Stress and more importantly “oxidative stress” is a one of the many causes of male factor infertility, but it is possible to boost sperm quality through lifestyle changes, nutritional supplements and medical interventions, according to Michael Close, CEO of LogixX Fertility. The company supports a number of technologies in male factor diagnostics and treatments including dietary supplements that improve sperm quality.
Michael will have a booth at the Bourn Hall Virtual Fertility Fair and will be answering questions on 31st October about male infertility.
Reducing oxidative stress to boost sperm quality
The body produces free radicals, unstable atoms, as part of its normal metabolic processes, which are usually neutralised by antioxidants found in foods such as leafy vegetables and fruit. However, the fast pace of life, lowered levels of exercise, poor diet, smoking, alcohol and other environmental toxins can upset the redox balance, which increases the risk of illness and infertility.
Developing sperm do require some reactive oxygen species (ROS) to mature and function properly but too many can damage the sperm DNA at a molecular level. DNA fragmentation can cause reduced fertilisation rates, failure of the embryo to implant in the womb and recurrent pregnancy loss.
“Checking sperm quality is one of the easiest fertility tests and it can quickly reveal if there is a male factor element,” comments Michael, who himself is childless as a result of male infertility that was undiagnosed for many years.
“From my experience I would always recommend that male fertility is checked early, through semen analysis and blood tests. Then if these tests show that sperm quality is impaired, then a referral can be made to a urologist or andrologist, such as Mr Oliver Wiseman at Bourn Hall, and they can investigate further and look at ways to correct the underlying issues, whilst you’re trying to conceive.”
Sperm quality tests
Sperm quality is assessed with a semen analysis following WHO Standards
- Semen volume: 1.5ml or more
- pH: Between 7.2 -8.0
- Sperm concentration: 15 million spermatozoa per ml or more
- Total sperm number: 39 million spermatozoa per ejaculate or more
- Total motility: 40% or more motile
- Vitality: 58% or more live spermatozoa
- Sperm morphology (percentage of normal forms): 4% or more.
Of these tests total motility is often used as an indication of the severity of male infertility.
Michael comments: “There are a number of new tests emerging that can measure the amount of “sperm stress” known as a oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) through the more recent MiOXSYS System test; this is the relative proportions of oxidants to anti-oxidants and can easily detect abnormalities which should be investigated further.
“ORP tests were originally designed as blood tests for conditions such as strokes but also offer promise as a new approach to assessing male infertility in addition to a standard semen analysis. There is found to be a correlation between ORP and poor total sperm motility.”
Protection against oxidative stress
Early, accurate detection of oxidative stress can help increase the success of fertility treatment as changes to lifestyle, medical intervention (where required) and nutritional supplements can help to re-set the redox balance and protect sperm from further damage.
On average, sperm require approximately 74 days to mature and to become capable of fertilisation. So, lifestyle changes can boost sperm quality in about 1-3 months. There are many easy things that can be done to increase fertility in men.
Michael continues: “The first step would be to look at lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise and smoking and drinking.
“There are also more surprising factors – a Bluetooth device (mobile phone) in their pocket for a large proportion of the day, or working in a high temperatures, varicocele (extra blood vessels in the testes) – these sorts of things can negatively impact fertility in men.
“Next, it could be advised to take fertility supplements to boost the body’s own processes. Proxeed Plus, which includes ingredients such as essential amino acids such as carnitines – which have a protective function – along with other ingredients such as zinc and the co-enzyme Q10 – which are important cofactors in our reproductive function and also give a lot of nourishment to the sperm to do their important job: to swim and fertilize the egg.”
More information can be found at https://www.logixxfertility.com/infertility-facts
Michael will be answering questions in the Virtual Fertility Fair from 12.00 – 16.00 on 31st October 2020.
Oxidation-reduction potential as a new marker for oxidative stress: Correlation to male infertility Ashok Agarwal, Albert Danh. Investig Clin Urol 2017;58:385-399.https://doi.org/10.4111/icu.2017.58.6.385
Semen oxidative reduction potential (ORP) is related to abnormal semen parameters in male factor infertility. Toor JS, Daniels L, Yafi FA, Hellstrom W, Sikka SC. In: Poster presented at: 41st Annual America Society of Andrology Conference; 2016 Apr 2-5; New Orleans, LA, USA.