Posts Tagged ‘ sperm count ’

Aluminum May Lower Sperm Count: Study

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Aluminum Exposure May Decrease Male FertilityIf you’re trying to get pregnant, consider this new piece of research.

According to a small study published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, aluminum exposure may be the cause of male infertility that has been on the rise over the past several decades.

After analyzing the semen of 62 donors, scientists from the universities of Lyon and Saint-Etienne in France and Keele in the United Kingdom found that “the higher the aluminum, the lower the sperm count,” a news release states.

“There has been a significant decline in male fertility, including sperm count, throughout the developed world over the past several decades and previous research has linked this to environmental factors such as endocrine disruptors,” study leader, Professor Christopher Exley said in a news release.

Unfortunately, the study doesn’t explain exactly how men are coming into contact with these high levels of aluminum—or what could be done to prevent such exposure.

Dealing with infertility issues? Read up on some common causes and how to cope if it’s something that’s affecting you and your partner.

Sperm Meets Egg: Weeks 1 to 3 of Pregnancy
Sperm Meets Egg: Weeks 1 to 3 of Pregnancy
Sperm Meets Egg: Weeks 1 to 3 of Pregnancy

Photo of sperm courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Potential Dads: Cut Back on Drinking, Study Suggests

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Men's Habitual Drinking Decreases Sperm QualityWomen hoping to get pregnant aren’t the only 0nes who should cut back on alcohol consumption, new research suggests.

According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal men who drank alcohol “moderately”—that’s five or more drinks a week—were found to have poorer sperm quality than those who drank less.

“Quality” was defined in the study as total sperm count and sperm size, among other factors.

The study looked at roughly 1,200 Danish men ages 18-28 who, besides their sperm quality, were otherwise considered healthy.

Drinking alcohol in the preceding week before the men were tested was also linked to changes in their reproductive hormone levels—testosterone levels rose while sex hormone binding globuline (SBHG) fell.

Researchers are wary to say just yet that alcohol consumption causes poor sperm quality because this is the first study of its kind. The findings could also show that men who naturally have lower sperm quality are more likely to drink more.

But, they left the bottom line at this: “It remains to be seen whether semen quality is restored if alcohol intake is reduced, but young men should be advised that high habitual alcohol intake may affect not only their general health, but also their reproductive health.”

Trying to get pregnant? Give our ovulation predictor a try.

Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes
Trying to Conceive: 5 Common Fertility Mistakes

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New Sperm Quality Research Could Help with IVF Success

Friday, November 1st, 2013

A team of researchers from a number of top Boston medical institutions are working together on new research that could help the best sperm from a man’s sample travel better through fluid, increasing its chances of successfully finding and fertilizing a woman’s egg.  The research, if successful, could increase the chances of success for couples who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF). More from Boston.com:

Physicist Erkan Tuzel works in a field that seems just about as far removed as possible from delicate questions about human reproduction; his lab at Worcester Polytechnic Institute develops algorithms to describe the behavior of complex fluids. But after he heard a talk by Harvard Medical School bioengineer Utkan Demirci, who carves microscopically small channels and then allows fluids to flow through them, the two began to talk about collaborating. Their common ground? Designing technology that could cull the healthiest, fastest-moving sperm from the slowpokes.

Doctors trying to help couples reproduce through in vitro fertilization would like to have an easy way to identify and isolate the sperm most likely to result in a baby. Figuring out how to reliably do that, however, may have as much to do with physics as it does with biology.

In real-world experiments, sperm can swim through tiny channels created by Demirci at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Computer modeling by Tuzel could be used to understand how to design those channels so that they select the right sperm.

“Sperm cells interact with each other when in confined geometries,” Tuzel said. “Just like birds when they fly in formation like a flock, similarly through the fluid, the sperm cells interact with each other and they synchronize their tails—they start beating in phase. … How can we use this information to learn from it and utilize it?”

Tuzel was recently awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to build computational tools that could help design systems that sort sperm in real life.

Image: Sperm collection container, via Shutterstock

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Bacon, Processed Meats May Harm Sperm, Study Finds

Friday, October 18th, 2013

A diet heavy in bacon and other processed meats may raise a man’s risk of having poor sperm and semen quality, whereas a diet rich in fish could boost male fertility, according to a new study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.  More from CNN:

Myriam Afeiche, research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, and her colleagues looked at how types of meat could be associated with semen quality. They took samples from 156 men at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center in Boston and had the men answer a questionnaire about their eating habits.

What does semen have to look like to be considered high-quality? The researchers considered four main parameters:

The concentration of sperm is one part of it. So is motility, or how fast the sperm move. The shape of the sperm also matters, as does the total sperm count – that’s the concentration multiplied by volume.

The researchers did not look at individual kinds of processed meat, so this study won’t tell you if bacon could be more sperm-stunting than hamburgers, or vice versa. But higher intake of processed meat appeared to be related to a lower percent of “morphologically normal” – or well-shaped – sperm.

Regarding fish, it seemed that men who ate more dark meat fish – such as salmon, bluefish and tuna – had higher total sperm count; more white meat fish – such as cod and halibut – was associated with normally-shaped sperm.

The researchers only looked at associations, not causes. It is unclear whether processed meat actually causes changes in sperm, or if it does, how that would happen. It’s possible men who eat more processed meat have an unhealthier diet overall, which could affect their semen. Same goes for fish intake and sperm; researchers don’t know what about fish may benefit the littler swimmers.

“There might be something else going on, but we’re not sure what it is,” Afeiche said.

Trying to get pregnant? Find out if you are maximizing your fertility, or predict your due date.

Image: Bacon, via Shutterstock

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Too Much TV May Lower Sperm Counts, Study Finds

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Men who watch more than 20 hours of television each week have a 44 percent lower sperm count than men who watch less TV, a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health has found.  More from NBC News:

Twenty-plus hours per week? Who has so much free time they can devote such a fat chunk of their lives to clicker-clutching couch vegging? Apparently, many of us, said Jorge Chavarro, senior author of the study and assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard.

“It’s not difficult to imagine. That’s about three hours a day,” Chavarro said. “Let’s say somebody comes home from work at 7 and turns on the TV; they only need to watch TV until the evening news and they’ve watched three hours.”

Starting in the 1990s, studies have suggested a reduction in sperm counts among men in various cities, including in Europe and the United States. It’s become more clear in the past six years.

“Most people have speculated these are due to higher use of environmental chemicals,” Chavarro said.

“One of the things that has been overlooked during same six-year period: there also have been vast changes in how people live their lives, including how people eat, watch television, move around – whether they are active or not. Relatively little attention has been paid to these factors (when it comes to sperm counts). We wanted to look at that.”

Image: Man watching TV, via Shutterstock

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