I keep reading about sperm shortages and calls for sperm donors. Some women opt for sperm donors if they don’t have a suitable partner. However for many, the choice of sperm donors is brought on by a fertility condition or by a hereditary disease, parents don’t wish to pass on to their baby.
Sperm health can be very easily damaged – in as little as few months. And since IVF procedures can’t improve sperm health, for many a sperm donor becomes a very probable choice.
Some factors found to impact sperm health
Out of these five is seems the one takes least seriously is stress. In today’s modern world everyone seems to have a fair share of stress to deal with so it’s become completely normal to be stressed. In fact if you are not stressed you might even get funny looks! But stress is real and it’s negative effects on our health and fertility have been very well documented.
Recent study from the University of Texas in Austin discovered that the high levels the stress hormone cortisol can block testosterone. Testosterone is responsible for healthy sperm morphology, motility and count.
The study discovered that since cortisol is required for survival and fight or flight mode, it’s in our body’s interest to suppress testosterone. Testosterone is associated with reproduction which when your life is at stake is not a priority.
When the cause of stress is removed cortisol drops and testosterone can continue to do it’s work. Unfortunately today many men and women are under constant work pressure and stress which leads to chronically high levels cortisol over prolonged period of time. This situation is detrimental to human health, immunity, digestion, nervous system and finally – fertility.
In men prolonged lack of testosterone due to cortisol suppression can lead to impotence and loss of libido. In women cortisol can suppress estrogen and progesterone leading to abnormal menstrual cycles and fertility problems.
This only goes to show that stress should not be taken lightly and shrug off.
The good news is, once you get your stress levels under control your cortisol levels will drop and your fertility will be able to resume.
Five tips for stress reduction:
Even if you don’t have a partner and are thinking about a sperm donor, it pays to optimally prepare your body for pregnancy before embarking on insemination. This way you’ll be increasing your odds of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Couples struggling with infertility due to sperm abnormalities should look into optimizing their sperm health using natural fertility treatments. In most cases, sperm abnormalities can be fixed naturally in as little as 16 weeks.
Share your thoughts with me! Are you under stress? What are you doing to help you cope with stress? Are you considering a sperm donor?
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.