All about male as well as female fertility

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Male Fertility And Female Fertility – Know The Difference

The Basics Of Male Fertility

  • The most common causes of male fertility problems are due to an issue with the production of sperm in the testes or a blockage in one of the reproductive tubes.

  • Sperm take around 3 months to go from their earliest stage to ejaculation - which is why male fertility treatment that involves changes in diet or environment sometimes recommends that couples wait for 3 months before trying to get pregnant again.

  • After developing for about 70 days, almost-mature sperm then leave the testes and take another 14 days or so to pass from the testicles through several tubes before combining with fluid from the seminal vesicles, prostate gland and the bulb-urethral and urethral glands just before ejaculation… The main reason why feeling tired after is a natural tendency.

  • In a healthy young male, around 100 million sperm are produced within the testes daily. This number declines with age, stress, poor health and exposure to heat, chemicals or radiation which all affect male fertility.

  • About 60% of semen comes from the seminal vesicles and around 30% comes from the prostate gland. The average volume of semen is between 2 and 5 ml and the average sperm concentration is around 85 million per ml.

  • There are usually quite a lot of dead or abnormal sperm in a 'normal' sperm sample. The World Health Organisation definition of a 'normal' sperm sample is:

  • sperm concentration of at least 20 million per ml

  • total sperm count of at least 40 million

  • total semen volume of at least 2ml

  • at least 75 per cent of sperm still alive

  • at least 30 per cent of sperm "of normal shape and form" (structure)

  • at least 25 per cent of sperm swimming with rapid forward movement

  • at least 50 per cent of sperm swimming forward, at any pace (motility)


The Basics About Female Fertility

  • The most common causes of female fertility problems involve a failure to ovulate, irregularities with the uterus or fallopian tubes or common disorders such as endometriosis.

  • The female fertility cycle is a bio-feedback cycle which involves the co-ordination of a variety of glands and hormones.

  • The female fertility cycle or menstrual cycle usually starts when hormones released from the pituitary gland trigger your uterus to shed the extra padding it has built up on its lining. So the cycle starts with the first day of menstruation.

  • As these hormone levels rise, your ovaries start to grow follicles. Usually one (and sometimes two) follicles will mature to the point of releasing an egg which travels to the fallopian tube to await fertilisation.

  • At this point, hormone levels change again. After around 14 days, if the egg has not been fertilised, falling hormone levels trigger the pituitary gland to repeat the whole female fertility cycle all over again.


Male and Female Fertility Diet

  • As female fertility is strongly affected by ageing, it is also thought to be highly influenced by the 'internal' age of your body thanks to lifestyle factors.

  • A number of foods are considered to be "sperm-friendly" and to encourage the production of good quality sperm. Vitamin supplements that include zinc, selenium and B-group vitamins are also thought to be helpful.

  • Both male and female fertility has been proven to be negatively affected by smoking, by alcohol consumption and by caffeine consumption and also by eating foods high in trans-fats (basically all fried fast food and too many sweets).

  • A general healthy diet that is rich in unprocessed foods such as fruit and vegetables (organic where possible), low-fat dairy and proteins, whole grains, legumes and nuts and seeds, is likely to raise both, male as well as female fertility.

  • Physical exercise which raises the heart rate to recommended levels, performed at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes will also raise female fertility.

  • Good quantities of grains such as oats, rye, wheat and buckwheat are recommended. Egg yolks and most seafood (particularly oysters and deep-sea fish) are also a good source of sperm-friendly nutrients.