The sperm factor

When I decided I wanted a baby, I really didn’t take into consideration the fact that my husband’s lifestyle as the bass player in a band on a global rock and roll tour might have an affect on our attempts to conceive.

I remember quite clearly, sending him a text message one day, whilst he was away on the other side of the world, saying “I want to be pregnant by March”. Four years later, after lots of tears, frustration and fertility treatment, I finally got pregnant.

Looking back, this was incredibly naïve … the alcohol, the late nights, the bad food, the hot bass resting on an area that apparently should be kept cool … although the job of dreams, it certainly wasn’t conducive to great sperm …

How could I possibly think I could get pregnant so quickly? Back then we didn’t know that lifestyle plays such a big impact on the quality of sperm.

No one told us that if we changed our lifestyle we could make a change. After months of trying with no success and a test that proved that my husband’s sperm needed some help, my husband was told to take some supplements. We didn’t really know what was in them. We simply grabbed some multi vitamins from the chemist.

Our fertility journey did eventually end well, and we have two beautiful little seven-year-old IVF twins, but I wanted to make sure that you get the answers to the questions I wish I had asked all those years ago.

I turned to Dr Ahmed Ismail from Queens Clinic in London and asked him to tell us about the factors that affect sperm. You will see from his introduction that he knows his stuff!!

Mr. Ahmed Ismail is one of the world’s leading Gynaecology and Fertility Consultants. As the Founder of Queens Clinic (Harley Street) and, most recently, Queens Clinic & London Gynaecology Clinic (his new practice at 75 Wimpole Street), Mr. Ismail has an extremely elite client list, and having worked with global icons, celebrities, politicians and royalty, his expertise is renowned worldwide. He is also on the British Panel of Experts in Gynaecology and Obstetrics, the British Panel of Lead Physicians, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

To add to his fertility legacy, his ‘thinking outside of the box’ has led to the latest, successful introduction of Intravenous High Potency Vitamins and Antioxidants, which increases and improves the following:

  • Semen analysis, morphology, motility and DNA fragmentation.
  • The quality of the ovary and the ovarian reserve (AMH).
  • Increase of the success rate of pregnancy and take home babies,  both natural and ART.

Dr Ismail recommends oral supplements to be given in between the tailored intravenous protocol and says that this has shown preliminary improvement in the quality of the sperm and ovarian function.

Are some men born with lazy sperm or is it their lifestyle that damages the quality?

The answer really is both. Although a man’s lifestyle has a huge impact on the quality of his sperm, the lifestyle and diet of a mother can affect her unborn child’s genetic makeup and immune system. A mother’s diet, the medication she takes, alcohol she consumes and cigarettes she smokes are all factors that can damage the testicular tissue, leading to congenital defects.

What lifestyle factors are damaging for men and what are these factors actually doing?

There are many factors that can damage sperm: Smoking, alcohol, fast food, stress, excessive heat, tight underwear, and multiple sexual partners…. These harmful lifestyle choices lead to ‘oxidative stress’.  It is believed that oxidative stress significantly affects male infertility. This means that the production of reactive oxygen exceeds the body’s natural antioxidant defences, simply put, a bad lifestyle leads to a deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues which can in turn damage the quality of the sperm.

If you have a job that you love, but a job that isn’t great for healthy sperm, what can you do? How did the likes of aging rock stars Mick Jagger and Rod Stewart manage to have babies?!

Mick and Rod both prove the point that you don’t have to give up the job you love if it isn’t conducive to healthy sperm, you just try have make improvements to your lifestyle and reduce the bad things that surround that job; reduce your alcohol intake, stop smoking and eat well. You don’t have to stay up late partying, it’s a choice. In addition to making theses changes, look at taking prenatal fertility supplements.

What supplements do you recommend? (What is in the supplements that make such a change/ What are these supplements actually doing?)

My job as a doctor is to improve the quality of my patient’s testicular tissue and in turn the quality of the sperm by using both oral fertility supplements and an intravenous antioxidant bursting with high potency vitamins tailored to each individual, based on age, body weight and lifestyle. I recommend the Coast Science range of pre-birth and post-natal supplements to my patients. With theses supplements we are looking to replenish the antioxidants found in healthy semen: vitamin E, vitamin C, superoxide dismutase, glutathione and thioredoxin.

These antioxidants neutralize free radical activity and protect sperm from harmful lifestyle factors:

Will every man who takes them see an improvement in their sperm?

It is difficult to say that every man will see an improvement, but I can say that I have seen great improvements in morphology and motility, in patients who have taken the male fertility supplement. Over the past 18 months we have seen, through a combination of the IV infusion of the high potency specific vitamins and minerals and the oral supplements, a remarkable improvement in natural pregnancy for patients were planning to go for IVF.

How long do you need to take these supplements for?

I recommended taking these supplements 3-6 months prior to starting a family. After which, the man should be tested to monitor the improvement of the sperm quality, morphology, motility, count and DNA fragmentation.

If you are struggling to conceive, talk to your doctor. Make sure you have all relevant tests and understand what the issues are so that you can make the right changes if necessary. You can follow Dr Ismail on Twitter: @DoctorAIsmail.

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