One of the greatest joy of a man is to reproduce himself. But many men in Nigeria are already been robbed of this joy as they battle with the problem of infertility. No man is actually immune to infertility and that is why it’s important to know the possible causes and remedies.
The infertility rate in Nigeria is said to have escalated from 15% to about 40% according to infertilitynigeria.blogspot.com. A statement credited to Professor Oladapo Ashiru, the Medical Director of Medical Art Centre also confirms that the number of men presently with low sperm count in Nigeria is on the increase. The increase in patronage at orphanage homes by infertile couples having to queue for months before they can get a baby to adopt is alarming! What exactly are things that cause male infertility and how can they be controlled? We have some points below.
1. Keeping Mobile Phone in Pocket
A finding by some researchers at the University of Exeter England released earlier this June shows that keeping mobile phone in the pocket could affect sperm quality. They found out that exposure to cell phone radiation lowers sperm motility by 8% and viability by 9%. This finding is still a controversial one but it would be safer to keep away mobile phones from the pocket as much as possible. Radiationresearch.org gave the following recommendations in their save-the-males campaign:
· Keep your mobile phone out of your trouser pocket
· Do not text holding your phone at waist level
· Limit your daily use
· Switch it off at night (or as much as possible)
Apart from radiation from mobile phones, other factors could also be responsible for infertility in males. In fact this was the argument of some scientists against the findings of the research from Exeter: that the singular action of phone radiation cannot be responsible for male infertility. Telegraph.co.uk outlined the following as other things that can also cause infertility.
2. Heavy Drinking
It is said that alcohol affects the body’s ability to absorb zinc which is a nutrient vital for healthy sperm. It’s still unclear what quantity of alcohol is bad but it’s advisable to stay away from it as much as possible, especially heavy drinking.
3. Oxidative Stress
Another thing that can cause male infertility is oxidative stress. This is linked to lifestyle factors such as obesity, diet, pollutants, smoking and alcohol. Taking antioxidant supplements such as vitamin E, vitamin C, folic acid etc. is said to increase fertility.
4. Poor Diet
Diet should be holistic. A healthy diet will help maintain a healthy sperm count and an poor diet otherwise. It is advisable that one eats foods that will guarantee the general health of the body.
5. Excessive Exercise
Exercise is good for the body but its excess especially when it is combined with body building steroids can decrease the production of testosterone and thereby lower sperm count.
6. Frequent Sex
Too much sex can decrease the quality of sperm cells. It is advised that couples wishing to conceive should limit intercourse to every two or three days.
7. Exposure To Heat
Heat from laptops, wearing tight underpants and other things that could increase the temperature around the testicles could cause low sperm count. As much as possible, it is advised that the general crotch area should be kept cool.
8. Untreated Infection
When STIs are not treated on time, it could result in infertility. Chlamydia infection, Gonorrhoea, Mumps etc can affect fertility and even cause sterility.
9. Exposure to Pesticides and other Chemicals
It has been found that exposure to pesticides and other harmful chemicals can affect sperm quality and quantity. Agricultural workers and fumigators in Nigeria need to be mindful of this. Some other chemicals like paints, adhesives and coatings have also been found to double the risk of fertility problems. Men working with chemicals are therefore advised to wear the appropriate protective gear and reduce their exposure to the chemicals as much as possible.
Sniffing drugs like cocaine and cannabis can impair fertility in males. It is said that “cannabis seems to have a dramatic effect on sperm, making them swim too fast and “burn out” before they reach the egg”. Some prescribed drugs can also affect fertility; it is advised that a man seeking to conceive should consult the doctor before taking any drug.
Other things that could cause male infertility include stress, ageing, radiation (x-rays, radiotherapy etc.), and excessive weight. With this understanding, it would be wise for Nigerian men especially those seeking offspring to take note of the things that could be responsible for infertility so that they can play their part in making sure they also reproduce in life. It may not be a jinx or spell or lack of God’s favour that is causing infertility; it may just be personal negligence and ignorance. The following healthy practices are suggested by infertilitynigeria.blogspot.com for any man having problem with infertility:
· The more water you drink the better for you (at least five cups in a day).
· The more fruits and vegetables you eat, the better for you.
· The more natural your diet, the better for you.
· Drink at least four glasses of water first thing on rising daily.
· It would be good to have your supper before 7.00 p.m.
· Avoid alcohol and sugar.
· Take plenty of lime, lemon and honey.