When it comes to your fertility, you want the facts on your side. You need to know how to make your pregnancy goals a reality. Unfortunately, there are numerous rumors about sperm killers and reproductive hormone crushers on the internet today. There are also plenty of myths when it comes to sperm enhancers and reproductive hormone optimizers. Most of the buzz involves certain beverages, foods and daily activities. Do you follow the advice or ignore them?
Fortunately, the experts at GENESIS are here to sort through the buzz and present you with the facts.
Let’s dispel the myths and highlight the realities.
Food, beverages and fertility
In 2007, Harvard researchers conducted a fertility study related to diet, and in 2009, they published their findings in a book. The basic idea is that the following dietary choices may increase your chances of becoming pregnant by up to 80 percent:
Higher monounsaturated fat intake like avocados or olive oil.
Increased vegetable protein and less animal protein.
More whole grains.
Increased vegetarian sources for iron and less meat.
High-fat dairy over low-fat dairy.
The study suggests that a healthier diet is the best practice. The results align with what we recommend.
According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, obesity in men may negatively influence testosterone levels. Additionally, obese men are at a higher risk for low sperm count and decreased sperm motility.
Other studies suggest that women of a healthy weight who increase their level of physical activity are more likely to experience regular ovulation.
However, for every nugget of information on the internet, there is a mountain of questionable advice to sift through.
Coffee and Caffeine
Q: Does coffee and caffeine influence your odds of getting pregnant?
A: Not really. According to the latest studies, coffee does not influence pregnancy rates and some studies show that it may actually improve pregnancy rates. However, like most things, drinking too much coffee may cause negative side effects.
Consider this: If you are already a coffee drinker, then 1-2 cups a day seems to be OK, both while trying to conceive and during pregnancy. But if you are not a coffee drinker, we don’t recommend starting; it just means another thing you would have to remember to do in the morning.
Q: Does soda influence fertility as the rumors suggest?
A: According to studies, drinking at least one soda per day lowers the odds of getting pregnant in women. In men, the chance of fathering a child can fall by as much as 33 percent.
Sugar and fertility don’t mix well. When you consume too much sugar, it affects adrenal glands, which contribute to hormone production in both men and women. Also a spike in blood sugar can increase insulin levels, which can be harmful even when you’re not trying to get pregnant. However, according to the same study, diet sodas and fruit juice do not negatively influence pregnancy.
We recommend limiting your sugar intake when trying to get pregnant.
Q: How does alcohol influence fertility?
A: Drinking alcohol reduces sex drive and sperm quality, and may even lead to impotence in men. For women, drinking alcohol negatively impacts ovulation and fetal development. We recommend avoiding all alcoholic drinks when trying to conceive and certainly during pregnancy.
Activities and fertility
The internet suggests everything from avoiding your laptop to standing on your head. Avoiding these activities is meant to influence your odds of becoming pregnant. While some of these myths may have some basis in reality, most are wildly exaggerated or embellished.
Q: Does smoking negatively influence fertility?
A: Smoking affects both sperm count and female reproductive hormones. Many believe that quitting smoking should happen after pregnancy. However, the reality is that you should stop smoking when trying to become pregnant.
We highly recommend quitting!
Q: Does cell phone use kill sperm?
A: There is some early data to show that there might be potential risks of cell phones on sperm health. According to a study published in the Central European Journal of Urology, a correlation exists between mobile phone exposure, DNA-fragmentation level and decreased sperm motility. Most studies don’t show an effect of cell phone exposure on sperm quality. Since the jury is still out on this one, GENESIS will have to wait for some more research before we give any official recommendations.
Q: Do laptops kill sperm?
A: The old saying “some like it hot” was definitely not describing the testicles, which prefer the temperature to be a couple of degrees cooler than the rest of the body, that’s why they are hanging out down there. Some studies not surprisingly show that a heated laptop may harm sperm. However, since most of us keep our laptops on a table or desk, it doesn’t seem to be a major problem these days.
We recommend not allowing heated devices to come in contact with testicles for a prolonged period.
Q: Do microwaves cause sperm abnormalities or other fertility issues?
A: Studies have shown that microwave radiation exposure may contribute to abnormally shaped sperm. However, this did not lead to fetal demise.
Heating certain plastics in the microwave may cause chemicals such as bisphenol A to transfer to the bloodstream. This may lead to infertility, hormonal changes and even cancer.
We recommend microwaving food in microwave-safe glass or ceramic containers.
Standing on your head
Q: Does standing on your head help you become pregnant?
A: This myth predates the internet. Some rumors suggest that elevating your hips on a pillow following intercourse may help sperm reach the cervix faster. There is no evidence that this is true. Sperm takes only seconds to reach the cervical area without any help.
We don’t recommend staying in bed for extended periods of time after intercourse since this doesn’t seem to help pregnancy rates, and can increase the chance of urinary tract infections. Cuddling is optional!