Understanding Male Infertility: Myths vs Truths

Understanding Male InfertilityAccording to statistics collected by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), both men and women are affected by infertility to an equal degree. About forty percent of all cases with infertile couples are those in which the infertility’s sole cause is the male partner.

The potential causes for male infertility are numerous and diverse, and naturally, there are a fair amount of misconceptions about the truths and myths surrounding the topic. The following are some of the most common misunderstandings and most important facts to keep in mind for the best understanding of male infertility and its implications.


Myth: Active phones in the pocket are an infertility risk factor

One of the most commonly parroted and yet scientifically unfounded misconceptions about male infertility is the notion that it can be caused simply by carrying a mobile phone. The carrier’s base station receives a signal from the phone on an hourly basis, but aside from that, there are no emissions from the phone when it isn’t being actively used.

There is a certain threshold for radiation required for any adverse biological effects to occur, and at 0.1°C, the thermal effect is too low to be impactful. Sperm quality won’t be effected by the influence of any radiation generated by an inactive phone in the pocket.


Truth: Processed meat can have a potential negative impact on the quality of sperm

A steady diet of fruits and vegetables is essential to making sure that the quality of sperm, and the general upkeep of health, can be successfully upheld to a proper standard. The sperm of a man with a healthy diet will generally contain about 15 percent “regular” sperm, and in a study conducted by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a representative sample of men were tested against the healthy average.

The study showed that men who ate more than a half a portion of processed meat on a daily basis only had 5.5 percent “regular” sperm, while the sperm of men with healthier diets showed a “regular” sperm percentage of about 7.2 percent. Processed meats such as bacon should always be kept in moderation in order to ensure that a top level of healthy sperm can be maintained.


Myth: Sperm count is diminished with soy product intake

The risk of prostate cancer can potentially be lowered with semi-regular to regular soy intake. Contrary to the popular misconception, the results of a study carried out by the National Institute of Health showed that there were no negative effects on the quality or quantity of sperm caused by controlled soy portions.

The results of a prior study carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health had once concluded that men with regular soy in their diet have a lower sperm count, but later revisits to the study showed that the results were based on the recollected consumption of soy and not specific diets containing it; furthermore, there was no significant negative relationship between soy intake and sperm count observed in the data.


Truth: Alcohol is detrimental to sperm quality

While just a bit of moderate indulging in alcohol won’t create any serious issues, there needs to be caution exercised in overdoing it. The findings of a study indicated that a low level of testosterone, poorer sperm quality,, and the general impairment of all other kinds of reproductive hormones can result from alcohol abuse.


Myth: Vitamins supplements are only useful for women

With a sufficient intake of Vitamin C and Vitamin D, men can significantly boost the motility and developmental rate of their sperm. Getting a proper amount of Folic Acid, Coenzyme Q10 and Zinc into the body can help increase a man’s overall sperm count and libido while also reducing the chance of an sperm abnormalities.


Truth: Sunscreen overuse can contribute to infertility

While sunscreen itself is indeed important, care must be taken not to overdo it. Sunscreen should always be thoroughly rinsed off upon returning indoors. The results of a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that a 30 percent reduction in fertility resulted from men’s exposure to 40H-BP and BP-2, chemicals found in a number of popular sunscreen products.



Cell phones and soy products will not inhibit male fertility. For the best chance at healthy and motile sperm, men should take care to mind their sunscreen use, watch their intake of both alcohol and processed meats, and ensure their they’re getting all of their essential nutrients from either healthy foods or vitamin supplements.

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