What Does (And Doesn't) Impact Men's Sperm Health

What Does (And Doesn't) Impact Men's Sperm Health

It’s not uncommon for guys to experience fertility problems—even guys who are in the prime of their lives. Just consider that some health organizations claim that as many as 1 in 5 young men have a low sperm count.

Male fertility issues have multiple causes, with medical conditions being a major contributor, from genetic anomalies to hormone imbalances to certain sexually transmitted infections.

However, several lifestyle factors are also linked to the quantity and quality of men’s “swimmers.” This is important to highlight because it means that medical intervention isn’t always necessary for guys to improve the health of their sperm.

There are a lot of do-it-yourself tricks that can potentially improve a man’s sexual potency; however, some of the most popular DIY tricks aren't be as effective as previously thought. So which lifestyle changes do (and don’t) enhance sperm quality? Here’s a look at what the research says.

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Progress in the Search for a Male Version of the Birth Control Pill

Progress in the Search for a Male Version of the Birth Control Pill

Scientists have been hard at work for decades trying to develop a safe, highly effective, and reversible contraceptive for men—something akin to the birth control pill that has been available to American women since 1960. Thus far, nothing they’ve tested has been remotely ready for prime time. However, a new study just published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that they may be nearing a breakthrough.

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Boxers or Briefs? How Men’s Underwear and Lifestyle Impact Sperm Health

Boxers or Briefs? How Men’s Underwear and Lifestyle Impact Sperm Health

It’s not uncommon for guys to experience fertility problems—even guys who are in the prime of their lives. In fact, some health organizations have claimed that as many as 1 in 5 young men have a low sperm count.

Male fertility issues have multiple causes. Medical conditions are a major contributor, from genetic anomalies to hormone imbalances to certain sexually transmitted infections.

However, several lifestyle factors are also linked to the quantity and quality of men’s “swimmers.” This is important to highlight because it means that medical intervention isn’t always necessary when guys want to improve the health of their sperm.

Indeed, there are some do-it-yourself tricks that can potentially improve a man’s sexual potency.

Read More

How Close Are We To The Male Birth Control Pill?

How Close Are We To The Male Birth Control Pill?

When it comes to birth control, women have a lot of choices, including (but not limited to) pills, patches, shots, implants, IUDs, and vaginal rings. By contrast, men currently have just two options--condoms and vasectomies--both of which are far from perfect. However, scientists around the world are hard at work trying to change this.

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3 Theories About The Purpose Of The Female Orgasm

3 Theories About The Purpose Of The Female Orgasm

The male orgasm plays a vital role in human reproduction, given that it typically coincides with ejaculation. Indeed, a man who cannot reach orgasm would likely have a very difficult time ever reproducing. By contrast, the same cannot be said for women--as long as a woman is near the fertile phase of her cycle, she has the potential to become pregnant regardless of whether she orgasms during sex.

This observation has generated a lot of research and debate about why the female orgasm exists. For example, does it have an adaptive purpose we aren't aware of? In other words, do women's orgasms facilitate reproductive success in a non-obvious way? Or is the female orgasm just an evolutionary byproduct that has no impact when it comes to reproduction? Scientists don't agree on the answer, but they've proposed a number of theories. Here's a review of the three most popular ones:

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Sex Question Friday: Is There A Link Between Cuckold Fantasies And Premature Ejaculation?

Sex Question Friday: Is There A Link Between Cuckold Fantasies And Premature Ejaculation?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a male reader who asked the following:

“I ejaculate prematurely when I am with my wife, but I last for hours with other women. I am really turned on by my wife and we talk dirty to each other about cuckold stuff. I also know she has had sex with another man/men even though we are married, but she will never speak of the extent of her sexual escapades. So, what is my problem? Can you explain why I might have premature ejaculation with her but not other women?”

Thanks for this interesting question. Before you start labeling this situation a “problem,” let’s take a look at what the research says.

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Sperm Cooperation: Sometimes Sperm Swim Together To Enhance Performance

Sperm Cooperation: Sometimes Sperm Swim Together To Enhance Performance

Most of us think of sperm as being competitive by nature, with each sperm cell trying to “swim” just a little faster than the others in order to reach the egg first. However, new research out of Harvard suggests that, at least in some species, there isn’t a constant rivalry en route to the egg. In fact, sometimes sperm actually appear to help each other by cooperating and forming groups while they travel.

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Why Does The Female Orgasm Exist?

Why Does The Female Orgasm Exist?

Women have the potential to become pregnant whether or not they reach orgasm during vaginal intercourse. This observation has generated a long-standing scientific debate about why women have orgasms in the first place. If the female orgasm is not essential for reproduction, then what purpose does it serve? Although scientists do not yet agree on the answer, a number of interesting theories have been offered.

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Sex Question Friday: Are Some Women Really Allergic To Semen?

Sex Question Friday: Are Some Women Really Allergic To Semen?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know the following:

“I saw a talk show with a woman who claimed she was allergic to her boyfriend’s semen. Is that even possible?”

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Sex Question Friday: How Much Can I Count On The Withdrawal Method?

Sex Question Friday: How Much Can I Count On The Withdrawal Method?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wants to know more about the withdrawal method of birth control.

When we don’t have condoms around, I don’t let my boyfriend ejaculate inside of me because I don’t want to get pregnant. We’ve done this several times and I have never gotten pregnant from it, but I always worry about it afterwards. I guess what I want to know is how worried I should be.

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What Is The Evolutionary Significance Of Cunnilingus?

I recently came across a journal article entitled Is Cunnilingus-Assisted Orgasm a Male Sperm-Retention Strategy? Naturally, I dropped everything I was doing and read it immediately--how could I not with a title like that? The researchers sought to test the novel hypothesis that, after ejaculation during intercourse, heterosexual men try to get their female partners to reach orgasm via oral sex in order to help them retain as much sperm as possible.1 To the extent that the female orgasm produces uterine contractions that draw sperm further into the reproductive tract, this would theoretically facilitate conception.  However, in order for the cunnilingus-assisted orgasm to serve this purpose, it would need to occur right around the man’s ejaculation (specifically, anywhere from one minute before to about 45 minutes after)—if her orgasm occurs sooner or later than that, it will not have a sperm-retaining effect.
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Sex Question Friday: I Want To Watch My Wife Sleep With Someone Else. Is That Normal?

Every Friday on the blog, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader of the blog who wants to see his wife have sex with another man.  

How often do you come across men who want to watch their wife or girlfriend be with other men sexually? I have had this fantasy for a very long time and I don’t know where it came from but it almost is an obsession. I am trying to slowly talk my wife into it. But I am the only guy that she has ever been with so it’s a slow process. I am smart enough not to dog her about it. Any ideas or suggestions to help me out?

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Have Scientists Finally Discovered “The Pill” For Men?

A few months back, I posted an article about some promising new developments in birth control for men. These included the “testicular zap,” which involves performing a specialized ultrasound on the testicles, as well as RISUG (Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance), which involves injecting a chemical compound into the vas deferens that impairs the “swimming” capability of sperm that pass through it. Despite the potential of these methods, the last thing most guys want to hear in any discussion about birth control is that their scrotums need to be zapped or sliced open, so a lot of my male readers probably weren’t too impressed with these scientific discoveries. However, you guys (and many of your lady friends as well) will be pleased to hear that scientists may have finally discovered a reversible male contraceptive that won’t require bringing sharp objects or sound waves anywhere near your genitals.
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Sex Question Friday: How Close Are We To Having A Male Version Of “The Pill?”

Every Friday on the blog, I answer readers' sex questions. This week, we’re talking about contraception. As you know, there are many forms of birth control available for women: the pill, the patch, the NuvaRing, hormone shots, IUDs, and so on. But what about guys? Is there anything they can do to reduce the risk of pregnancy during sex aside from the old standards (i.e., condoms and vasectomies)? Unfortunately, it’s much more difficult to biologically regulate male fertility than female fertility. Just think about it—is it easier to try and stop one egg per month from being released, or to try and stop up to a half billion sperm from being released per ejaculation? Despite the inherent difficultly of creating the male equivalent of “the pill,” some scientists have been hard at work and their research has yielded some promising new developments.
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