Hidden FactorsCommon sense will take you only so far, though. There are a few fertility factors of which you might be unaware. Extended use of saunas and hot tubs are contraindicated, as excessive heat can interfere with sperm production. Again, you don’t have to stay away completely, just limit your use.
Some medications can also affect reproductive ability. Certain antibiotics, antacids, and chemotherapeutic agents can reduce sperm counts, and some blood–pressure drugs can cause ejaculatory dysfunction. A call to your doctor or pharmacist can determine if any medications you’re taking may have unwanted side effects. Some men who know they are about to undergo chemotherapy elect to have their sperm frozen before the treatment regimen begins.
Too Much of Good ThingYou might think that one of the best things you can do to get in shape is to exercise. And when it comes to exercise, more is better, right? Well, it depends.
First, take a look at what types of exercise you’re doing. If you’re involved in a sport that puts your genitals at risk–such as soccer, rugby or football–make sure you wear proper protective gear. If you do get injured, seek medical attention immediately, as genital injuries can be very serious. There’s also evidence that other sports, such as bicycling, can curtail your sperm production.
Biological ClockIt’s true that the woman’s age affects the couple’s ability to conceive and the health of the baby to a greater extent than the male’s. Yemini notes that it’s much easier, physically speaking, for a male to be a father when he’s 60 than for a woman to become a mother later in life.
However, the man’s age is still a factor. In situations where a malformation is discovered via amniocentesis (a procedure where a portion of the amniotic fluid is analyzed for potential problems), approximately 20% of the time the problem can be attributed to the sperm. Amniocentesis tests are routinely recommended if the woman is over 35 years old. However, if the father is over 50 years of age, amniocentesis should be performed, regardless of the age of the mother.