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  • Movember: Men’s Health and fertility

    Monday, November 16, 2020

    Movember, where men in November collectively grow a mustache for the entire month to support the Movember Foundation that was started to raise awareness of men’s health issues, namely prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.

    Here are how these health issues can effect on your fertility and why men should get an annual check-up:

     Prostate cancer: The odds of developing prostate cancer are alarming for those who haven’t heard about it. Prostate cancer often doesn’t present symptoms, which makes the annual exam vital. The good news is that prostate cancer is generally slow-growing, so if detected early, there are many treatment options.

    Infertility has been linked to the types of chronic prostatitis that cause white blood cells to mix with sperm. That means chronic bacterial prostatitis or asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis.   Men with low-risk, slow-growing prostate cancer may be able to avoid infertility by choosing surveillance.

    Men who have had radiotherapy or hormone therapy might produce less semen or no semen. Radiotherapy and hormone therapy can also damage sperm and reduce sperm count

     Testicular cancer: Men between the ages of 15 – 34 carry the highest risk of developing testicular cancer. Commonly, men will notice an unusual growth, which prompts seeing a doctor. At your annual exam, the doctor can check for lumps and begin the correct course of action early on.

    Testicular cancer can silently impact your fertility for months before it’s diagnosed. It can cause changes in your testosterone levels as well as genetic damage to sperm cells—both of which make it harder to conceive. Tumors from testicular cancer can block or harm the parts of the testes that create sperm. 

     Poor mental health: The body can be in perfect condition, but the mind may not be. Culturally, men tend to keep their problems inside rather than open up and let those around them help. This can have serious health impacts on the body and lead to devastating effects. Although speaking to a doctor couldn’t hurt, even speaking with a friend, loved one or a therapist can be a great start.

    Stressed-out men tend to have a lower concentration of sperm, more abnormally shaped swimmers, and a smaller percentage of sperm that are motile (ie, active). Stress might influence the hormones needed to produce healthy sperm and it may also damage the cells that produce them. Another theory says that excessive anxiety may increase the levels of reactive oxygen species in semen, leading to oxidative stress, which has been shown to affect semen quality and fertility.

    Physical inactivity: Heart disease is still the leading health problem for men. Physical activity and proper diet are the best ways to combat this disease. Speaking with your doctor about improving your physical activity is a safe way to get you on track to a healthier lifestyle.