Happy November, or should I say MOvember?! If you've never heard of the MOvember movement, it's a nationwide push to bring attention to men's health issues that involves the growing of mustaches and other silliness for a great cause.
While I'm not exactly growing out my mustache this month, we still thought that it would be a great time time to focus on the other half of the fertility equation — the fellas.
Male fertility is shrouded in myths, rumors, and things that someone thinks they remember from that one health class they took when they were twelve. And our guys, especially, are left in the dark.
So today, we’re here to set the record straight. Let’s investigate the three most common myths about male fertility. Here we go!
Male infertility isn’t as important or as common as female infertility
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. While infertility has traditionally been thought of as a "women's issue", it actually affects men and women in equal numbers.
According to Resolve, the National Infertility Foundation:
- One-third of all infertility cases are directly linked to the male partner.
- One-third are linked to the female partner.
- One-third result from a combination of female and male issues, or are unknown.
It's helpful to think of infertility as a diagnosis that a couple receives—not just one partner. Building a baby takes equal genetic input from each parent, so it just isn’t accurate to think of female fertility as more important.
Male fertility is a pass/fail course
This is one of the most perpetuated myths about male fertility — I hear it almost every day.
Many men think that a normal semen analysis means they’ve “passed” the fertility test and are in the clear. Here's the problem: “normal” semen analysis levels are based on the lowest 5 percent of fertile men, so a pass on a semen analysis doesn't mean that your guy is a rockstar, or even average.
In reality, men whose semen analysis results are on the low end of the normal range may still have trouble conceiving a child, and research shows that it takes them longer to get their partner pregnant even when they are eventually successful.
The bottom line is that a pass on a semen analysis isn't an A+ (or even a C for that matter), so just because it's "normal" doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement.
Male fertility doesn’t change over time
This one's also incorrect, but for some guys that's actually the good news.
Many couples believe that a man’s relative fertility or infertility remains static throughout his life. In actuality, male fertility varies tremendously and can change — for better and for worse — over time.
Both a man’s ability to impregnate a healthy partner and the health of his offspring is affected by age and other health-related factors. While fertility declines with age for both men and women, men can also improve their fertility through diet, exercise, supplementation, and making healthy lifestyle choices.
What You Can Do
If you and your partner are having trouble conceiving, make sure to get a semen analysis. It’s cheap, easy, and painless. It will also give you a decent idea of where your guy stands and if he has room for improvement. Always remember, conception is a partnership, not an individual effort.
Working together to improve your reproductive health will always pay off. While Conceivable builds custom plans for women that are struggling to get pregnant, our basic principles of healthy living will help most guys improve their fertility as well.