Contrary to popular conception, in couples facing difficulty in conceiving successfully, the male partner is responsible almost 30% of the time. Difficult to believe, isn’t it, that male infertility is almost as frequent an occurrence as female infertility? But true nevertheless. It means that responsibility for becoming parents lies almost equally with both partners and they have to work equally effectively to achieve their goal of starting a family.
It helps if both lead a lifestyle that is healthy and full of activities that will negate the stress of personal and professional commitments. Healthy eating, remaining physically fit, especially avoiding putting on unnecessary weight, and avoiding drinks & tobacco in all forms is a prerequisites when you are looking at commencing a family.
Despite this, if natural conception is not happening, irrespective of unprotected sex for a year or so, one needs to take the help of a Fertility expert.
In this article let us focus on the father-to-be, as much has already been written about female fertility.
Let’s get started on the roller coaster journey of fatherhood with well-researched data gathered from reputed journals, WHO publications & ongoing research.
Let’s start with a few important topics.
1. How soon you should prepare for fatherhood?
Age & related fertility concerns: it is commonly known, that females are born with all the eggs they could ever have and a sharp decline is shown over the ages.
Even though, unlike females, males can reproduce the sperms well after retirement age, the quality of the sperms reduces as men age. It is well-known fact that partners of aged males take longer to get pregnant than the younger ones. The increased chances of miscarriages along with autism or other related mental health issues are often seen with advancing-aged fathers.
So starting early is always a wiser decision.
Sooner is better than later.
2. Lifestyle modifications with smoking habits:
Does smoking kill dreams? More than dreams, it kills the desire to be the one.
“A pioneering study on this subject was carried out by the team of Dr Julian Laubenthal, from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Bradford in the UK, who collected blood and sperm from fathers during the period of conception, and the blood from babies at birth.”
Then, the team performed a DNA analysis of the samples for risk of cancer. The researchers found a detrimental change in the DNA of babies whose fathers smoked.”
What it simply means, is that smoking has a powerfully negative effect on a baby’s health & more risk children carry for such diseases.
The smoke from cigars has the potential to the health of the sperm. Cigar smoke can alter the sperm structure, and motility and make them less competent. These epigenetic changes cause serious concerns like leukaemia and heart problems for children born to fathers who smoke.
There is no safe limit for smoking & every puff has the potential to damage the health of self, others with passive smoking & the unborn child, and lifetime damage to vital organs.
Quitting is not merely a decision, it is a lifetime gift of health.
It is a well-researched & known fact that obesity increases the load on all organs equally & sperms structure. The research found that overweight men were 11 % more likely to have a low sperm count and 39 % more likely to have no sperm in their ejaculate. Obese men were 42 % more likely to have a low sperm count than their normal-weight peers and 81 % more likely to produce no sperm.” March 2012 Archives of Internal Medicine.
Obesity can increase the risk of infertility. Male obesity impacts negatively the reproductive potential by not only decreasing sperm quality but also altering the physical and molecular structure of germ cells in the testes. It simply means the effect of obesity is beyond maturation. Such sperms can create many abnormalities in the progeny.
Obesity by and large is an imbalance of energy consumption & energy taken by the body. Dietary modification & exercise helps in this regard. The guidance of a nutritionist is a prime requirement as losing fat without any fatigue is more important.
4. Environmental toxins: avoid them when you can’t control them.
Environmental exposures play an important role in disease orientation & development. In the case of pregnancies, the developing fetus is susceptible to environmental pollutants.
Such factors are, air pollution, tobacco smoke, pesticides, solvents, metals, radiation, water contaminants (disinfection by-products, arsenic, and nitrates) and chemicals (persistent organic pollutants (POPs) greatly impact pregnancy outcomes such as pregnancy loss, stillbirth, fetal growth, preterm birth and congenital anomalies.
Even though, we can’t avoid them fully, knowing how to minimize the exposure is definitely in our hands.
Fatherhood in today’s context is the planning of Physical, mental, and emotional well-being to create the entire generation in partnership with healthy motherhood.
Let’s remember a few points in a nutshell.
• If you and your partner want to start a family, the sooner you start, the better it is
• Being in the healthy BMI range improves your chance of having a healthy baby
• Quit smoking immediately & offer the best health foundation for the baby & family.
• Minimize or avoid exposure to such chemicals at home and workplaces.
Stress affects effects into negative pregnancy outcomes. Let’s perfect the art of living and offer the lifetime gift of a solid foundation to children.