It is an unfortunate but actual fact that just over 10 percent of reproductive-age couples in the United States have trouble conceiving. One-third of these cases are due to male infertility.
If a couple has had regular, unprotected sex for over one year without conceiving, it may be time to consult a doctor. If a man is over the age of 35, the guideline is 6 months without conceiving. The idea of being infertile can be frightening, especially for those who have always longed for a family. The good news is that about 65 percent of those who get treatment for a fertility issue go on to conceive - so don’t think that it is a lost cause.
It’s pretty obvious that the main sign of infertility is the inability to conceive a baby, but there are other signs and symptoms. For instance, male infertility can include problems with sexual function, pain and/or swelling in the testicle area, lower than normal sperm count, decreased facial or body hair, and abnormal breast growth. In some cases, an underlying cause can be the reason for the fertility problem. For example, it could be an inherited disorder, hormonal imbalance, dilated veins around the testicle, or even a condition that is simply blocking the passing of sperm.
While specialists can help men and women who experience fertility problems, some men are taking a proactive approach to their reproductive health. You might be surprised at what some men are doing to supercharge their own fertility.
Here are 15 ways men are trying to boost their fertility.
15 Avoid Tuna Rolls
Some men will not eat any large predatory fish, including tuna, swordfish, mackerel or shark. These fish have been known to contain high levels of mercury and some studies suggest an accumulation of mercury in the bloodstream over time can lead to infertility. One study, conducted in China, where fish consumption is high, showed that over a third of infertile men had high concentrations of mercury in their bodies.
While this is worth noting, some medical officials point out that some fish consumption is good for us. It is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for our body and brain. This means some fish consumption should be considered as part of a healthy diet. The other issue that has been pointed out by experts in the medical community is that mercury comes from other sources other than fish. For instance, some people have mercury fillings in their teeth cavities and others are exposed to mercury through cosmetic products, such as face creams.
14 Smelly Egg Gas
Yes, that’s right, since a group of researchers at the National University of Singapore said they discovered that the gas that smells like rotten eggs (hydrogen sulfide) can protect men’s fertility, men have been looking for ways to expose themselves to the stench. According to the study, infertility can be heat related. Sitting in a sauna or wearing tight-boxer shorts overheats the testicles and apparently reduces sperm production. The research team has indicated that they discovered that by applying a low concentration of H2S through a special releasing compound may improve sperm functions of “germ cells” that have been exposed to heat stress.
In the past H2S, the colorless gas that smells much like rotten eggs, has produced an anti-oxidant effect in various systems, such as the brain, kidney, heart and bones. Cells in the human body do produce small amounts of H2S, but releasing compounds can be used to boost the level of H2S in a person’s body.
13 Drinking Baboon Urine
I doubt it will be coming to a pub near you anytime soon, but there are some men who go to great lengths to attain baboon urine to drink. Tribes in Zimbabwe have long promoted the unpleasant tasting cocktail of baboon urine and beer to help people conceive. The wide belief is that the hormones in the urine boost fertility. Although no scientific evidence seems to be available, in some areas of the world the urine is hard to keep in stock. Men have been known to line up for hours at shops and street vendors hoping to purchase baboon urine.
In some instances, women buy it for their men. The fact is that some fertility medications contain estrogen from human urine, but lets be honest, who wants to drink baboon urine? This would have to be an absolute last resort for boosting fertility, or so you would think.
12 Limited Cell Use
People of reproductive age can hardly get through the hour, never mind the day without checking their cell-phones and the easier it is to access the phone, the better right? Well, not all men think so. More and more men are limiting cell use and refuse to carry the device in their front pockets. Some studies suggest that a cell phone, which transmits radio-frequency electromagnetic waves can damage sperm.
Although the scientists are still debating the validity of these claims, some men refuse to expose their goods to the cell phone. You will not find it in their front pocket or sitting on their lap when they aren’t using it. For men who love going hands-free with a Bluetooth device and their cell clipped to their belt find this a challenge, but go to a log of trouble to rig up a way around having the phone anywhere near their frontal region.
11 Goats Weed
In 2008, a study revealed that a compound found in this herb blocks the impact of an enzyme that restricts blood flow to the penis. Since that time, many men have been turning to horny goats weed in the belief that it can boost fertility. In some countries, including China, which is where the herb comes from, horny goats weed is used as an aphrodisiac.
The legend is that hundreds of years ago the Chinese observed the behavior of a goat that was consuming the herb and determined it may contain medicinal properties. The herb is from a flowering plant and has several known names, including barrenwort, bishop’s hat, fairy wings, rowdy lamb herb and lets not forget, randy beef grass. One of the main ingredients in horny goats weed is something called, icariin. The icariin apparently works by relaxing smooth muscle tissue. The potency of the herb depends on its concentration.
10 Feng Shui
Does your home support pregnancy? Some men don’t think their home is up to snuff when it comes to increasing the odds of conceiving so they turn to the ancient Chinese art of feng shui. Pronounced fung schway, this art aims to balance the energy of a room or building for the health and well-being of the people who use that room, or work or live in a particular building. The thought being, they need positive vibes.
From this particular perspective infertility can be linked to energy; referred to as chi, that is either stagnant or being blocked for some reason. The idea is that by making some adjustments you can create a home or work space that encourages positive energy and therefore conception will occur. Some people say that when everything is in harmony, energy or chi flows like a river. The connection – blocked sperm may be more apt to flow if harmony exists.
9 Taking Shilajit
There are those who believe that shilajit, a sticky resin that comes from rocks in the Himalyan Mountains can reverse infertility. It is said to contain over 85 ionic vitamins and minerals that can improve the reproductive and urinary systems. Over millions of years, plant and organic matter were trapped by layers of rock in the mountains. The pressure from the mountains, along with fluctuating temperatures caused the plants to change into a rich mineral mass that flows from the rocks.
This is shilajit. Men simply dissolve it in hot, non-chlorinated water, tea or warm milk and drink it. Others dissolve a small piece of it under their tongue. Shilajit has been used for year in Ayurvedic medicine. This form of medicine is based on the belief that health and wellness are dependent on a careful balance between mind, body and spirit. While more men are using it to boost fertility, those who legitimately sell the resin say men must watch out for fake shilajit that is being marketed as the real thing.
8 Pomegranate Juice
While it has long been considered a superfood because of is high antioxidant content, who would have thought men were turning to the pomegranate to supercharge their fertility? Superfoods offer heart health and anti-cancer benefits, but fertility? Research shows that the pomegranate can cause surges in testosterone and improve sperm quality. One study went as far as to say that it increases sex drive and mood in both sexes.
A Turkish study, published in the journal, Clinical Nutrition, showed that rats fed pomegranate juice daily for seven weeks showed an increase in the production of antioxidants that help protect fatty acids in sperm against oxidation. Since the study results were revealed more men have been drinking good quality, 100 percent pomegranate juice on a daily basis in the hopes of improving their fertility.
7 Reducing Chemical Exposure
There are men who will go to great lengths to avoid any chemical exposure. Some research suggests that the semen of the average man has half the sperm it did 50 years ago. Other studies indicate the quality of sperm has gone down. There have been many studies that indicate chemical exposure is causing infertility. The experts contend, some chemicals mimic effects of estrogen. Some men are now avoiding the use of plastic containers, chlorinated tap water, synthetic deodorants, bleached/colored napkins, and office products whitened with chlorine.
There are those who have taken it a step further and will only use organic products and eat organically grown foods. Eating organic allows them to avoid all the pesticides and herbicides that might have been used in the production of food. While pesticides play a role in helping to ensure there is enough food for everyone, some men just aren’t taking any chances. They are focusing on boosting their fertility through personal choices like food.
6 Using Egg White Lubricant
This may sound bizarre, but doctors do admit that men are on the right track. The idea of putting raw egg white down there before trying to conceive could work. The theory is that egg white can act as a lubricant and it can mimic what is considered to be the ideal environment for conception. Egg white is similar to cervical mucus and this mucus helps sperm find its way into the cervical opening on its way to fertilize an egg.
Medical experts say this is why so many men have jumped to the conclusion that they should be using egg whites with their partner when they want to conceive. While egg whites can improve the pH vaginal environment so that it is fertility-friendly, doctors point out that men should keep in mind that there are some risks. Uncooked eggs can carry bacteria that can be harmful.
5 Always Choosing Missionary
While we can’t say this is a supercharger, there are many who believe that sex with the man on top will result in better sperm placement for conception and stick to that when trying to create a family. The term missionary, as legend has it, came from early missionaries who discovered that while going about reproducing natives used some unusually positions. Shocked, the missionaries who were known for spreading their religion declared that only couple-facing/man-on top position was acceptable to the Lord.
Others say that the term was not really used until the late 1960’s, possibility by hippies for some reason. Regardless of it’s origin, doctors say the notion that the man should be on top to attain optimal sperm placement is “nonsense”. In reality, sex during what is commonly referred to by physicians as, a women’s “fertile window” is the best time to try to conceive no matter what position is used. The window is the five days leading up to ovulation plus the day of ovulation.
4 Taking Schisandra Berry
This berry is native to China, but is gaining in popularity across the world. People take schisandra; often is the form of an extract, to raise their energy levels, physical performance and increase resistance to stress and diseases. There are those who swear by it. They say it has improved their concentration, coordination and endurance. Some research has suggested that it could help with sexual dysfunction, but for some reason this has morphed into a belief that it can improve fertility.
Natural health experts believe that schisandra helps support five vital organs, (heart, lungs, spleen, kidney and liver) which are important to a man’s reproductive health so this could be where the idea comes from. Today Schisandra is readily available to men through health food stores. Both extract and capsules are big sellers. Using this berry does come with some risks. For example, for women who are pregnant it is a no-no. This is because it has been known to stimulate the uterus.
3 Tossing Underwear
Yes this sounds ridiculous, but when a man feels desperate to enhance his fertility, it turns out that he will try just about anything. Tossing underwear on the roof during a waning mood and then only retrieving it when it is a new moon will lead to conception. At least this is the custom in the Congo’s Yansi, which is about 300 miles east of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaire.
While men chucking their underpants on the roof of their home is common practice in this area of the world, it isn’t something we expect to see a lot of in North America, but fertility experts insist that “stranger things have happened” in a man’s attempt to improve his fertility. If someone decides to try this African method of boosting fertility, doctors and fertility experts suggest they make sure they have a good aim so as not to adorn their neighbors with their breeches by accident. They also highly recommend that only the nicest underpants get used out of respect for the person living next door who may look out his or her window and have to see the briefs covering a section of that roof.
2 Long Man Ritual
Not every man likes to toss his boxers, but some do like to have sex on an open field in England in an attempt to improve their fertility. The Long Man of Wilmington is thought to be Europe’s largest representation of a human form and it’s cut into the side of the South Downs in England. It has baffled both historians and archeologists for hundred of years. Many people in England believe that it is prehistoric, while others think it is a work of art created by monks sometime between the 11th and 15th century.
While people continue to speculate, it has somehow become a symbol for fertility. For years men have been known for bringing their partners to the hill just south of Wilmington in East Sussex to have sex. They believe that the Long Man brings luck when it comes to making them fertile. Warning to anybody who might be interested in this form of fertility treatment - the Long Man of Wilmington site has become quite a tourist attraction in recent years.
1 Diet Adjustments
Some health officials suggest that getting plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help boost fertility. They also say that it is a good idea to avoid refined carbohydrates, coffee, tea, alcohol and any foods that have artificial additives in them. It is believed that a healthy diet and especially a healthy weight can ward off any fertility problems. One theory is that low sperm count is linked to obesity because of higher temperatures created by excess fat near the testes.
Eating a balanced diet is good for anyone, but in recent years many men have taken to supercharging their diet with oysters- lots and lots of oysters. There is a large amount of zinc in oysters and it is believed that zinc can increase the production of sperm. Pumpkin seeds have also become popular among men who are trying to protect or improve their fertility. The seeds also have zinc in them. For those who don’t like oysters or can’t find pumpkin seeds easily, there is zinc supplements, but doctors caution men not to go overboard – 11 mg of zinc per day is sufficient. Too much zinc can have negative side effects, including upset stomach, vomiting and headaches.
Some of the fertility enhancers mentioned here do seem a little out there, but the fact is men around the world have tried many different methods, including physical, emotional and even spiritual methods in their quest to boost their fertility. Fertility specialists are quick to point out that many men find that once they stop stressing about their fertility, they are actually able to have a baby with their partner. Multiple studies have demonstrated that for men, stress can lead to erectile dysfunction, as well as something called, hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis. This is the medical term for the glands that play a very important role in developing and regulating the reproductive system, which of course can cause fertility issues. It is hard to avoid stress in a fast-paced world; however, if both the man and woman can come up with ways to manage stress, they just might get pregnant quicker.