Be Careful Relaxing

The case of the month is an actual patient of The Turek Clinic.
He had been trying to conceive for the better part of two years with no luck. His wife was healthy, had very regular cycles and had been thoroughly “checked out” early on. He was eating great, maintaining a good weight, and certainly treating his body like a temple. In fact, with a lifestyle enriched with yoga and acupuncture, he was as relaxed a guy as I had ever seen walk through the door. All dialed in, yet no kid.

A Stress Free Life

Pretty much at a loss to explain his poor semen quality, but determined nonetheless, I delved a little deeper:
“You, my friend, are the model of men’s health. Tell me more about how you reduce your stress.”
“I find there’s nothing like going for a cold swim a couple times a week and then plunging into a hot tub to reconstitute.”
“How hot?” “Very.”
“How long?” “Dunno, maybe 15 minutes.”

Best Intentions

Ever since we published our research showing how hot baths can dramatically lower sperm counts, I have come to appreciate how incredibly sensitive sperm production is to environmental and lifestyle insults. With this comes further clarity in that some things we do to decrease stress can also dramatically impair fertility. Here are the top “stress reducing” offenders:

  • Alcohol. Remember having 4-5 drinks at a time is “binging.”
  • Tobacco. Here’s a nice idea: take a break from work (good), step outside (good), take a breath of fresh air (good) and…have a smoke?!
  • Hot tubs or baths. Nuf said. No bauble baking.
  • Pot. Worse than tobacco. Almost as legal
  • Excessive exercise.  We’re cavemen. Not a good idea to constantly chase or be chased by woolly mammoths. All things in moderation.
  • Excessive eating. Chocolate and pies may relieve all stress, but recall the link between obesity and sperm counts
  • Too much lap time for the laptop. Surf on water instead of the Internet.

I am a big believer in stress as a cause of male infertility. And I also agree with Lily Tomlin that “reality is the leading cause of stress.” But for the sake of your future family, please be mindful how you undo your unease.
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