Men's Fertility Health

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

Lifestyle Factors

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

◻️ Smoking, alcohol, illicit drugs or steroid use

◻️ Being overweight

◻️ Stress

Exposures

◻️ Environmental toxins

◻️ Cancer treatments (Chemotherapy or radiation)

How is male factor infertility treated?

Often in a couple’s fertility journey, male factor infertility can be quickly ruled out by completing a semen analysis. The most common method of collecting a semen sample is, unfortunately, 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, in which does not contradict our religious beliefs, is by using a perforated seminal collection device (SCD). With this device, the seminal fluid can be collected during intercourse at home, allowing the couple to still be open to life during intimacy. Once the seminal fluid is collected, it does need to be brought to a hospital within a short timeframe. If you are struggling with infertility, we encourage you to bring this up with your healthcare provider, as you will need a doctor’s order. You can order kits here.

This seminal analysis is then analyzed to determine sperm count and quality. Depending on the results of the seminal fluid analysis, you may be referred to a urologist or surgeon as necessary.

There are many options to treat male infertility, but just as 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 everyday, 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

▪️ 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!

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