My husband and I are both in our early 30’s and have been trying for a baby for 18 months. We have both been checked out and the only problem is that, although my husband has a high number of sperm, just six per cent were classed as healthy. He does not smoke or take drugs but occasionally binge-drinks-downing ten to 15 pints in one night. He sometimes also binges on bread, biscuits and crisps and is a big coffee and tea drinker. He is prone to backache and irregular bowel movements. What do you advise?
This is something I hear about quite often, but always from women. Men in general are embarrassed to talk, let alone do something, about it-although new technologies can help men with even a tiny number of healthy sperm become fathers. The fact is that the quality and quantity of sperm in the male population is on the decline and this is a problem for the survival of the human species. Most men, however, are concerned only about their sexual performance, rather than the quality of their sperm.
Firstly, you must talk to your husband about your concerns. It’s a very sensitive matter, so you will need to be tactful and non-accusative. He may agree to change his lifestyle as a favour to you, rather than accepting that it is his responsibility. Often men are worried about the response from their male friends, in case they get teased, although some men find a lot of support from their peers.
Once he is willing to talk about possible shifts, you can discuss specifics. I suspect his drinking is a problem, You could gently suggest that he go on an alcohol-free regime for three to four months. After that, he could go back to drinking a couple of glasses of good red wine once a week until the quality of his sperm improves when tested.
It is vital that he nourishes himself by eating well. An old Indian book on the art of love claims that out of 40 pounds of good food, a man gets one pound of flesh. That flesh produces one pound of blood (this was in the days when solid and liquid weights were the same), and that blood produces one pound of sperm. The message is the same today eating poor-quality (or too little) food leads to poor quality and quantity of sperm. Just imagine how much energy a sperm cell needs for its long journey to fertilise the ovum. Unhealthy sperm cells just aren’t up to the task. They get their energy from the man’s body, and nutrition and stress management are vital factors.
Here are my suggestions for your husband:
* Eat fresh, wholesome, preferably organic food, and always start with a good breakfast.
* Eat protein (chicken, red meat or fish) once a day.
* Avoid yeast products because they brew alcohol in the gut. Avoid all foodstuffs that are acidic or sour (citrus fruits, pineapple, mango, chilli, olives, vinegar, alcohol, coffee, deep fried, canned or processed foods, canned drinks) as these can act as spermicides- Drink tea only in moderation.
* Mix an egg into a glass of hot milk add salt and pepper to taste, and drink In the Orient, raw eggs are eaten this way to aid sperm production, (Make sure the eggs are organic to avoid the risk of salmonella.)
* Take Ashwagandha Indian ginseng: one daily for two months.
* Take Fortex to increase sperm volumes one daily for three months.
* Take one 15mg tablet daily for two months of either zinc citrate or Shilajit -this is extracted from a bitumen-like rock in the Himalayan mountains and has optimum concentration of magnesium, zinc and many trace elements necessary for healthy sperm.
* Take positive steps to manage stress, which may be responsible for backache, constipation and bingeing on food and drink. Walk daily in the fresh air for at least 30 minutes. Do other exercise which you enjoy. Practise yoga or a martial art such as t’ai chi. Listen to a relaxation tape at night to improve sleep quality.
* Constipation can affect nutrient absorption, so ensure this is not a problem by drinking at least eight large glasses of still water daily between meals. Eat plenty of fruits such as figs, prunes and papaya for breakfast. If constipated, take Herbolax to regulate bowel function.