obesity are well-known to negatively affect male fertility. In addition, many men seeking fertility treatment are also dealing with lifestyle diseases such as high insulin levels, thyroid problems and autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases, such as hyperinsulinemia and hyperprolactinemia, play a significant role in the quality of a man’s sperm.

Furthermore, exposure to environmental pollutants and toxins can be directly damaging to sperm, resulting in decreased numbers and poor quality, leading to infertility.

Improving men’s health for better fertility

A healthy lifestyle is essential to creating healthy sperm. Here are some great tips for men who want to improve their fertility.

  • Lose those extra kg’s – being overweight or obese can result in lower testosterone levels and will also: negatively impact sperm quality, reduce sperm count, lower sperm motility (movement), and increase damage to genetic material in the sperm.
  • Get regular exercise – exercise will not only contribute to maintaining a healthy weight, but also helps to reduce stress.
  • Quit smoking – smoking is linked with reduced sperm quality, lower sperm counts, decreased sperm movement, and higher numbers of abnormally shaped sperm. Smoking can also decrease the sperm’s ability to penetrate an egg. Also, smoking causes blood vessels to narrow, triggering impotence.
  • Cut the booze – drinking in men can reduce sperm quantity and quality, so limit alcohol intake to low or moderate amounts.
  • Avoid excess heat – increases in scrotal temperature, due to using a computer on your lap, or keeping a cell phone in your pants pocket, or spending time in hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas, can decrease both sperm count and quality.
  • Avoid exposure pesticides and other harmful chemicals that are known to be detrimental to fertility.
  • Get enough healthy sleep – a lack of healthy sleep can increase cortisol levels in the blood stream, which is linked to lower testosterone.
  • Engage in stress-lowering activities such as walking or golf – studies have shown that semen quality declines during periods of stress. For more information on how to manage stress, visit
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables to get the natural antioxidants necessary for overall semen quality and sperm motility.
  • Also include:

    – spinach, broccoli and sesame seeds for Coenzyme Q10, which has been shown to increase energy levels and sperm motility;
    – spinach for magnesium which supports men’s hormonal health and improves fertility in those with low sperm counts;
    – seafood, particularly oysters, red meat, whole grain and pulses which are rich sources of zinc, necessary for sperm production; and
    – tuna, turkey, chicken and Brazil nuts for selenium, which can improve sperm motility drastically.

    Seek professional medical advice when needed

    Following these tips will not only significantly boost men’s health, but will also substantially improve male fertility.

    However, if you are concerned about your fertility for any reason, or if you and your partner have been trying to conceive for more than six months, then you should both see a fertility specialist for an evaluation.

    Don’t delay! Immediately contact a fertility clinic that will be able to identify the cause of your fertility problem and provide expert information regarding available treatment options.

    In addition to healthy lifestyle changes to boost male fertility, there are also a range of treatments, procedures and options for male infertility ensuring the vast majority of causes of male infertility, can be treated – and with excellent results!

    In fact, there are even advanced technologies like ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) that ensure even men who were previously considered completely sterile have an excellent chance to have their own biological children.

    At Medfem we believe in helping you reach your family dream through:

  • World-Class Fertility for Everyone – we believe in making world-class fertility treatments available for everyone
  • A Positive Fertility Journey – It is our joy and commitment to give you a positive outcome to your fertility journey
  • Delivered With Empathy & Caring – So you may have a fond memory, of a feeling of empathy, caring and being part of the Medfem family
  • If you would like to meet one of our fertility specialists at Medfem Fertility Clinic, simply click here to book an initial consultation or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.

    Our Fertility Specialists can also meet with You During a Virtual Consultation Via Zoom or Skype. Click here to book a virtual consultation now.

    We look forward to meeting you at Medfem Fertility Clinic!

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