Q: "HEY, Ms Monique, I am a 32-year-old woman who was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in my early 20s. My cycles have always been irregular but didn't think much of it until now. My partner and I have been trying to have a baby for over seven years now. I know I have PCOS so I understand fertility will be a challenge. The doctor gave me some medication and told me to come back if it doesn't work. Out of curiosity, my partner decided to get his sperm checked. It turns out that he has a very low sperm count. Is there anything my partner can do to boost his sperm? We really want to have a baby soon."
A: Let me start off with acknowledging both you and your partner in being proactive and willing to seek support as needed.
We tend to get so hyper focused on the woman during the fertility journey, because they're the ones actually carrying the pregnancy, we forget the men. But it should be remembered that men provide 50 per cent of the genetic material for your future baby. In other words, it is half of the equation!
Since it is well known that many women with PCOS have irregular menstrual cycles and therefore do not ovulate regularly, efforts should be made to encourage ovulation, get you ready to carry a child to term, and improve the health of your partner's sperm in order to increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
Sperm production is mainly driven by the hormone testosterone. It's crucial to keep your testosterone levels in check. Low testosterone levels can cause immature sperm, low sperm count, slow motility, poor morphology, and slow sperm production, all of which can have a negative impact on pregnancy.
Here are some ways to help increase testosterone:
He can hit the gym: Weight-bearing exercise and building muscle is probably the best way to increase natural testosterone production, and get fresh blood pumping throughout the body.
Eat healthy fats: Consuming healthy fats is crucial for hormone production, sperm formation and motility, so make sure your partner is getting enough of them in his diet
Prioritise sleep: Studies have shown that sleeping less than seven hours per night reduced male fertility by up to 15 per cent, this is as sleep helps not only to reduce stress but also activates the hormones needed for sperm production.
Manage stress: Stress management is essential for lowering cortisol levels. Stress is a fertility killer because it lowers the concentration of sperm in an ejaculate and changes the shape of the sperm cell, making implantation more difficult.
Maintain a healthy weight: Studies show overweight men are at risk of not only lower testosterone, but also decreasing libido, erectile function and low motility, and poor quantity of sperm produced.
Monique Allen is a certified holistic nutritionist and PCOS fertility coach. She runs a web-based practice through which helps women with PCOS balance hormones, feel their best and improve fertility . If you need additional resources or personal support, reach her on WhatsApp at 876-355-2641, follow her on social media @themoniqueallen or e-mail email@example.com.
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