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Your 3 Biggest Male Fertility Questions, Answered

December 18, 2017
Katie Visco
man on hammock with son

Fertility research is a complex, often confusing mass of studies telling us a variety of (sometimes conflicting) things about infertility. It's dense, hard to sort through, and often does not tell you what you're looking for. What we do know is that nearly 13% of couples struggle with infertility, and about one-third of these cases are related to male fertility. So, right here--quick and easy--we're about to answer your three biggest questions on male fertility:

  1. Do men have a time of peak fertility?
  2. What factors affect male fertility?
  3. How are male fertility issues diagnosed?

Do men have a time of peak fertility?

For years, women have been empowered with breaking down the inner workings of their bodies and their cycles into a simple science--often being able to track their peak fertility down to the hour. Are men the same way? Dr. Ralph Esposito, Naturopathic Physician, says no. He says that unlike women, men have daily cycles where testosterone, FSH, and LH levels change. Men are not more fertile at any specific time of day or month than any other, although a man's sex drive, due to these hormonal fluctuations, is often the highest in the morning.

What external factors affect male fertility?

Just like in women, FSH and LH levels direct the development and production of some vital aspects of reproduction. When these hormones are balanced and in action, sperm production can take place. But external factors--most of which deal with a man's health in general--like age, nutrition, smoking, drug use, and caffeine intake can hinder the development of healthy sperm. These factors sound extremely common and alarming, especially if you're a frequent coffee drinker. Luckily, doctors say that just 90 days avoiding these habits can improve sperm health in men.

How are male fertility issues diagnosed?

Even with healthy sperm, fertility issues may arise due to problems of production of delivery. There are four tests commonly used to diagnose such issues: semen analysis, blood tests, penis fluid cultures, and physical examinations. In these tests, doctors will evaluate semen production, sperm count, the size and shape of sperm, and sperm mobility to identify the root causes of issues with conceiving. Only doctors who specialize in infertility can help you identify these issues with male fertility. So when the time comes, don't be afraid to reach out and discuss with your doctors what tests you may be in need of. Doctors say couples under 40 should try to conceive for about a year before contacting a fertility specialist with any concerns, and couples over 40 should reach out after about six months of trying to get pregnant. Until then, take your time, stay cool, and make good use of those morning hormone bursts.

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