The importance of men’s health during a couple’s fertility journey

It is never too early to think about your health history and lifestyle factors that might affect your fertility.  If you are actively trying to conceive or just curious about your health status, this framework can help you identify areas of concern to bring to your healthcare provider.

Below, Dr. Martin Owen has provided a men’s health checklist to be reviewed and assessed early in your fertility journey. If you identify concerns or have questions about your health and fertility, make an appointment to see your healthcare provider.

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Medical History

◻️ Testicles that did not descend properly (Ask your parents)

◻️ Trauma to your testicles

◻️ Hernias in the groin or swelling around the testicles

◻️ Certain infections (eg. mumps, chlamydia)

◻️ Previous vasectomy or other pelvic surgery

◻️ Other family history of health issues, especially fertility related.

Lifestyle Factors

◻️ High temperature (sitting too much or tight-fitting briefs)

◻️ Smoking, alcohol, illicit drugs or anabolic steroid use

◻️ Diet and exercise. Being overweight

◻️ Stress and sleeping problems.


◻️ Environmental toxins

◻️ Cancer treatments (Chemotherapy or radiation)

Dr. Craig Turczynski is an expert in the field of reproductive physiology, having formerly run an IVF lab. He left IVF and now helps couples who desire to achieve pregnancy while under the guidance of the woman’s physician. He will teach and coach the couple on use of the Billings Ovulation Method® or review other charting data and help them identify the peak period of fertility. When couples are experiencing infertility and one or both of them have an endocrine or metabolic issue, he will become a member of the health care team to expedite successful treatment.

How is male factor infertility diagnosed?

The first step in evaluating your fertility is to have a semen analysis performed. We offer at-home sperm testing consistent with Catholic teaching. Our testing is private and confidential and includes a telehealth consult with a Catholic fertility expert. We emphasize the man’s dignity and protect his desire to maintain a high moral and virtuous standard. 

The results of a semen analysis will rule out most male fertility concerns a couple may have during their fertility journey. When semen analysis results come back abnormal, the man may be diagnosed with male factor infertility. Steps can then be taken to investigate the underlying cause. 

The method of collecting a semen sample promoted at most fertility centers, unfortunately, is for men to masturbate into a collecting cup at a doctor’s office. However, there is a preferred, more respectful method taught in the Catholic Church that upholds the dignity of the man. The alternative, which does not contradict the love and life-giving purpose of sexual intercourse, includes collecting a semen sample privately at home. With this device the couple can still be open to life during intimacy. You will be given instructions on where to purchase and how to use the SCD. A kit from the laboratory will also be sent to you with instructions for how to secure and ship your specimen. 

You can order a home semen analysis collection kit and see a telehealth physician that specializes in male fertility care through MyCatholicDoctor. 

After your specimen is shipped to the laboratory the seminal analysis is performed to determine sperm count and quality. When desired your doctor will discuss the results with you through telehealth, privately and securely.

If male factor is identified, additional testing and treatment can be employed, but just as with female infertility, it can be complex and messy to understand. If you have a healthcare provider who dismisses the strong moral compass of the Catholic faith you live every day, we encourage you to find a provider who will advocate for you, your health, and your family. You can find a list of fertility providers located in your state here.

What can men do to enhance their prenatal health?

▪️ Maintain a healthy weight

▪️ Eat a healthy diet that contains a good mix of fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean proteins, and grains. There is some evidence that vitamin supplimentation, especially vitamin D, may improve sperm count and mobility.

▪️ Engage in regular physical activity

▪️ Stop smoking and limit alcohol intake

Leading a healthy lifestyle can improve your chances of conceiving, and will likely have you feeling better with more energy overall!

Male Semen Analysis

We Offer Semen analysis that is Consistent with Catholic Church Teaching

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