We often talk about infertility from the female-side of things, but there is a whole other side to trying to conceive and that is the Male Factor. In light of MOVEMBER, we are going to discuss male infertility with regards to prostate health. In approximately 40% of infertile couples male infertility is the contributing cause.
Male Infertility Can Be Caused By…
- Varicoceles (testicular venous swelling affecting sperm quality and quantity)
- Underlying medical conditions like diabetes, cystic fibrosis, trauma, infection, etc.
- Unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking
- Environmental toxin exposure
If you have any of these underlying conditions and are experiencing infertility it’s important to seek further assessment. What isn’t commonly known is that Male Infertility can be a risk factor for Prostate Cancer.
In 2009, it was found that infertile males had a 3-fold increase in testicular cancer rates (1) and in 2010, it was found that these males had a 30% increase in prostate cancer when compared to fertile men (2,3).
In raising awareness of Prostate Cancer, any of these signs require a medical consult:
- Burning or pain during urination
- Blood in urine
- Difficulties beginning to urinate or starting/stopping while urinating
- Frequent urges to urinate during the night
- Decreased urine flow/stream
- Loss of bladder control
Interstingly, studies have shown that men in North America and Scandanavian countries are at a greater risk for prostate cancer compared to Asian men. However, when Asian men move to North America their risk increases and over generations these men no longer show the same protection (4). This definitely points us towards a lifestyle/cultural influence and unfortunately, we think our ’SAD’ (Standard American Diet) diet is partially (if not entirely) to blame!
How you can decrease your risk of infertility and prostate cancer as a male:
- Consume foods rich in the phytonutrient Lycopene (Tomatoes, Watermelon, Grapefruit)
- Consume foods rich in Zinc (Oysters, Spinach, Flax)
- Consume foods rich in Lutein (Eggs, Broccoli, Leafy Greens)
- Eat more fish and less meat!
- Increase the amount Fruits and Veggies in your diet
- Drink Green Tea (a popular drink in Asia and a possible factor in why less Asian Men develop Prostate Cancer)
- Eat more phytoestrogens like soy, beans, and lentils (they lower PSA levels – a marker of prostate health!)
- Increase healthy fats like walnuts, avocados, and coconut oils.
These tips are just the beginning of what we have to offer as Naturopathic Doctors. If you, or someone you know, are struggling to conceive share the knowledge and book an appointment to learn more about what treatment and prevention exists.
Your fertility friends,
Jodie and Samina
Please Share our blog if you know someone who would benefit from these messages ❤
To book a consultation, Dr. Jodie Tatlock, ND can be reached at:
The Pear Tree Integrative Health Centre
Dieppe, New Brunswick
- Salonia A, Matloob R, Gallina A, Abdollah F, Saccà A, Briganti A, Suardi N, Colombo R, Rocchini L, Guazzoni G, Rigatti P, Montorsi F. Are infertile men less healthy than fertile men? Results of a prospective case-control survey. Eur Urol. 2009 Dec;56(6):1025-31.
- Walsh TJ, Schembri M, Turek PJ, Chan JM, Carroll PR, Smith JF, Eisenberg ML, Van Den Eeden SK, Croughan MS. Increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer among infertile men. Cancer. 2010 May 1;116(9):2140-7.
- Erica Nikiforuk (2015). Why Male Factor Infertility Matters. http://www.whitelotusclinic.ca/blog/dr-erica-nd/why-male-factor-infertility-matters/
- Thomas J Walsh. (2012). Male Reproductive Health and Prostate Cancer Risk. Curr Opin Urol. Nov;21(6):506-513.