When conception takes longer than anticipated
Many couples have just one dream – to become parents at last. This frequently makes the situation difficult to deal with if it doesn’t work out immediately. Whether it is the man or the woman who is experiencing problems, their partnership and self-confidence can suffer as a result. Therefore, and particularly in this situation, it is important that couples stick by each other and remain optimistic about the future.
Prepare to be patient: conceiving a child
According to scientific estimations, in western industrial nations as many as every 5th-7th couple remains childless although they wish to have a child, and the number is increasing. 40% of the time it is the man who may need help. In rarer cases childlessness has purely organic causes and these are responsible for infertility. But frequently it is simply due to dwindling sperm quality.
Tips for men who want a child
In addition to a balanced diet that is rich in micronutrients, you should also consider other lifestyle and environmental factors. For instance, you should avoid warming your genital area with seat heating in the car or in long saunas. Smoking also reduces the sperm quality. You should therefore smoke less or, even better, try to give up completely – also in the interests of your future child. Try to stay relaxed even if it takes longer than anticipated for your partner to become pregnant.
Sperm quality as a factor for childlessness
On its journey towards the egg cell, the sperm can be compared to a high-performance sportsman. It needs vitality and stamina to reach its goal. But over the past decades sperm quality has deteriorated drastically. 50 years ago the average ejaculate had 100 million sperm, whereas today this number has dropped to between 20 and 64 million. The ejaculate of a 45-year-old man has around a third fewer sperm compared to that of an 18-year-old, and the proportion of modified sperm is about 50% higher.
Sperm maturity is crucial for fertilisation
The formation and maturity of the sperm takes place in the seminiferous tubules, i.e. the tiny tubes in the testicles. The procedure takes about 60-64 days. Around 1,000 sperm are produced every second, and about 3-4 million are produced in an hour. The developing cells are very sensitive during the entire process. The journey to the egg cell is very long and arduous, which means that the sperm quality is absolutely crucial for successful fertilisation. Only the best get through and are capable of penetrating the cell layer in order to get into the egg cell.
Improving sperm quality with micronutrients
A balanced diet can support male fertility.
- Zinc contributes to normal fertility and reproduction.
- Selenium contributes to normal sperm formation.
- Zinc contributes to the maintenance of a normal testosterone serum level.
- Vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folatic acid (folate) contribute to normal homocysteine metabolism.
- Vitamin B12 and zinc have a role in the process of cell division.
- Copper, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc contribute to the protection of the cells against oxidative stress.
A targeted combination of micronutrients can therefore have a beneficial effect on sperm quality and can also be used in parallel to support other medical treatment when preparing to have a child.
Hope for men who want a child
Vitamins B6, B12 and C, and also copper, are particularly important here because they work in combination to contribute to normal energy metabolism. Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid also contribute to normal homocysteine metabolism. Vitamins C and E as well as zinc, copper and selenium contribute to protection of the cells against oxidative stress.
At first, the situation is frustrating if fertilisation takes longer than expected. But luckily there are many ways in which you can help.