Friday, June 27th, 2014
We’ve all heard of drug testing in professional ball leagues, but one case now in the news comes with a surprising—and for many, upsetting—twist.
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Robert Mathis—a star player and six-time Pro Bowler—was suspended by the NFL for four games this upcoming season after he tested positive for drugs. But it wasn’t for the kind of drugs that probably first come to mind in such instances. Instead, the substance in question is Clomid, well-known for its application as a fertility drug.
More background: Robert and his wife Brandi are already parents to twin boys. But when Robert learned his mother was suffering from stage-four cancer and was given just a short time to live, the pair was eager to conceive another child that she could meet before it was too late. Because of what Robert’s sports management agency EAG calls “certain health risks associated with Brandi taking prescriptions,” the couple’s doctor instead prescribed a course of Clomid, which can increase sperm production, for Robert in the hopes of expediting fertilization.
Robert’s management company said further that the football star asked his doctor prior to taking the drug whether it would interfere with the league’s drug testing policies, and the doctor said it would not. However, it turns out that Clomid is actually banned by the NFL because it may enhance athletic performance.
In the end, the couple is expecting a new baby girl next month—so the Clomid appears to have served its intended reproductive purpose for Robert’s personal life, despite the controversy swirling around his professional life.
Trying to get pregnant? Talk to other women TTC. And don’t forget to like Everything Pregnancy on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in pregnancy news and trends!
Image courtesy of EAG Sports Management
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Friday, June 28th, 2013
Men have biological clocks too! While we just learned that women shouldn’t panic about their eggs shriveling up and dying by age 35 (what a relief!), men actually do have to worry about their sperm taking a nosedive in numbers—and actually mutating—once they hit the big 3-0.
Testosterone levels drop about one percent per year after age 30. The older a guy gets, not only is his sperm count lowered (which can lead to a higher risk of cancer), but the sperm cells divide more and more, causing higher genetic abnormalities that can create autism or other health issues in children.
According to New York City-based urologist Joseph Alukal, who is now known in the industry as “The Sperm Whisperer,” (ha!) more men than ever are choosing to freeze their sperm in an effort to make sure they can father healthy babies later in life. Page Six Magazine, which interviewed Dr. Alukal, reports that this involves “cryobanking,” and costs roughly $500 to start, with annual storage fees ranging from $450 for one year to $2,550 for 10 years.
This preventative measure is pricy, so don’t let your guy’s age get you own. To quote the dearly departed R&B singer Aaliyah (RIP), “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number.” No matter whether your guy is 20, 30 or 40, there are things he can do—for free—to ensure he’s producing strong swimmers. A healthy lifestyle can help you delay the aging effects that lower fertility.
Regular exercise and a low-fat diet are key. If your man’s overweight or underweight, it can kill your chances of getting pregnant. If he’s a smoker, help him quit, because it can also decrease sperm count and cause sperm to move more slowly, making sure they never make it to the egg to fertilize it. He should also limit drinking to weddings, reunions and really important sporting events (those are my words, not a professional’s—doctors say to avoid alcohol, but you can’t take away all his fun!).
Stress levels can also increase abnormal sperm and reduce its concentration. So getting enough sleep and taking time to relax can really make a difference for him in the bedroom. And as silly as it sounds, don’t let him get overheated! Time spent in saunas, Jacuzzis and steam rooms should be limited to 15 minutes no more than twice a week since sperm production thrives in a cool climate. This even means he shouldn’t spend all night on his laptop either!
I bet when you were getting all of those lectures in Sex Ed, the 16-year-old you had no idea how complicated the science of having a baby really is!
TELL US: Are you worried about male infertility? Would you ask your husband to freeze his sperm?
Image of sperm courtesy of Shutterstock.
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