There is not one kind of ‘good sperm’ — it depends on other qualities in the male

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In a study published in Behavioral Ecology researchers from Uppsala University show that the same type of sperm is not always the best for all male birds. Depending on how attractive or dominant you are you might be more successful with longer or shorter sperm.

Getting a big family can be a difficult business in nature. If you are a male bird, you have to work hard to secure a territory where you will find food for your chicks and convince a lady that you are both good looking enough and also will be a good dad. But getting a mating partner is not the end of the story, you also need to fertilize her eggs, preferably all of them!

For this, you will need good sperm: sperm that is good at fertilizing eggs, but not only, it also has to be BETTER than the sperm of your potential rivals, that is other males your partner might be copulating with before laying all of her eggs. This happens often in nature, because females do not want to put all of their eggs in the same basket and it might be advantageous instead to have some genetic variation among your offspring.

Determining what makes for a good or attractive male is not always easy, and measuring what makes a good sperm is even harder. Now these two important components of fertilization success are often also measured separately, and we do not really understand how they are linked.

The researchers studied this in collared flycatchers (small black and white birds), by catching close to 120 different males over 4 years, measuring their white forehead patch (used to attract females), their sperm morphology (under the microscope), and their paternity success (i.e. how many of the chicks in their nests were theirs, by analyzing the blood of over 400 six-days old nestlings).

The team found that different categories of males have different sperm morphology, depending on if they manage to secure a territory and have a social mating partner, but also on their age and attractiveness. But most interestingly, the researchers found that the type of sperm that allows them to maximize the number of nestlings they father is different for different types of males. For males that have small forehead patches and are thus less dominant and less attractive, having long sperm is beneficial. This could be because they are more exposed to sperm competition and long sperm are likely to swim faster and reach the egg first.

But longer is not always better! For more attractive males, it is quite the opposite, and having smaller sperm allows them to sire more eggs in their nest.

“Many studies have attempted to link attractiveness and sperm quality, trying to figure out if “sexier” males also have better sperm, with very inconsistent results between studies. Our study shows that what makes a good quality sperm might instead depend on how attractive, competitive, and how old a male is, so there is not one single kind of “good sperm”, and we should more often look at the full picture and actually measure which phenotypes result in the highest fertilization success”, says lead author Murielle Ålund, now researcher at Michigan State University.

 

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Low sperm count not just a problem for fertility

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A man’s semen count is a marker of his general health, according to the largest study to date evaluating semen quality, reproductive function and metabolic risk in men referred for fertility evaluation. The study results, in 5,177 male partners of infertile couples from Italy, will be presented Sunday at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Ill.

“Our study clearly shows that low sperm count by itself is associated with metabolic alterations, cardiovascular risk and low bone mass,” said the study’s lead investigator, Alberto Ferlin, M.D., Ph.D. He recently moved as associate professor of endocrinology to Italy’s University of Brescia from the University of Padova, where the study took place in collaboration with professor Carlo Foresta, M.D.

“Infertile men are likely to have important co-existing health problems or risk factors that can impair quality of life and shorten their lives,” said Ferlin, who is also president of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine. “Fertility evaluation gives men the unique opportunity for health assessment and disease prevention.”

Specifically, Ferlin and his colleagues found that about half the men had low sperm counts and were 1.2 times more likely than those with normal sperm counts to have greater body fat (bigger waistline and higher body mass index, or BMI); higher blood pressure (systolic, or top reading), “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides; and lower “good” (HDL) cholesterol. They also had a higher frequency of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of these and other metabolic risk factors that increase the chance of developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the investigators reported. A measure of insulin resistance, another problem that can lead to diabetes, also was higher in men with low sperm counts.

Low sperm count was defined as less than 39 million per ejaculate, a value also used in the U.S. All the men in the study had a sperm analysis as part of a comprehensive health evaluation in the university’s fertility clinic, which included measurement of their reproductive hormones and metabolic parameters.

The researchers found a 12-fold increased risk of hypogonadism, or low testosterone levels, in men with low sperm counts. Half the men with low testosterone had osteoporosis or low bone mass, a possible precursor to osteoporosis, as found on a bone density scan.

These study findings, according to Ferlin, suggest that low sperm count of itself is associated with poorer measures of cardiometabolic health but that hypogonadism is mainly involved in this association. He cautioned that their study does not prove that low sperm counts cause metabolic derangements, but rather that sperm quality is a mirror of the general male health.

The bottom line, Ferlin stressed, is that treatment of male infertility should not focus only on having a child when diagnostic testing finds other health risks, such as overweight, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

“Men of couples having difficulties achieving pregnancy should be correctly diagnosed and followed up by their fertility specialists and primary care doctor because they could have an increased chance of morbidity and mortality,” he said.

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The researchers will discuss the study during a press conference Sunday, March 18 at 9 a.m. Central. Register to view the live webcast at endowebcasting.com.

Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

Article Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/tes-lsc031418.php

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Low sperm count not just a problem for fertility

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A man’s semen count is a marker of his general health, according to the largest study to date evaluating semen quality, reproductive function and metabolic risk in men referred for fertility evaluation. The study results, in 5,177 male partners of infertile couples from Italy, will be presented Sunday at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago, Ill.

“Our study clearly shows that low sperm count by itself is associated with metabolic alterations, cardiovascular risk and low bone mass,” said the study’s lead investigator, Alberto Ferlin, M.D., Ph.D. He recently moved as associate professor of endocrinology to Italy’s University of Brescia from the University of Padova, where the study took place in collaboration with professor Carlo Foresta, M.D.

“Infertile men are likely to have important co-existing health problems or risk factors that can impair quality of life and shorten their lives,” said Ferlin, who is also president of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine. “Fertility evaluation gives men the unique opportunity for health assessment and disease prevention.”

Specifically, Ferlin and his colleagues found that about half the men had low sperm counts and were 1.2 times more likely than those with normal sperm counts to have greater body fat (bigger waistline and higher body mass index, or BMI); higher blood pressure (systolic, or top reading), “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides; and lower “good” (HDL) cholesterol. They also had a higher frequency of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of these and other metabolic risk factors that increase the chance of developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the investigators reported. A measure of insulin resistance, another problem that can lead to diabetes, also was higher in men with low sperm counts.

Low sperm count was defined as less than 39 million per ejaculate, a value also used in the U.S. All the men in the study had a sperm analysis as part of a comprehensive health evaluation in the university’s fertility clinic, which included measurement of their reproductive hormones and metabolic parameters.

The researchers found a 12-fold increased risk of hypogonadism, or low testosterone levels, in men with low sperm counts. Half the men with low testosterone had osteoporosis or low bone mass, a possible precursor to osteoporosis, as found on a bone density scan.

These study findings, according to Ferlin, suggest that low sperm count of itself is associated with poorer measures of cardiometabolic health but that hypogonadism is mainly involved in this association. He cautioned that their study does not prove that low sperm counts cause metabolic derangements, but rather that sperm quality is a mirror of the general male health.

The bottom line, Ferlin stressed, is that treatment of male infertility should not focus only on having a child when diagnostic testing finds other health risks, such as overweight, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

“Men of couples having difficulties achieving pregnancy should be correctly diagnosed and followed up by their fertility specialists and primary care doctor because they could have an increased chance of morbidity and mortality,” he said.

Article Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/tes-lsc031418.php

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Men’s Sperm Counts Are Dropping, and Scientists Don’t Know Why

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The topic of overpopulation has been much discussed over the past few decades, but what if the real issue is a severe decline in population?

It sounds like something straight out of a dystopian nightmare, but new research shows sperm counts are drastically dropping across the Western world.

Researchers from Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Jerusalem announced this week that sperm count in men residing in developed countries has dropped by a whopping 50 percent over the past 40 years. They claim this alarming trend could potentially result in a decline in male health, fertility and possibly even extinction if the trend doesn’t turn around.

“This study is an urgent wake-up call for researchers and health authorities around the world to investigate the causes of the sharp ongoing drop in sperm count,” explained study co-author Hagai Levine.

After data was collected from 185 studies looking at sperm count and concentration in men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand from 1973 to 2011, researchers found that total sperm count declined by 59.3 percent and sperm concentration declined by 52.4 percent.

Data from men in South America, Asia and Africa were also examined, however, no serious decline was detected. Researchers did note that not as many studies have been conducted in these regions.

Researchers didn’t look into reasons why the drop in sperm count occurred, but noted that the phenomenon has been previously linked to factors ranging from exposure to chemicals and pesticides to lifestyle choices, including smoking, obesity and stress. They are worried that if things keep heading in this direction, the human race could be doomed.

Daniel Brison, an embryology and stem cell biology specialist at Manchester University who was asked to comment on the findings, told Reuters the study had “major implications not just for fertility, but for male health and wider public health.”

“An unanswered question is whether the impact of whatever is causing declining sperm counts will be seen in future generations of children via epigenetic (gene modifications) or other mechanisms operating in sperm,” Brison said.

The next step is obviously to pinpoint what is causing the sperm count to decrease so dramatically. “Given that we still do not know what lifestyle, dietary or chemical exposures might have caused this decrease, research efforts to identify (them) need to be redoubled and to be nonpresumptive as to cause,” added Edinburgh University’s Richard Sharpe.

In the meantime, if you are concerned about your own declining sperm count you should consider modifying your diet. Here are some foods that can help make your sperm more active, healthy and abundant.

Article Source: https://www.yahoo.com/amphtml/lifestyle/men-apos-sperm-counts-dropping-074720787.html?__twitter_impression=true

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From Causing Cancer To Treating Depression, 6 Little-Known Facts About Oral Sex

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Before the Clinton years and well after the Michael Douglas days, the notion of oral sex has been considered taboo. Now, oral sex is more openly discussed in movies, TV shows, and magazines as a pleasurable part of a healthy adult relationship. However, there’s much about oral sex that sexually active people should know before performing fellatio or cunnilingus on their partner.

In the U.S., 27 percent of men and 19 percent of women have had oral sex in the past year, according to a 2010 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB).  Meanwhile in 2012, two-thirds of young Americans aged 15 to 24 have engaged in oral sex. Most of these young adults have tried oral sex before they engage in intercourse because of the popular misconception that oral sex is “risk-free,” but that’s not the case.

The surprising facts below will clarify misinformation surrounding sex, especially oral sex, and what can happen to the human body.

1. Men give oral sex as much as they receive it, especially older men.

Contrary to popular belief, men, especially older men, give as much oral sex to women as women give to men. A 2010 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found only 55 percent of men in the 20 to 24-year-old range admitted to giving oral sex in the past year compared to 75 percent of women. In the 30 to 39 age range, 69 percent of men have given women oral sex compared to 59 percent of women. This pattern suggests that the more you age, the more reciprocal you are in oral sex.

2. Giving oral sex can lower the risk of preeclampsia.

Pregnant women who perform oral sex on their male partner can lower their risk of preeclampsia. A 2000 study published in the Journal of Reproductive Immunology found women a strong correlation between a diminished incidence of preeclampsia and the frequency at which a woman practices oral sex. If a woman had relatively little prior exposure to the father’s semen, she would have a higher risk of developing the condition compared to if she performed oral sex and swallowed his semen.

The researchers believe this occurs because of the development of immunological tolerance via oral insertion and gastrointestinal absorption of the semen. This supports the notion that a greater frequency of sex with the same partner who is the father of a woman’s child, can significantly decrease her chances of developing preeclampsia. The pregnancy complication is characterized by high blood pressure, and can sometimes be accompanied by fluid retention and proteinuria.

3. Swallowing semen during oral sex can ease pregnancy morning sickness.

Typically, the nausea that occurs during the first few months of pregnancy, morning sickness, can be remedied with a teaspoon of ginger or mint. However, a 2012 paper written by SUNY-Albany psychologist Gordon Gallup suggests pregnant women who swallow the father’s semen can actually cure their episodes of morning sickness.  The woman’s body will first reject the father’s semen upon ingestion as an infection and then react to it by vomiting, according to Gallup. After this, the woman’s body will build up a tolerance to it and alleviate the morning sickness symptoms.

4. Sperm via oral sex can lower the risk of depression.

Semen’s mood altering chemicals can elevate mood, increase affection, and ward off depression. A 2012 studypublished in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior found seminal fluid may contain antidepressant properties and may significantly lower depression in women who had oral sex and sexual intercourse. The researchers also noted women who described themselves as “promiscuous” yet used condoms, were as depressed as women who practice absinthe. This implies how it’s not the semen, not the sex that made the women in this study happy.

5. Oral sex can give you cancer.

The link between oropharynx cancers and HPV has been growing overtime in the U.S. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found the proportion of cancers associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) rose from 16 percent to 72 percent from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, particularly among Caucasian middle-age men. The sexually transmitted disease (STI) can cause genital warts or present itself without symptoms. If it’s left untreated, it can also cause cancers including cervix, anus, penis, vagina, and head and neck, among many others.

6. You can get STDs from oral sex.

STDs are commonly transmitted through vagina and anal sex, but unprotected oral sex can also put you at risk for them. HPV, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and hepatitis B can all be spread through oral sex. According to Planned Parenthood, the human immunodeficiency virus is less likely to be transmitted through this.

Oral sex is still sex and should always be performed with caution and preferably with a condom on to reduce the transmission of STDs.

Written By: Lizette Borreli

Article Source: http://www.medicaldaily.com/causing-cancer-treating-depression-6-little-known-facts-about-oral-sex-343010

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Can Having Sex More Frequently Lower A Man’s Sperm Count?

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Common word around frequent sex is that it may lead to infertility in men due to lowered sperm count. But how true is the commonly believed statement? Find out here.

Excess of everything is bad. Or not?

Sex is so much fun that you just feel like doing it over and over again. The desire to do it again and again is never-ending. But how much sex is good for you? How often can you have sex without the fear that it may affect your fertility? For a woman, fertility refers to her ability to get pregnant and for men; it is about his ability to impregnate a woman. But the question that stays is, ‘Does frequent sex affect a man’s sperm count?’ Let’s find out!

You may have heard that having sex once a week is good for you and does not harm fertility. Too much sex may eventually lower a man’s sperm count which eventually leads to infertility. Well, it’s just a myth!

Myths like having sex too much and too often can lead to physical weakness and fatigue and most importantly lowering of sperm count are all around us. But what happens is, sperms inside the testicles pass through the testes during masturbation. If not released, the sperms stay here for as long as 15 to 25 days.

What happens when sex becomes infrequent?

When sperms are stored inside the body for too long, it causes damage to DNA. Sperms in the body are too sensitive to heat and exposure. When released after a long time, their mobility is affected by heat and radiation. As a result, the sperms released are of an abnormal shape, low in count and have low mobility which together contributes to male infertility.
How does frequent ejaculation affect sperm count?

The body needs anything between 24-36 hours for creating more sperms. So apparently, frequent sex can lower sperm count. But here’s a catch, fresher the sperm, higher the motility! Fresh sperms are more live and have higher motility improving fertility. Hence, if sperms are stored inside the body for too long, it can lead to lower fertility as they become more sensitive to harm from heat and exposure. Experts explain that infrequent ejaculation can put a man’s fertility at risk and a man can stay without ejaculation for as many as 7 days.

So, if you are trying to conceive, having sex every 2-3 days is good for you. This way, fresh sperms are available for the ovum and it can lead to higher chances of conception. Also, having sex daily before ovulation is an added advantage as it improves fertility to a great extent.

So gentlemen, time to get over the fear that too much sex will harm your fertility and bring your sperm count to a low level. Quit counting numbers and engage in passionate love-making with your partner to bond and get rid of too much stress as well.

Article Source: https://doctor.ndtv.com/mens-health/frequent-sex-leads-to-infertility-in-men-fact-or-fiction-1771734

 

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As Men’s Weight Rises, Sperm Health May Fall

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A widening waistline may make for shrinking numbers of sperm, new research suggests. Indian scientists studied more than 1,200 men and found that too much extra weight was linked to a lower volume of semen, a lower sperm count and lower sperm concentration.

Dr. Ronald Klatz, President of the A4M, Sept. 29, 2017 remarks, “I’ve been aware of this fact for decades. We have been attempting to educate doctors and patients of the horrific effects of being overweight or obese for over 20 years. Isn’t it interesting that Indian Scientists seem more aware of this fact than Americans? One has to wonder if the quality of sperm also effects the overall genetic health of people through life?”

(HealthDay News) — A widening waistline may make for shrinking numbers of sperm, new research suggests.

Indian scientists studied more than 1,200 men and found that too much extra weight was linked to a lower volume of semen, a lower sperm count and lower sperm concentration.

In addition, sperm motility (the ability to move quickly through the female reproductive tract) was poor. The sperm had other defects as well, the researchers added. Poor sperm quality can lower fertility and the chances of conception.

“It’s known that obese women take longer to conceive,” said lead researcher Dr. Gottumukkala Achyuta Rama Raju, from the Center for Assisted Reproduction at the Krishna IVF Clinic, in Visakhapatnam. “This study proves that obese men are also a cause for delay in conception,” he added.

“Parental obesity at conception has deleterious effects on embryo health, implantation, pregnancy and birth rates,” Rama Raju explained.

How obesity affects sperm quality isn’t known, he pointed out.

But in continuing research, the study team is looking to see if losing weight will improve the quality of sperm.

Although that study is still in progress, early signs look good that sperm quality improves as men lose weight, Rama Raju said.

One U.S. fertility expert said the findings have broad implications in America.

“About one-third of men in the United States are obese,” said Dr. Avner Hershlag, chief of Northwell Health Fertility in Manhasset, N.Y.

America is getting fatter and fatter, despite the proliferation of new diets and exercise routines. And about one-sixth of children and adolescents are already obese, Hershlag noted.

“Along with the growing obesity trend, there has been a steady decline in sperm quality,” Hershlag said. “The findings in this study, while not specifically related to infertility, represent a trend towards a decline that is worrisome.”

Recent reports have found that extreme weight loss after bariatric surgery reversed some of the sperm decline, he said.

“The message to men is don’t continue to abuse your body,” Hershlag said. “Comfort foods and excess alcohol are bound to make you uncomfortable and put you at a higher risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, which are all life-shortening, and may also put a damper on your path to fatherhood.”

For the study, Rama Raju and his colleagues used computer-aided sperm analysis to assess the sperm of 1,285 men. Obese men, they found, had fewer sperm, a lower concentration of sperm and inability of the sperm to move at a normal speed, compared with the sperm of men of normal weight.

Moreover, the sperm of obese men had more defects than other sperm. These defects included defects in the head of the sperm, such as thin heads and pear-shaped heads.

All of these sperm abnormalities may make it more difficult for obese men to achieve conception, either through sexual intercourse or through IVF, the researchers said. But the study did not prove that obesity causes sperm quality to drop.

According to Rama Raju, this is the first study of abnormal sperm in obese men based on computer-aided assessment. The report was published online Sept. 19 in the journalAndrologia.

Computer-aided sperm analysis might be something doctors should do before IVF, he suggested.

Dr. Nachum Katlowitz, director of urology at Staten Island University Hospital, in New York City, pointed out that “the effect of obesity on sperm is another reason why Americans need to work on this epidemic.”

The idea that obesity affects sperm is well known, he said. “There’s no doubt we should take this information as another link in the chain to push us to help our patients obtain a healthy balance and a slimmer waistline,” Katlowitz said.

By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter

Article Source: https://www.worldhealth.net/news/mens-weight-rises-sperm-health-may-fall/

 

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