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Here's 5 Inspiring Fathers You Should Follow

The road to fatherhood isn’t always easy and it can feel scary and isolating if things aren’t going the way you planned. Positive examples of the various ways you can build a family – and advice from people who understand – can be really helpful when on this journey.

Here are 5 of our favourite fatherhood accounts which offer just that.

Who To Follow if you’re considering surrogacy – Two Dads

Two Dads

Michael and Wes became Dads to their two children thanks to surrogacy – and now they are on a mission to help other intended parents do the same. Their account gives an uplifting peek into family life following the surrogacy process and is also one of many examples of how LGTBQ+ couples can become parents and raise a beautiful family! The pair also have another platform – My Surrogacy Journey – which offers expert advice you can trust on all things surrogacy, from optimising your sperm health to finding your surrogate and the legalities involved depending on where you live. Whether you are just starting to consider surrogacy as an option or are ready to embark on the journey – give these guys a follow!

Who to follow for relatable content and community – Shaun

It’s not always easy for men to talk about fertility and the struggles that can be thrown at them on your road to fatherhood, but Shaun’s account and online community Knackered Knackers is a safe space for men to do just that. Shaun became a father through sperm donation, after being diagnosed with azoospermia, likely caused by having mumps in his early twenties. However, he is now the proud father of two beautiful children after going through IVF with donor sperm. His page is an honest account of the good, the bad and the ugly of his experience – but is also a great source of hope for anyone having a difficult time becoming a Dad. If you are considering sperm donation, Shaun’s page is definitely worth following, but it’s a great place for men dealing with any fertility struggles to hang out.

Who to follow to put a smile on your face – Jon

Jon Summers

Humour is such a powerful tool for bringing men into the fertility conversation and Jon Summers aka Infertility Man has it in spades! After cancer treatment left Jon infertile, he accepted he may never become a father. However, years later he met his partner Laura and they decided to embark on a mission to have a baby – and share their whole experience with the world, in an effort to end the stigma around infertility. The result is an account that has earned legions of fans thanks to their open (and at times hilarious) account of their fertility journey – which ultimately led to the birth of their daughter last year, after numerous rounds of IVF. From the incredible comic-book style illustrations to his side-splitting video content, Jon tackles serious topics with a light-hearted attitude that is sure to put a smile on your face and make you feel less alone. Check out our recent interview with Jon right here. 

Who to follow for fitness advice – Ciaran

There are many health and fitness accounts you can follow on social media but not all of them understand what it’s like to struggle with fertility – unless it’s Ciaran Hannington. After struggling to conceive for a while, Ciaran found out that he had a seriously low sperm count. Doctors weren’t hopeful that he would ever be able to have biological children, but Ciaran did not decide to take matters into his own hands and do everything he could to improve his sperm health. He overhauled his diet and committed to a regular exercise routine and saw incredible results. He is now a proud father of two. On his page, Ciaran shares bitesize pieces of nutrition and fitness advice aimed at improving male fertility and is always on hand for a bit of motivation! Through his business Humanity Health and Fitness, he also helps guys with 1-to-1 coaching. If you’re looking for advice on a healthy lifestyle from someone who understands – you can’t beat Ciaran.

Who to follow to learn more about Klinefelter Syndrome – Gareth

Gareth Landy

Klinefelter Syndrome is a rare genetic condition that can affect men, characterised by them having XXY chromosomes. Whilst many men have no idea they have the condition until later in life, it often impacts testosterone production which sadly can cause infertility. Guys with Klinefelter Syndrome not only have to deal with fertility issues but they can also feel isolated and confused once they get a diagnosis. Gareth Landy – along with his pal in America, Ryan Bregante –  share their stories to end shame and misinformation around Kleinfelter Syndrome and support other guys who are navigating the road to fatherhood with an extra X chromosome. Gareth is now a father to adorable twins after using donor sperm, and his page is full of their adventures in Ireland! You can learn more about Gareth’s story on our recent IGTV. 

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Wearing tight pants and underwear

Studies show that men who wear looser underwear have higher sperm concentration and total sperm count compared to men who wear tighter underwear. So, lose the tight clothes and wear something loose to give your testicles some air.

CONCLUSION: learn more about how heat can affect sperm quality here.

Stress

Besides higher mortality rate and various diseases, stress is associated with low sperm quality. Stress is known to be associated with lower testosterone levels and oxidative stress with both playing an essential role in producing and maintaining healthy sperm cells.

CONCLUSION: If you feel stressed, we recommend you get some help so you can have a balanced mental health. For a stress management guide, download the ExSeed app for free and start your personalized action plan today.

Physical activity

Scientific studies show that men who are physically active have better semen parameters than men who are inactive. Fertility specialists also state that regular physical activity has beneficial impact on sperm fertility parameters and such a lifestyle can enhance the fertility status of men.

Prioritizing exercise can help improve your overall health and result in healthy, fast swimming sperm cells that have good chances of fertilizing an egg.

CONCLUSION: Try incorporating exercise in your weekly schedule to you ensure exercising at least twice weekly. We recommend a combination of cardio training and strength exercise. Read more about exercise and male fertility on our blog.

Nutrition

Fast Food
Processed foods damage the health of sperm-producing cells and cause oxidative stress, which lead to poorer sperm quality. Heavy consumption of junk food (every week) can increase the likelihood of infertility since men who consume vast amounts of unhealthy food are at risk of having poor sperm quality. Besides harming your fertility, junk food enlarges your waistline, harms your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and more.

Vegetables
Eating more fruit and vegetables can increase your sperm concentration and motility. It’s important that you consume a healthy diet filled with antioxidants and that you eat vegetables every day. Foods such as apricots and red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which improves male fertility by nurturing healthier sperm. Men who are deficient in this vitamin tend to have slow and sluggish sperm.

Sugary snacks/beverages: several times a week Excessive consumption of high sugar items can lead to oxidative stress, which negatively impacts testosterone levels and sperm motility. Sugary snacks and beverages are also highly associated with obesity and low fertility.
CONCLUSION: To boost sperm quality, stay away from fast food, processed food, and sugary snacks or beverages. You need to implement a healthy prudent diet filled with necessary superfoods needed for good sperm production. Check out our guide to Male Fertility Superfoods. For personalized guidance and support on how you can start improving your sperm health, check out the Bootcamp.

Heat

Direct heat can inhibit optimal sperm production and cause Sperm DNA damage. Sperm cells like environments that are a couple of degrees lower than body temperature. Avoid overheating from warm blankets, seat warmers, heat from your laptop, hot showers, and saunas.

Cigarette smoking

The exposure to tobacco smoke has significant negative effects on semen quality. The damage of cigarettes and nicotine of course depends on how many cigarettes you smoke per day and for how long, but even low usage (up to 10 cigarettes / day) can inhibit healthy sperm production.  

CONCLUSION: Stay as far away from cigarette smoking as possible if you care about your general health and your fertility. Read more here.

Cell phone

When you have your cell phone in your front pocket, your testicles are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, which studies have shown to damage the sperm cells. Put your phone in the back pocket of your pants or in your jacket pocket.

BMI

There is a clear association between obesity and reduced sperm quality. At least part of the reason for this is that obese men may have abnormal reproductive hormonal profiles, which can impair sperm production and lead to infertility. 

A BMI higher than 30 can lead to several processes in the body (overheating, increase in oxidative stress in the testes, sperm DNA damage, erectile dysfunction) that can have a negative impact on male fertility. This can result in problems when trying to conceive.  

CONCLUSION: BMI is one of the risk factors that influence semen quality and, for example, sperm motility.  

Alcohol

A beer or glass of wine now and then do not really harm sperm quality. But excess alcohol drinking (more than 20 units per week) can reduce the production of normally formed sperm needed for a successful pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: If you want to stay safe, stay under 14 units of alcohol per week. For more information on how alcohol can affect male fertility, take a look at our blog: “Alcohol and Sperm Quality”.

Age

Studies show that women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance of getting pregnant. Men can produce sperm cells almost through their entire life, but the sperm cell DNA is more fragile and prone to damage after the age of 40.

As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer resulting in a decline in sperm quality and production. These changes are partly because of an age-related decrease in testosterone level, which plays a very important role in sperm

production. Higher male age (>40 years) is not only associated with a decline in sperm production but also with increased sperm DNA fragmentation and worsened morphology (shape) and motility (movement). These negative effects make the sperm cells less qualified for egg fertilization.

CONCLUSION: with an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry much about age as a factor in itself. However, studies have shown a slow decline after the age of 30-35 years

and if you are above 40 years of age, your sperm quality can be affected due to increased sperm DNA damage resulting in a decrease of sperm motility and concentration. Remember that you cannot evaluate the quality of a sperm sample by just looking at it – this requires a sperm analysis.