Male Nutrition & Lifestyle

When we think about nutrition and its impact on fertility, we tend to think about the many recommendations that are given to women who want to conceive. But don’t think that you’re off the hook, gentlemen! Both men and women can suffer from diet related fertility issues, and both can increase their chances of conceiving simply by eating more of the right foods, and fewer unhealthy ones.

Each of these points can help you improve your fertility and health as you prepare to conceive. It’s particularly important to remember that these changes are best put into practice three months before trying to conceive. Since sperm production takes about three months, any changes you make today won’t show up in your semen for at least that long. So if you think you have work to do before you start a family, get started today – and don’t forget to visit a doctor and finalize a list of recommended actions for managing your preconception health!

We caught up with Sara Naab, from, the makers of Trak (a men’s reproductive health kit that allows couples to monitor and improve sperm quality from the comfort and privacy of home), to answer some of your most important frequently asked questions on male infertility. For the full interview, click here:

What are some natural ways to optimize male fertility factors like count, motility, etc.? (Food, exercise?)

There are lots of things men can do to improve fertility:

  1. Avoid heat – hottubs, seat warmers, long periods of sitting, long showers, biking, dog or laptop on the lap, etc
  2. Maintain a healthy body weight. If you have a gut. Lose 15 pounds, or 20.
  3. Eat well.Vitamins & Antioxidants are hugely helpful for sperm. A good rule of thumb is to think about sperm cells like a embryo. Things that are good for pregnant women to eat are good for men trying to conceive
  4. Exercise. What’s good for the heart is good for sperm (and healthy erections) Get off your butt. You’ll feel better and make more sperm.
  5. No smoking or drinking. Cigarettes are one of the worst things for sperm (so is mary jane btw). Alcohol really messes with testosterone / estrogen balance and in high amounts is toxic to sperm cells. Don’t want your swimmers under the influence.
  6. Have good sex often. If you are using em, you’ll make more of em.
  7. Check your meds. Some medications cause sperm problems.
  8. Get good sleep every night.
  9. Maintain healthy stress level. Stress hormones can mess with testosterone and sperm production. Find ways to live in the present and appreciate the small things in life.
  10. Be competitive. Playing sports or having hobbies that unleashes healthy competitive emotions can boost testosterone levels.

If you want to go the extra mile:

  1. Ice your balls:Regular cooling has been incredibly effective at improving sperm count
  2. Acupuncture: increases blood flow and improves male fertility
  3. Herbs: Several herbs have been shown to improve male fertility (check out conceivable)
  4. Take a multivitamin / prenatal / fertility supplement: concentrated antioxidants
  5. Visit a urologist specialized in male fertility – there are medications, surgeries and other treatment options available for men.

How has male factor fertility changed over the past decade? What do you attribute to the rise in diagnoses of male factor issues?

Globally, sperm counts have been declining for several decades. No one knows exactly why. Leading suspects are increases in obesity, decreased movement, increase in stress and increased exposure to pollution / toxins. Personally, I think guys are cooking their balls. There are a lot of ways to overheat testicles – fat, biking, laptops, cell phones, long periods of sitting, getting sick. Men trying to conceive should be mindful of how hot it gets down there.

About Sandstone Diagnostics

Trak_logo_poloWhat is Sandstone Diagnostics, Inc? What is your mission? What led to your co-founding of Sandstone Diagnostics?

Sandstone’s mission is to empower consumers to measure, monitor, and improve their health with simple tools that provide actionable data-driven feedback. Our initial product, Trak, is a men’s reproductive health kit that allows couples to monitor and improve sperm quality from the comfort and privacy of home. Sandstone Diagnostics was founded when my husband and his colleague invented a powerful, portable blood test while working at Sandia National Lab. I was energized by the possibility of bringing high precision medical tests into the home giving people incredible feedback and insight into their health. We launched Sandstone in the Spring of 2012 with the dream of changing the way people approach their health.

Read the full interview here: