Infertility is a horrible thing. A couple dream of starting a family yet for some reason their biological reproductive systems don't share this dream.
As infertility rates across the western world skyrocket, more and more couples are forking out big bucks for medical intervention. IVF is becoming more and more popular, despite the enormous financial and emotional cost, and the low success rates.
Often the focus is on the female, but recent reports show the male is often the culprit. In approximately 40% of infertile couples, the male is often responsible (or at least part of the problem) (1).
More alarmingly for males, a massive review of 185 studies showed that sperm concentrations and sperm count have dropped significantly in the 40 year period from 1973 to 2011 (2).
North American, European, New Zealand and Australian men saw the biggest drop - down over 59% in total sperm count and down 52% in sperm concentration.
The worst thing about this finding was that the trend down shows no sign of slowly up. If these rates continue more and more couples are going to be having problems with their fertility.
If you are reading this as you're having problems with your fertility, it may be reassuring hearing that you're not in it alone. But the better news is that you can do something to improve your fertility rates. And it doesn't involve IVF!
Below I have shared 21 natural, low cost remedies to boost male fertilely. If you're a female with fertility problems, I have an article specifically for you, you can read that here - How To Increase Fertility Naturally: 21 Tips For Females (and be sure to share this article with your partner).
After a decade immersed in the health and fitness industry, I have learnt that optimising health, in particular hormonal health through natural dietary, lifestyle and environmental changes allows the body to lose weight, improve energy and eliminate disease.
I'm not a doctor, nor do I claim to be one, but it is my belief that improving underlying health will improve your fertility and increase the chances of your partner becoming pregnancy.
Remember, I am not a medical professional - so please work with your own fertility expert. Instead, the following tips to increase fertility naturally are all supported by published science.
Even better, these protocols were what I personally used in the lead up to my wife and I trying for a baby after our wedding. And I can say we didn't have any issues and I am now a very proud father.
Below are 21 effective natural remedies to help you boost your fertility.
In my article 'Are Your Being Exposed To Dangerous Flame Retardants' I explain how compounds such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers are extremely damaging to our hormonal system.
As these compounds are great an inhibiting fire, they are found in your furniture, your mattress, your carpet, airplane seats, home insulation and even in the plastics of your gadgets.
So what you may be thinking? Well these synthetic flame retardants are making their way into our bodies and having a dangerous effect.
In fact, numerous peer reviewed studies have found that PBDE’s and other flame retardants have been detected in: Human fat tissue, Blood, Breast Milk, Urine, Semen (3). And these flame retardants have been linked to issues with thyroid health, pregnancy, fertility, obesity, brain function and cancer (20).
- Read my article Are Your Being Exposed To Dangerous Flame Retardants
- Vacuum your house regularly with a HEPA vacuum cleaner
- Consider upgrading your mattress to one that's made of natural, flame retardant free materials (Mattresses are extremely high in flame retardants and you do spend a 1/3 of your life here. Plus, chances are this is where baby will be conceived right?! Read THIS for more info).
By this I mean polyunsaturated fatty acid laden canola oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil and margarine.
Not only do these oils contain a highly inflammatory fatty acid (also known as PUFA's), they are commonly sourced from GMO grown crops. Meaning the crop is doused in cancer causing glyphosate and this is making it's way into the oil you're consuming (4).
Industrial seed oils are pervasive in our food supply - most packaged goods contain a seed oil of some form, nearly every household will have this oil in their pantry and restaurants across the world continue to cook in what is incorrectly labelled as 'heart healthy oil'.
Why is seed oil consumption a problem for male fertility? These oils are not only damaging to our health (read more here - PUFA's: The Worst Thing For Your Health That You Eat Everyday), they deplete the bodies stores of vitamin E.
Vitamin E is was labelled 'tocopherol' in 1924. This came from the Greek term tokos which means 'childbirth', and ferein - which means 'bring forth'.
Although human studies are still lacking, deficiency in vitamin E in animals is linked to fertility issues in animals and early pregnancy termination.
The mass consumed seed oils strip the body of this vital nutrient.
In fact, gossypol - which is a cotton phenol found in cotton seeds (and the resulting oil) is well established to negatively impact fertility rates. So much so that it has been recommended as a contraceptive in men... Unfortunatley though there is pretty powerful of this contraceptive - permanent infertility! (5)
- Read my article PUFA's: The Worst Thing For Your Health That You Eat Everyday
- Stop cooking in canola oil or any other seed oil. Cook in butter, lard or olive oil instead.
- Avoid consumption of all mass produced packaged goods.
Have you read about Pottengers Cats?
No? Dr. Pottenger Jr was a veterinarian or did a multi generational study on cats. His experiment looked at 5 different diets over 4 generations involving 900 cats.
Dr Pottenger discovered that when cats were fed a diet lacking in nutrients (in this case, cooked meat and pasteurised milk) the cats - unsurprisingly developed pour health later in the cats life.
However the surprising finding came when these cats gave birth. The second generation cats started developing health issues in midlife.
The second generation cats became parents to third generation cats, cats who started to develop health issues early in their life. These kittens developed allergies, had pour bone structure and were ridden with parasites.
Shockingly, some of these 3rd generation cats could not produce their own offspring.
The few forth generation cats that were born "suffered from most of the degenerative diseases encountered in human medicine" (6). Worst than that, none of the forth generation cats could produce offspring.
What is the takeaway from this experiment? Yes, your parents, grand parents and even your great grandparents diet could be influencing your fertility levels.
But more importantly, you should know that a nutrient rich, healthy human diet can turn the tide and start undoing damage from generations ago. Not only will this help your fertility, but you will be giving your future children a massive helping hand in their life.
This experiment has been backed up with numerous other studies. Researchers have found that the diet a father consumes directly impacts their childs health and wellbeing.
Back to fertility, more recent research has shown the role minerals and antioxidants play in determining whether male and females will be fertile. A paper published in 2007 looked at folate, zinc and antioxidant levels and the impact they had on sperm health.
The researchers concluded that concentration levels of these nutrients may have substantial effects on reproduction (7).
A later study found that boosting antioxidant levels in men improved sperm motility (8).
And finally there is the 2012 paper that looked that the impact of increased dietary micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) and sperm health.
The findings - yes, higher micronutrient intakes improved sperm health and fertility (9).
Where am I going with all of this? Simple, if you are suffering from fertility issues, and or simply want to create the best environment for your future children - then eat a nutrient rich diet.
What do I mean by a nutrient rich diet? That is a lengthy answer, but if you spend some time on my site you'll soon figure it out. Otherwise sign up for my presentation HERE I'm doing this week for some practical tips.
- Start eating a healthier diet right away. For insight into my pre-baby diet see THIS.
- Be sure to incorporate nutrient rich traditional superfoods such as liver, bone broth & egg yolks.
- For more tips on healthy eating, tune in to my presentation this week by clicking HERE.
What do I mean by this? Simple - sleep in the dark when it's dark outside.
Get outside in the morning and during the day.
Eat, play & move when it's daylight.
And reduce blue light exposure in the evening prior to bed.
Sleeping, eating and living in a stable, rhythmic fashion is going to do wonders for improving your fertility and overall health.
Broken or misaligned circadian rhythms are linked to all sorts of disease and illness. A quick look at the research on night shift workers have a greater risk of all sorts of health diseases (10, 11, 12).
But even if you're not working nights, simply being exposed to light at the wrong time, staying up too late, eating at the wrong time or not getting outside during the day can all impact fertility.
This was proven by a study on mice. When their circadian rhythms were disrupted the mice had difficulty becoming pregnant with infertility issues (13).
- If circadian rhythm and health is new to you, be sure to readHow Blue Light Is Ruining Sleep and Making You Sick andHow to Improve Your Sleep With Morning Sunlight
- Be sure to eat, exercise and get outside when the sun is up.
- Minimise light exposure in the evening, and wear your Swannies Blue Blocker Glasses
Personally, I think this topic may be one of the biggest issues when it comes to declining fertility rates in men.
Hands up if you have a cell phone? Ok I can't see that hand but I'll assume it's up. Next question - hands up if you keep this cell phone in your pockets?
I thought so..
And this is why I'm concerned.
You see in 2014 a research paper titled 'The influence of direct mobile phone radiation on sperm quality' concluded: “A correlation exists between mobile phone radiation exposure, DNA-fragmentation level and decreased sperm motility.”
Meaning the healthy men in the study, who were exposed to radiation from cell phone use saw a drop in fertility levels and sperm DNA damage.
The researchers commented that proximity to the body and in particular the testicles is important when it comes to damage.
The shorter the distance, the higher the damage.
The concluding comments stated:
That is why we consider that men readying themselves for fatherhood, as well as women wishing to conceive a child, especially when registered fertility problems are present, should be informed about the different risks and probably negative direct impact of long–term mobile phone radiation on semen quality and embryo/fetus development.
For men readying themselves for fatherhood, especially when registered fertility problems exist, it would be better to avoid holding a mobile phone in a trouser pocket for long periods of time.
This is just one of many published papers on cell phone use and fertility decreases. Because of the clear evidence, combined with the lack of public knowledge on the topic, it's why I think this issue may be the biggest society needs to address when it comes to improving fertility rates.
If you're still on the fence about the seriousness of this issue, here is some more evidence pulled from my article on natural ways to increase testosterone naturally. Note that the following focuses on testosterone, but low testosterone is linked to poor sperm health and infertility.
Have you heard the story about the World War 2 Radar Technicians? The story goes that these soldiers, prior to a night out drinking in town, would spend a few minutes standing in front of the on-base radar tower. Why? Because they knew this would temporarily leave them infertile. Perfect for a young soldier about to go out partying.
The science backs up the soldier’s self discovery, in fact, exposure to radiation (whether it’s from an army radar or the cell phone in your pocket, or the wifi router in your house) has been shown to lower sperm quality, fertility and testosterone. This is true not only for military personnel (15, 16, 17) but all males living in a modern world (18).
A quick review of the literature uncovers these peer reviewed papers:
Another study (19) concluded: “Use of cell phones decrease the semen quality in men by decreasing the sperm count, motility, viability, and normal morphology. The decrease in sperm parameters was dependent on the duration of daily exposure to cell phones.”
But this is an article on testosterone, not sperm quality, so what does the latest science say in regards to EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency or Field) exposure and testosterone? Well, it’s not good. Here a few studies:
This 2016 study (20) concluded – “Workers exposed to high magnetic fields in a power plant had reduced levels of testosterone and this could affect their reproductive function, said researchers.”
Another paper (21) looked at EMR (Electromagnetic Radiation – another name for EMF) exposure and male testosterone levels. The findings? EMR exposure decreased levels of testosterone. A drop significant enough to increase the likelihood of developing testicular and prostate cancers.
And if you’re still not convinced about the dangers of the cell phone in your pocket, then I’ve listed a few more studies for you to look into:
This (22) Rat study concluded:
Prolonged exposure to 50 Hz EMF has an adverse effect on male fertility. In addition, low frequency EMF significantly reduced sperm motility and testosterone levels.
A Hamster (that’s a new one!) study (23) found:
In conclusion, long-term exposure to cellular phones EMF may affect the reproductive hormonal balance and impair endocrine homeostasis and it may cause peripheral effects.
And one final study (24) found that:
Exposure to mobile phone radiation for 60 minutes/day for the total period of 3 months significantly decrease the serum testosterone level in Wistar Albino rats compared to their matched control.
How long are you exposed to non-native Electromagnetic Radiation in your day? It doesn’t take much to impact your fertility rates.
So if you’re serious about boosting your fertility levels naturally, avoid putting your cellphone in your pocket. Turn it onto airplane mode at least!
- Understand the significance of wifi and cell phone radiation on sperm health.
- It will be hard, but reconsider your use of wireless devices.
- If you must use a wireless device, remember the 3 D's. Distance, Duration & Density. Keep duration and density (power) to a minimum and distance (from the device to your genitals) as high as possible.
I know I'll get some hate for this, but so be it. The evidence is solid - unfermented soy consumption is wrecking havoc on your hormonal health and fertility levels.
In the book Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care (which I highly recommend), Sally Fallon explains how soy should be strictly avoided if you are trying to conceive.
"They are loaded with phytoestrogens that can cause hormonal imbalances". She continues "Phytoestrogens are strong anti-fertility agents that may prevent females from becoming pregnant and if consumed when pregnant can have adverse health effects on the infant".
This doesn't surprise me given the research I did for my article 13 Reasons Why Soy Is The Worst Food In The World.
One section from that article is relevant here:
The phytoestrogens found in soy mimic the effect of estrogen in the body, and can alter a woman menstrual cycle.
In fact, some woman notice that regular consumption of soy milk alters their menstrual cycle.
If a cup of soy 'milk' alters womans hormones, what is it doing to men?
A paper in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at male children's exposure to diethylstilbesterol (DES), a synthetic estrogen that has effects on animals similar to those of phytoestrogens from soy. Their findings? The boys had testes smaller than normal on maturation (25).
And we have an n=1 study where a 19 year old boy consumed large dose of soy for a year. He lost his libido and had erectile dysfunction problems along with lower Testosterone levels (which returned to normal after a year of ditching the soy intake) (26). Though it needs to be remembered this had a study size of one!
Animal studies have also shown that exposure to dietary phytoestrogens from soy disrupts fertility (27).
Only 3 days on a high phytoestrogen diet lead to significantly reduced fecundity (don't worry I had to look that one up as well - it means 'the ability to produce an abundance of new growth or offspring').
- Stop consuming soy and soy products (including tofu, soybean oil and soy milk)
- Drink full cream organic milk instead of soy milk
If you're looking to improve your fertility, one of the best natural changes you can do is to buy and eat organic food.
A 2015 paper looked at the intake of pesticide residues on food and compared it with semen quality. The findings were clear - a diet that contained pesticide residues decreased semen quality and thus fertility (28).
This was followed up by a 2016 paper that found that supported the initial findings (29).
One of the worlds most used pesticides is glyphosate (also know as RoundUp).
I have explained, in great detail, why it's so important to eat an Organic diet free from pesticides such as glyphosate in my article Glyphosate: Why You Need To Eat Organic.
That article focuses more on the broad health dangers to consuming food with glyphosate residues, but there is a lot of evidence linking glyphosate exposure (or intake) with hormonal and reproductive disruption.
I have included some of the relevant text from that article below:
A 2012 European report in the Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology found congenital malformations in young pigs fed glyphosate-contaminated soybeans.All organs or tissues had glyphosate in different concentrations. The highest concentrations were seen in the lungs and hearts.
Here are a few snippets from that paper (30):
These piglets showed different abnormalities as ear atrophy,spinal and cranial deformations, cranium hole in head and leg atrophy; in one piglet one eye was not developed, it had only a large one. Piglets without trunk, with elephant tongue, and female piglet with testes were also present.
Glyphosate and its commercial herbicides severely affect embryonic and placental cells, producing mitochondrial damage, necrosis and programmed cell death with doses far below the used agricultural concentrations.
The risk of malformation in human embryos is very high when their mothers are contaminated at 2 to 8 weeks of pregnancy
In conclusion, glyphosate could reach the animals through food and feed and is able to pass the placental barriers
Similar findings have been observed in poultry. (31).The direct effect of glyphosate on early mechanisms of morphogenesis in vertebrate embryos opens concerns about the clinical findings from human offspring in populations exposed to Glyphosate in agricultural fields. (31)
A 2010 study looked at the glyphosates' teratogenic (malformation of embryos) properties and found that glyphosate exposure to embryos was evident. The authors concluded:
This is just the start of the literature on glyphosate and birth defects. Given a large amount of data on this topic, I have summarised key findings below:
- A Canadian study found that farmers use of glyphosate was linked to an increase in miscarriages and premature births in farming families. (32).
- In rats, increasing glyphosate exposure increased the frequency of abnormal and dead sperm (33).
- Another rat study concluded 'glyphosate-Roundup is toxic [to pregnant rats] and induces developmental retardation of the fetal skeleton.'(34)
- Male rats born to a mother that was exposed to glyphosate had impaired reproductive impairment. Researchers found that glyphosate decreased serum testosterone concentrations before concluding: These results suggest that maternal exposure to glyphosate disturbed the masculinization process and promoted behavioral changes and histological and endocrine problems in reproductive parameters. (35)
- A report by Argentine physicians and scientists, detailed health effects from exposure to glyphosate. These effects included increased incidence of birth defects & miscarriages. Other health effects noted included difficulty conceiving, genetic damage (which can lead to cancer and birth defects); neurological developmental problems in children and allergies. DNA damage was also found in people exposed to spraying (36).
Why all the focus on glyphosate? As I mentioned above, glyphosate is one of the most commonly used pesticides and herbicides in the world.
Worst though, is it's literally everywhere - in the soil, in the water, in the air. Have a read of this for more - Glyphosate: The Weed Killer Found In Our Food & Water.
More worrying though is it's use in GMO cropping. Genetically engineered crops have been designed so that they are resistant to glyphosate - also known as roundup ready crops.
This means that growers can spray entire fields of crops with glyphosate, and know that their main crop will survive but everything else will be killed off. This is one of the biggest dangers with GMO food.
Another common use of glyphosate is desiccation - whereby growers spray the plants foliage before harvest. An example here is potatoes. Farmers will spray the crop with Roundup a few days prior to harvest to make the extraction process easier.
Now you know how widespread pesticide use is in farming, and the links between pesticides and fertility, hopefully now you will switch to organic eating.
- Spend the extra money, eat organic fruit, vegetables and meat.
- Read my 3 part series on glyphosate starting with part 1 - Glyphosate: The Weed Killer Found In Our Food & Water
I've already covered pesticides above, but these aren't the only man-made compounds that are ruining your chances of becoming a Dad. Air fresheners, cleaning chemicals, building materials, paints, glues, body care products, even your tap water - all of these things are exposing you to dangerous chemicals.
Chemicals such as parabens, propylene glycol, xenoestrogens, triclosan and BPA to name a few.
All of these have been shown to damage organs and impact the bodies endocrine system.
There was even a paper titled 'Human infertility: are endocrine disruptors to blame?' that looked at this exact issue.
Here are a few snippets from that paper:
Extensive detection of industrial chemicals in human serum, seminal plasma and follicular fluid has led the scientific community to hypothesise that these compounds may disrupt hormonal homoeostasis, leading to a vast array of physiological impairments. Numerous synthetic and natural substances have endocrine-disruptive effects, acting through several mechanisms. The main route of exposure to these chemicals is the ingestion of contaminated food and water. They may disturb intrauterine development, resulting in irreversible effects and may also induce transgenerational effects. This review aims to summarise the major scientific developments on the topic of human infertility associated with exposure to endocrine disruptors (EDs).
Current data suggest that environmental levels of EDs may affect the development and functioning of the reproductive system in both sexes, particularly in foetuses, causing developmental and reproductive disorders, including infertility. EDs may be blamed for the rising incidence of human reproductive disorders. This constitutes a serious public health issue that should not be overlooked. The exposure of pregnant women and infants to EDs is of great concern. Therefore, precautionary avoidance of exposure to EDs is a prudent attitude in order to protect humans and wildlife from permanent harmful effects on fertility.
The male reproductive system is very vulnerable to such compounds. Because of the estrogenic properties of many commonly used chemicals, exposure can lead to issues with testosterone production and estrogen to testosterone balance.
Another paper looked at the impact endorcine disrupting chemicals had on mens health and their ability to reproduce and the mechanisms behind how this is happening:
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) were found to disturb human male steroidogenesis, which alters reproductive hormones, a critical factor in spermatogenesis. Recent studies provide new insights about other mechanisms, such as oxidative stress, genetic susceptibility, and epigenetic effects, related to EDCs’ involvement with detrimental reproductive health outcomes. (37)
Unfortunatley it is very difficult to eliminate all exposure to these dangerous chemicals. As I mentioned they are found in all sorts of health products, fragrances, water supply.
Even your deodorant could be causing issues. I recommend reading my article How Your Deodorant Could Ruining Your Sex Life; And Fragrance Has Nothing To Do With It!
- Go natural (or as natural as possible) when it comes to skin care, deodorant, cleaning products and building supplies.
- Invest in a quality water filter - read more HERE.
- Throw out any products in your home that contain dangerous endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Yes animal based protein - so meat, milk, eggs and fish. If you are following a vegan based diet you should read this immediately - 8 Proven Reasons Why Vegan and Vegetarian Diets Easily Ruin Your Body.
Animal based proteins are far superior to plant based proteins (40) for general health and well being. And abundant protein intake is crucial for muscle growth, fertility and reproduction (41).
It's important to remember that not all protein is equal. Animal proteins contain a full spectrum of amino acids - unlike many plant based proteins.
Carnitine for example, is exclusively found in meat products or fish (though milk and eggs contain trace amounts). Carnitine in the diet has been shown to increase fertility (42).
Vegans will be missing out on this crucial amino acid.
Now you don't have to run out and start guzzling protein smoothies, instead just incorporate some steak, eggs and fish into your diet.
- Eat meat!
- If you're a vegan read - 8 Proven Reasons Why Vegan and Vegetarian Diets Easily Ruin Your Body
I know this is easier said than done, but it's an important step if you're looking at improving your fertility.
Let's think about it from an ancestral point of view. The bodies stress mechanism is a survival mechanism. In a life or death situation (i.e. wild animal chasing you, or extreme famine) your body activates its stress response.
Adrenaline and cortisol surge through the body - pulling blood, oxygen and nutrients away from the stomach, digestive tract and reproductive organs and sending them to the muscles and heart.
Heart rate is elevated, blood pressure rises, sight and sound all sharpen and the body is primed to fight or run (your fight or flight response).
In such a scenario, bodily functions like digesting food are neglected (it's why in extremely stressful situations people will pee or poop themselves).
Fighting bugs or disease is pushed to the side (why people are more likely to catch a cold or a virus when they're stressed).
Fatigue and need for sleep are over-ridden (though the body may be exhausted, this is no time for sleep. Overcome the stressful event and you can sleep and recover later).
And of course, sex is entirely off the cards. Even if you tried to have sex in such a situation, you'd soon fine that blood flow wasn't been sent to the right place.
Your body has one thing in mind - survival.
Reproduction can come later, for now, you have to overcome this stressful event.
This stress system is designed to be switched on for short periods - enough to overcome the stressful event (i.e. get away from the animal or have enough energy to find some food).
After which you will wind down, eat some food, share your wild tales with a pretty woman, make love, and then sleep.
Fortunatley most of us won't face a charging wild animal, or suffer through a famine. Unfortunatley, we have many other stressors in our life - stressors that may not be life threatening (worrying about a deadline or bills or being stuck in traffic), but this same stress mechanism is going to get in anyway.
Moral of the story - if you are constantly stressed, and or not balancing out your stress with adequate recovery, you're going to find reproducing is rather difficult.
Next I'll support my story with some science, but in the mean time I highly recommend you check out my article on stress and the impact it's having on your health - Why You Need To Stress Less To Improve Health.
Robert Sapolsky is a leading expect on all things stress. In his book 'Why Zebra's Don't Get Ulcers' he looks at the relationship between stress and fertility. He literally has an entire chapter on this topic, so I have quoted a few of his key points:
- With the onset of a stressor, the whole system (hormonal system that drives the reproductive system) is inhibited... The end result is a decline in testosterone levels and sperm production.
- If a male goes through surgery, within seconds of the first cut, his reproductive axis begins to shut down. Injury, illness, starvation, surgery - all drive down testosterone levels.
- A decline in testosterone secretion is only half the story. The other half concerns the nervous system and erections.
- In order for a male primate to have an erection, he has to divert a considerable amount of blood to the penis.
- This is accomplished by activating his parasympathetic nervous system (the opposite of the fight or flight sympathetic system).
- Stress can impact this in two ones - one was is that chronic stress can damage and clog up blood vessels - impeding blood flow restricting erections.
- The other is the acute stress that stops the body from being in the parasympathetic clam and rested state - also restricting the ability to get an erection. (43)
No erection, no sex. No sex, no baby.
The thing to remember is stress comes in many forms. Lack of sleep is stressful on the body, bad foods stress the body. Wifi stresses the body. Air pollutants, overtraining, lack of sunlight, too much sunlight, financial worries, parasites, poor dental health... I could go on and on.
Human's are resilient creatures. We can survive through all sorts of stressful scenario's.
But if you're looking to boost your fertility, then you want to look beyond simply 'surviving', you want to thrive.
Thriving may require you to look at your stress load and see what you can remove.
Remember - it all adds up. Lack of sleep, combined with that extra strong coffee, combined with running late for work, combined with the bluetooth exposure in the car... what may start as a small stressor can soon compound into something more serious.
- Stress less! Train less, sleep more, eat healthier, worry less. Go on a relaxing holiday.
- Read my article on Stress, fat loss and health HERE
In my article '11 Reasons to Avoid Margarine' I explain how Trans Fats are synthetic fatty acids that have been converted from liquid into solid fats by the process called hydrogenation.
These trans-fats are extremely toxic and damaging to our health. Consumption has been linked to everything from heart disease to infertility (44).
A study on woman looked at their diet and fertility rates. The researchers found that a woman who consumed a high ratio of trans fats had more problems with fertility (45).
Fortunatley the world is waking up to the dangers of trans-fats, and as a result there are regulations in place around food companies using trans-fats in their products.
However, it is still common to find these toxic fats in heavily processed products such as margarine. Though food labelling rules allow products to state that they contain 'zero trans fats' if there is less than 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving.
- Avoid all foods that contain trans-fats
- Stop eating margarine, eat butter instead.
Increasing your testosterone is going to increase your sex drive, sperm health and fertility levels (46). Low testosterone is linked to infertility, so if you are struggling to conceive, it may be wise to test your testosterone levels, and of course, look at boosting your testosterone levels naturally.
How do you increase your testosterone levels naturally? Well implementing all the tips in this article is going to help.
But for the ultimate resource on boosting your testosterone levels naturally be sure to read my article 29 Proven and Effective Ways to Boost Testosterone Naturally
What about Testosterone replacement therapy? This is something I personally have no experience with and it's a conversation you should have with your doctor.
But be warned, some experts say TRT can in fact further lower fertility levels. Have a read of this WebMD article - Low Testosterone & Infertility
If you are unsure what your testosterone numbers are, LetsGetChecked offer a $69 testosterone test that you can do from the comfort of your home (if you use code ALEXFERGUS this price will be lower)
- Get your testosterone levels tested - I recommend the LetsGetChecked testosterone test for this. Use code ALEX to save on these tests.
- If low, then do what you can to increase your testosterone levels naturally.
- Following the tips in this article and in my testosterone article HERE will help you with this.
Red light therapy, also know as photobiomodulation, is a hot topic in health circles at the moment.
Research has shown that specific colors (or wavelengths) of light, at the right power level, can have a profound impact on our bodies and health.
Don't believe me? Check out this article - The Fascinating Healing Properties of Red Light Therapy: Rapid Healing, Reduce Wrinkles & Rejuvenate Health.
I personally have been using my Red Light Device daily for the past few years. I'm not saying it was the reason for my wife and I conceiving, but i'm sure it helped.
Why am I so sure about this? Because their is research supporting my claim.
RedLightMan.com has a great article on using red light to boost testosterone and fertility. You can see this here - Red Light ‘Triples Testicle Function’ Studies Show.
A few takeaways from this article are:
And there is another great article on the topic that can be read here - Red Light Therapy Shows Promise for Boosting Sex Drive, Performance, & Treating Male Infertility
A quote from this article:
Numerous other studies over the last 5 years have found that increased natural light exposure to a man’s testes and sperm actually increases sperm motility, or how well individual spermatozoa are able to move and swim. Motility is a key measure of male fertility and reproductive health. As a result, many researchers are concluding that light therapy can have a significant effect on treating male infertility. [47-50]
In addition to noting increased sperm motility, a 2017 study published in Scientific Reports found that these treatments were safe, and did not induce any oxidative DNA damage to the sperm or testes. 
If you want to throw some money at your fertility problem, then consider investing in a RedLight Panel. Then start shining some glorious red light on your balls!
- Research red light therapy. A great starting point is here - Everything You Need To Know About Red Light Therapy
- Read Red Light Therapy Shows Promise for Boosting Sex Drive, Performance, & Treating Male Infertility
- Purchase a Red Light Panel with 660nm and 850nm light, and spend a few minutes every day shining the light on your privates
Research shows that over heated testicles causes testosterone and sperm production to decrease.
If your testicles become too hot, sperm production and testosterone production all decrease (52, 53).
What causes overheated balls?
Hot baths, tight briefs, sitting for extended periods and laptops on your lap.
What can you do about this?
Stop wearing tight-fitting briefs. Sleep in the nude. Have a cold shower. And invest in a set of SnowBalls underwear .
- Sleep in the nude, avoid tight fitting briefs
- Invest in a set of SnowBalls underwear .
Really? Going to the dentist can help you with your fertility issues?
Turns out that tooth decay and gum disease is linked to poor sperm health (38).
And if you have a more serious oral health issue - such as periodontitis - then you should also look at getting this fixed up. Research has linked chronic periodontitis with subnormal sperm count (39).
- Get your teeth cleaned, and keep them clean!
If you're constantly drinking from plastic water bottles, heating and storing your food in plastic containers, and buying food covered in plastic it is time to make a change.
The chemicals used in plastic making - namely bisphenol A (BPA) acts as a weak synthetic estrogen in the body.
BPA is a hormone disruptor and affects how hormones act in the body (54). Worse though is the evidence showing that BPA has estrogen like properties on the body.
We already know the importance of high testosterone for male fertility. An increase in estrogen is going to impact your estrogen to testosterone ratio - which is bad news for guys wanting to make babies.
What should you do? Reduce your plastic use - especially food and water that comes in plastic.
In particular pay attention to BPA plastics. Though even some BPA free plastics may still be harmful for our health.
My recommendation is to avoid all plastics where ever possible.
- Buy glass bottled water - your body and your baby deserve it!
- Avoid heating food in plastic containers
- Store food in glass or ceramic containers
In 2005 Environmental Working Group looked at the umblicabl cord blood from newborn infants in America. What they discovered was alarming.
Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the blood - these chemicals included BPA, flame retardants, PCBs and pesticides. All known to be damaging to human health.
On average, a typical newborn was exposed to 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants. (55).
This is should be concerning to parent to be. But what has this got to do with fertility?
The fact that these chemicals are in the newborns blood mean they making their way into mothers body, getting through her own detoxification barriers and through the placenta.
Western society lives in a toxic world. These toxins are well documented to impact health and fertility. Before embarking on a baby making journey, a serious detoxification protocol should be considered.
Remember guys - that sperm that goes on to make your baby includes data from your life, your health and your diet. Make sure the data transfer is as clean as possible!
And by following a detoxification protocol, not only are you doing your baby a world of good, but you will be improving your own health as well. A healthy body is a fertile body.
As for finding the best detoxification protocol - this is a loaded question. Personally I believe with a healthy diet, plenty of rest and a low toxin environment, the body will be able to detoxify itself.
But if you have been exposed to chemicals, or bad diet or years of poor health, then sometimes the body needs a helping hand.
For this I would suggest looking into the Niacin Infrared Sauna Detox. It is a rather intensive protocol (involving a lot of sauna time in a ClearLight sauna) but the results seem very promising. Just note that if your wife is doing the same protocol, you may want to allow her body some time after the protocol ends before trying to conceive - let her body have plenty of time to eliminate any unbound toxins.
- Clean up your diet, environment and sleep to support your bodies natural detoxification pathways
- Consider doing a more comprehensive detoxification protocol.
I nearly didn't bother with this tip, as it's so obvious. But this is an article on improving fertility, and therefore it needs to be said.
If you're serious about making a baby, you need to give up smoking, drugs and even alcohol.
A quick look at the research on smoking and male fertility paints a pretty clear picture. Smoking reduces: semen quality, reproductive hormone system dysfunction and impaired spermatogenesis, sperm maturation, and spermatozoa function (56, 57, 58).
Recreational drugs are linked to a range of health issues, and it's such a complex story that I'm not even going to investigate this further.
If you're struggling with your fertility and you're taking drugs and smoking, then you need to address these habits before anything else.
As for alcohol - this is another vice that should be eliminated while you are trying to conceive.
Researchers have clearly identified the link between infertility and alcohol consumption in woman (59, 60). But what about men?
An observational study (not the best but it's still worth looking at) tracked men's sperm health and lifestyle habits. The findings showed that men who drink alcohol regularly had lower sperm motility and lower sperm concentration.
Interestingly, regular alcohol and coffee consumption led to lower chances of fertilisation as well (61).
But this finding is supported by other research showing the same link - alcohol lowers sperm health and fertility in men (62)
- Stop smoking
- Stop drinking
- Stop taking drugs.
We've already learnt how exposure to plastics, pollutants and pesticides are all lowering your chances of successfully conceiving.
But did you know that all of these things (plus more) may be in your tap water?
Heavy metals, trace amounts of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, BPA... all of this has been found in every day tap water (63).
I share all the evidence in my article 18 Reasons Why You Must Use A Water Filter.
If that wasn't concerning enough, birth control pills have been tested in tap water in America! (64).
Consider buying quality spring water (remember to watch out for BPA) or better yet, install a high quality water filter on your home water supply.
If funds are tight and a whole house water filtration system is out of the picture, then go with a Berky Water Filter system. This is what my wife and I were using before we conceived (later we upgraded to a whole house water filtration system).
- Drink quality spring water
- Or filter your house water supply
This article on improving fertility naturally could literally have over a 100 tips. There are so many tips and tricks out there for curing infertility.
But like all the content on my site, I wanted to stick to recommendations that are scientifically backed.
Saying that, there are a few things that have some evidence showing their effectiveness for improving fertility, though they weren't big ticket items with dozens of supporting papers.
So I've bundled them all up into this one section:
- If it worked for someone else, it may very well work for you.
- But focus on the big picture stuff first (diet, sleep, environment, hormonal health...)
You've probably noticed recurring themes in this article - improve testosterone, improve health, lower toxin load, support your bodies detoxification systems...
A healthy body is a fertile body.
How is the best way to become healthy? Improve your bodies hormonal status - address imbalances & support the bodies natural ability to create and manage it's own hormonal system.
Doing this will result in a body that's not only healthy and fertile, but a body that is resilient to disease, that is energised and looks great as well.
How do you achieve optimal hormonal health? Read through all the tips and links I have listed above and implement the recommended changes.
Health is not simply achieved through a special supplement or by using a fancy device, it is the result of ongoing habits - be it prioritizing sleep, making good diet choices, living in a low stress environment and knowing when to push the body and when to rest.
Doing all these things may seem like a big task, but think fo the upside - the chance to improve your own fertility and become a father.
If it helps, know that I was once in a horrible health situation. I had rock bottom testosterone and a really messed up hormonal profile. I wasn't trying for kids at the time, but let's just say my libido and sexual performance was non existant.
I share more of my story and what I learnt that changed my life in THIS presentation. You can sign up to watch that later this week. Otherwise sign up for my email list for more on my health discovering journey.
Anyway, the lessons I learnt and the changes I made to get me out of that health hole all those years ago had a profound impact on my health.
My testosterone is back where it should be, my energy is amazing, I look great and feel even better.
But most importantly, I am now a proud father.
If you too are struggling with your health, and wanting to turn it around so you can not only be a father yourself, but also have the energy to be a good father (let me tell you now, you'll want all the energy you can get for those first few weeks of babies life!) then seriously consider implementing the tips I have listed above.
They are going to help, I assure you.
And if you need more direction turning your health around, look into my Hormonal Health Program. Or failing that, learn more about my health journey and the secrets I share with the world by clicking HERE.
- Prioritise your health
- Watch my health journey presentation HERE
- Consider following the Hormone Reset Program
So that's a wrap!
I know there was a lot to cover, but hopefully this helps you on your journey to start (or extend?) a family.
If you benefited from this content, please leave a comment below or share it with other's who may find it useful.
And be sure to share my female fertility tip article with your partner. You can read that here - How To Increase Fertility Naturally: 21 Tips For Females. Your partner will want to read that one.
This blog post was written by Alex Fergus. Alex is a ISSN Sports Nutrition Specialist, Fitness Professional and certified Superhuman Coach who continues to expand his knowledge base and help people across the world with their health and wellness. Alex is recognized as the National Record Holder in Powerlifting and Indoor Rowing and has earned the title of the Australian National Natural Bodybuilding Champion. Having worked as a health coach and personal trainer for over a decade, Alex now researches all things health and wellness and shares his findings on this blog. Learn more about Alex's Credentials HERE.
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