Excerpted from "A Year of Health Hints"
365 Practical Ways to Feel Better and Live Longer
If a man has been unsuccessful at fathering a child, he'll
probably be checked for two kinds of problems: low sperm count
(too few sperm per given volume of semen) and poor sperm motility
(sperm that are poor swimmers and have trouble fertilizing an
Factors that can reduce fertility in men include:
(Smoking has been associated with low sperm count and poor sperm
Drug and alcohol
use. (Marijuana and alcohol lower production of testosterone, a
produced by the
restrictive underwear. (Clothing that holds the testicles too
close to the body heats
them up and thus
interferes with sperm production, which is temperature
Work that requires
you to sit for long periods of time (for reasons similar to those
Frequent use of
saunas or hot tubs.
occupational exposure to lead, zinc, copper, or radiation.
(Pollutants can disrupt the
and transportation of sperm.)
abstinence from sex.
Use of lubricants
like petroleum jelly and K-Y Jelly, which can kill or immobilize
Infection or other
illness. (These hamper the testicles' ability to
do their job.)
A varicocele (a
congenital defect in the blood vessels to the testes).
For many men, restoring fertility is simply a matter of
switching to boxer shorts, quitting smoking, losing weight, or
making other adjustments. Be patient, though. It may take two or
three months to restore fertility. If your wife still doesn't
conceive, see a doctor who specializes in treating infertility.