Does sperm really matter?
It’s a question I explore further in my latest Egg Whisperer show and recap for you here.
Sperm is in the news, and it’s not all good. Nor is it all real. Sensationalized headlines are inciting fear and clicks. There’s nothing that bothers me more as a doctor than to see what I’ll call, fertility clickbait. It is not only misleading, but ultimately harmful misinformation for the men and women planning for their future family.
Here are a few articles that have caught my eye that I must address and set the record straight!
Fertility Clickbait #1: Penis Sized Linked to Fertility
No. Just no. There is not a fertility clinic anywhere in the world that measures penis size. Flat out, it does not happen.
Asking a man the size of his penis is the equivalent to asking a woman her bra size and somehow making a fertility diagnosis. Size means nothing. It is beyond comical to make this link.
Fertility Clickbait #2: Welcome to the Era of the Penis Panic
The “penis panic”? This is news to me! To be clear, there is not a penis panic nor are any fertility doctors referring to male genitalia this way. The penis panic is a creative title the media has created, again, in my opinion, to garner reads more than to accurately depict the state of men’s fertility health.
Fertility Clickbait #3: Welcome to the Era of Spermageddon
Again, this is made up. I guess credit is due to the journalist who dreamt up the creative article title, but spermageddon does not exist. The human race will still be fertile in 50 years. Even if men have lower sperm counts, we have technology that can help like Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).
These articles may be clickbait, but if anything I’m glad they are drawing attention to sperm because it DOES matter.
Four Things You Need to Know about Sperm
- Obesity and Infertility go hand in hand
As our society continues to struggle with obesity the same will be true with fertility. Millions of American adults are obese (and I do hate this word) which puts them at risk for serious chronic diseases and health conditions. Included in this could be infertility and possible problems with pregnancy for some people. And no, your fertility isn’t skin deep. There are plenty of curvy people who have a reassuring metabolic profile but there are other people who don’t. The only way to find out if your body size could affect your fertility is to see your doctor and get checked. I’m a fertility doc that welcomes all patients regardless of body size.
2. The American pizza and beer diet will affect generations to come
In a sense, obesity breeds obesity just as low sperm count breeds low sperm count.
As we’ve learned from the study of epigenetics, an overweight woman is more likely to have children overweight. Just as a dad with low sperm count is more likely to have a son with low sperm count.
We should put a semen analysis referral form in all pizza boxes and 6 packs of beer! What do you think? Maybe for just a week every year?
I’m clearly joking but I guess whatever it takes to get people to pay attention to their fertility health is something I’ll be on board with.
3. Chemicals are affecting our fertility
Man-made chemicals that are making their way into our environment (and bodies) are responsible for shifts in hormones and reproductive function.
And it’s not just happening on land, but with our mammal friends at sea too.
Bottlenose dolphins are being exposed to chemical compounds added to many common cleaning products, cosmetics, personal care products, and plastics. This is according to a new study in GeoHealth, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
Bottlenose dolphins are being exposed to chemical compounds added to many common cleaning products, cosmetics, personal…www.sciencedaily.com
4. Climate change may be affecting fertility
If you’re a patient of mine you’ll hear me often say, “please don’t cook your balls.” and honestly, we don’t need help doing it!
The environment is definitely not helping. With global warming and hotter temperatures, research has shown that this is very possibly affecting our fertility rates. A very well done study out of UCLA showed that 9 months after heat waves, birth rates were lower and this isn’t because people were having less intercourse.
So to be blunt, just like my published comments below, I don’t feel sorry for men.
Men don’t run out of sperm before they’re done having kids. Women DO run out of eggs. When an older man has kids with a younger woman there isn’t chatter that he’s too old. Women, on the other hand, are given an official medical diagnosis of “elderly pregnancy!”
There is nothing more cruel than infertility.
Technology can help men with low sperm. There is no such luck for women who run out of eggs. They have to look for an egg donor.
There is a freak out about declining sperm count, but where is the same sympathy for women? Our timeline for life milestones?—?like marriage and children?—?has shifted. We are all doing things at a later age. Older men can still have kids, but older women have to accept that they either have to freeze eggs or use an egg donor when they’ve run out of healthy eggs.
I joke when I say this, but it’s oh so true; there is not Botox for your ovaries.
Yet in a great twist of irony, men can Botox their balls.
Age is the enemy of fertility. When female fertility is gone, it is gone! I will keep chanting “Get Your Levels Checked” so that no person goes unaware about the simple tests they can do to get their fertility levels checked.
Here are 2 things you can do today:
1. Get your TUSHY Checked.
Learn more about your fertility health with the help of your doctor or start by taking an egg awareness panel.
2. Follow the Egg Whisperer D.I.E.T.
Lastly, take all the info you learn and build your fertility T.E.A.M.
E: Exercise, eating
M: Meditation and Mindfulness