Thursday, June 28, 2007

Laptops on your lap, not good for male fertility?

The study, released in December 2004, proposed that laptop computers can pose a long-term threat to the fertility of young men who use them by raising temperatures in the genital area that might slow or stop sperm formation.

Sources such as WebMD reported that researchers studied 29 healthy young men, 21 to 35, for two one-hour sessions in a climate-controlled room. After having their body temperatures taken and standing in the room for 15 minutes to adjust to the room's temperature, they sat down and were given working or nonworking laptop computers.

The researchers used two brands of computers, which weren't identified in the study. The men's scrotal temperature was recorded every three minutes. The temperature on the bottom of the working computers was also monitored. Scrotal temperature rose with the working and nonworking computers. However, the working laptops

produced a greater increase in scrotal temperature -- around a 5 degrees Fahrenheit increase. Participants without working laptops had a scrotal temperature increase of about 3 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some of the increase was attributed to the fact that thighs were held tightly together to balance the laptops. That can increase scrotal temperature, as well. While the researchers weren't concluding definitely that higher scrotal temperatures could cause reproductive problems, they did feel confident in concluding that putting the appropriately named "laptop" on a guy's lap can reduce sperm count. They coined a good expression for the condition: scrotal hyperthermia.

Stacey's comment:

This is one suggestion that we give men in our clinic, keep the laptops off your laps and its based on this and another study that showed a man actually burned his scrotum by keeping a lap top on his lap while it heated up. All I can say is "Ouch!"

The interesting thing also was that even in the non working laptops men's scrotal temperature increased by almost the same amount as in the working laptops.

Other things that have been shown to possibly effect motility are hot baths. However, the sperm's motility (its swimming ability) did return to its previous levels after a while. Certainly if you all ready have male fertility issues with sperm production and quality such as motility or abnormal forms of sperm, it would be good to avoid these activities all together.

Are these really Facts about your fertility?

Stacey's comment: I came across this article below and was pleasantly surprised at one of the comments, but also wanted to point out what were necessarily this doctor's opinions and not necessarily the facts: See below

Addressing fertility: The fact and fiction

June 27, 2007

Myth: Infertility is a female problem:

Doctor's comment: Fact: Women and men share near equal responsibility when it comes to infertility. Infertility is either a female or male problem in two-thirds of cases and a combined problem of the couple in one-third of cases. That is why it is important for both members of the couple to undergo medical evaluation to determine the cause and reduce unexplained cases.

Stacey's comment: This is nice to see for a change. Most women are being blamed for fertility issues especially when an IVF procedure doesn't create a viable pregnancy. The usual excuse is that your eggs are too old. But clearly this is not always the case. There are many variables, it could be the sperm, the endometrial lining, the procedure itself or the drugs didn't agree with that person.

When a person goes to the doctors office with high blood pressure and they try a medication and this medication doesn't work, you usually don't hear that there is something wrong with the patient and that is why the drug didn't produce the desired result. You usually hear that this drug just isn't right for you and they try another.

Doc comment: Myth: You're too stressed. Relax and you'll get pregnant.

Fact: Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. Although stress can sometimes affect hormone levels and quality of ovulation, emotions are not keeping you from getting pregnant. The stress and intense emotions you feel are the result of infertility, not its cause.

Stacey comment: At this point in time infertility is not officially classified as a disease, although drug companies would love it if it was because then no one else could touch it except doctors. And in a significant amount of cases there is no evidence that anything is wrong with the couple. This is called Unexplained Infertilty and there is no "disease" present, however there is certainly "dis-ease" in the body.

I think saying that emotions are not keeping a person from getting pregnant is a very vague statement. There are certain emotional states such as depression that have been linked with difficulty becoming pregnant. I agree that it is not about relaxing and you will become pregnant but I do think that even if stress did not contribute to fertility issues for some, it certainly can perpetuate it. This has been shown in clinical studies to be a strong possibility via studies done by Dr. Alice Domar at Boston IVF.

DOc comment: Myth: Be patient, you will get pregnant with time.

Fact: Infertility is a medical problem that usually requires treatment. If you are concerned for any reason about your ability to conceive, you should be evaluated by a reproductive endocrinologist as soon as possible especially if you, as a woman have one of more of the following factors present:

• Over the age of 35

• Have irregular cycles

• Experience painful menstrual periods

• Suffered several pregnancy losses

• Had a pelvic infection or abdominal surgery

Stacey's comment: I do think that if you are experiencing any of the above issues that you should seek assistance. However I do not believe that any of the above INCLUDING not being pregnant after 12 months of unprotected sex should result in the diagnosis of infertility. If the woman is still creating eggs, and has a uterus, and the man is still making sperm no matter how long they have been trying there is still the potential to create an embryo and therefore in my mind they are still fertile. The term infertility in my opinion is inaccurate and in my opinion, shouldn't be utilised unless there are clearly no eggs or no sperm. Many times just receiving this diagnosis is a source a significant and unnecessary stress for the couple.

Doc comment: Myth: If you are over 35, you are more likely to be infertile.

Fact: Fertility does decrease over time, but if you and your partner are healthy, don't have any of the risks and if you are have regular periods, you don't need an infertility evaluation just because you are 35. A couple is considered to be infertile if they have not conceived after 12 months of unprotected intercourse if the female is under the age of 35, the couple has not conceived after six months of unprotected intercourse if the female is over the age of 35 or the female is incapable of carrying a pregnancy to term.

Stacey's comment: Hallelujah! It is great to hear this from a doctor. Over 35 is not a death sentence like many believe!

Doctor who commented: Zvi Binor, M.D. is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist with Rush-Copley Center for Reproductive Health.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

PCOS new finding!

Well, not really.

A recent article in the weekend paper touted a new discovery about PCOS. The article stated that it appears that Metformin and addressing your lifestyle can actually improve fertility in women with PCOS.

This isn't quite earth shattering news. Most doctors have been using Metformin, a drug commonly prescribed for diabetes to treat PCOS for years. It appears to help women with PCOS by helping to regulate glucose metabolism in these women. When this is address this helps regulate insulin levels in the body.

What they don't mention is that a natural remedy has been shown to be just as effective as Metformin. Ironically both studies have appeared in the same journal, Diabetes Care.

The natural remedy is vinegar. When subjects took apple cidar vinegar before meals showed the effects on glucose were just as good as antidiabetic medications such as metformin. And since metformin has been shown to cause digestive upset, nausea, and depletion of folic acid, the vinegar is a welcome substitute. Some people do not like the taste of vinegar straight so using this in salads would be an excellent choice as well, OR look for apple cider vinegar tablets which are available at some health food shops.

Our PCOS ebook has many other tips to help you address the issues of PCOS and in some women even reverse PCO completely to improve their fertility. This is available in the books section of

Do Men's supplements Cause Prostate Cancer and What does the Prostate have to do with Male Fertility

In a recent article printed in Australia and New Zealand, it was inferred that taking too many multi vitmins may lead to problems with the prostate. You might be asking why do I include this information in a blog about fertility? Well the prostate contributes significantly to fertility.

Consider the following: Prostate gland
The prostate contributes about 60% of the seminal fluid. The fluid is discharged into the urethra during ejaculation to help neutralise the acidic fluids in the male urethra and the female vagina. This function is important because acids can have an adverse effect on sperm and, at higher concentrations, can kill them.

Therefore prostate health is important in not just male fertility but the couples fertility.

Back to the article on multi vitamins and prostate health. After reading more information on this "study" it seems as though there was no mention of lifestyle factors including diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, what multivitamins the men were taking and when they started taking them. For example if the men started taking the multivitamins after they were diagnosed with cancer but didn't address lifestyle changes the data simply goes to show what we always say, supplements are only that "supplements" to a healthy diet and lifestyle. The fact that the study didn't show a link with localised prostate cancer or early prostate cancer is what raises a red flag.

There are studies that show for example that selenium could have the prospensity to prevent prostate issues, but if cancer was already an issue, starting to take selenium didn't necessarily contribute to improving the situation after the cancer was discovered.

So always be cautious reading the headlines so you don't let information that can be misinterpreted in the media effect the health benefits that you are creating by following a healthy balanced diet and appropriate supplementation program using high quality pharmaceutical grade supplements. We have seen male fertility improve when addressing these issues.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Smoking and Fertility issues

Most people understand that smoking can effect their fertility. I just wanted to add a bit of information discussed by IVF specialist Dr. David Carnovale MD who said when a woman smokes this can decrease the chances of an IVF procedure working by 50%. Now most times the odds that IVF will work aren't the best anyway, so to further decrease this by 50% is really an issue.

Also keep in mind Dr. Carnovale MD says that men who smoke are likely to be effecting the quality, shape and production of sperm as well.

With the cost of IVF being what it is, it's very important that a couple addresses all issues that could impact the results.

However it is important that if you are going to plan to quit smoking that you make sure you have a good look at your eating plan right now. Adjust your eating plan to be as healthy as you can be to decrease your chances of significant weight gain when you do quit.

Sex Drug Linked to Infertility

Sex drug link to infertility

June 02, 2007 12:00

Article from: ReutersFont size: + -
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VIAGRA may be championed by men who have had their sex lives improved, but the downside is it may harm male fertility, a new study has found.

Laboratory studies conducted at Queen's University Belfast, UK suggest that taking the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra may adversely affect sperm function and possibly male fertility.

Recreational users of Viagra need to be informed of the drug's potentially harmful effects on sperm function, the investigators say.

From Fertility and Sterility, May 2007.

Stacey's comment:
This isn't really a shock to me as I have been talking to my patients utilising these types of drugs to help them create an erection about this possibility for many years.

What I usually talk to these gentlemen about is that what is important is finding out why there may be a problem in the first place. This is about trying to identify and address the probable causes of what may be causing the difficulty in the first place.

Keep in mind, any medications have the potential to effect the health of the sperm including over the counter medications as well so its important to review medications with your doctor and work with them to help create the best health possible to improve your fertility. Regarding over the counter medications, there is usually a natural choice so discuss this with your naturopath and/or herbalist for the best choices.