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Teaching our kids about fertility

Teaching Our Kids About Fertility

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There are many different routes to fatherhood – and not all of them are simple or easy. Many men find themselves on the back foot when it comes to their fertility journey, due to the lack of information they received growing up. 

So how can we change that for the next generation? And what are the ways that today’s Fathers are approaching the topic of fertility with their own children?  Ahead of Father’s Day, we spoke to three Dads about their fertility experience and how they’ll be sharing what they’ve learnt with their kids, as they grow up. 


Emil Andersen

Emil Andersen


Emil Andersen is ExSeed’s Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder – and a father of one. Whilst nowadays, he’s a bonafide sperm health expert, thanks to his years of PhD research into the topic – that wasn’t always the case, and he actually had his own concerns about his fertility growing up. “I have always wanted kids, but before working in the fertility space I was actually a bit worried, as my parents had to go through IVF before they got pregnant with me and my twin.” 

The nature of Emil’s work meant that he had the foresight – and opportunity – to take a proactive approach to fertility. He made the decision fairly early on to get well-informed about his own sperm health, even before he was thinking about trying for a baby. “6 years before I became a father, I had my sperm quality tested in the laboratory where I work” Emil says “I was happy to see my sperm cells swimming, but I remember initially feeling that I would have liked to see them moving a bit more.” Emil understood that external factors could have a big impact on the quality of his sperm, and by getting ahead of the game he was able to take his swimmers from ‘Ok’ to ‘awesome’. 

Whilst on the road to parenthood Emil and his wife went through a miscarriage, he is now the proud father of a nine-month-old son. Whilst he doesn’t want to push him into starting a family before he is ready, he does want to help him understand that fertility isn’t something that should be taken for granted. “I think it’s important to educate every generation about the risks of infertility when choosing to have kids later in life,” he says. “Luckily technology is improving the possibility of getting pregnant when we’re older, giving us more freedom to choose when to have our kids – which is something I hope my children can benefit from, if they should need it.”

As for lining his son up to be part of the ExSeed team one day, he’s sure going to try and pass on his passion for reproductive health and biology! “I will definitely teach him about biology and what I am working with. I think fertilisation is one of the most astonishing biological phenomena – and I hope he will too!”



Tyler Christie 

Tyler Christie


Tyler Christie is the father of three living children and two daughters that he and his wife Lina lost during pregnancy. Following their miscarriages, the couple channelled their grief into creating Parla – a platform helping to change the conversation around fertility and loss. The struggles he faced during his journey to fatherhood were not something Tyler felt prepared for at all. “I had absolutely no idea about infertility or miscarriage before our experience – which, in retrospect, made dealing with the challenges we encountered much more difficult,” he says. “We plan ahead and prepare for so many things in life but how had I not done the same for starting a family?”

Keen to ensure his children aren’t blindsided when, and if, they decide to start a family, Tyler is dedicated to sharing everything he has learnt with him, so they can make informed decisions. “Being curious and proactive is certainly a mindset I hope to encourage my kids to apply to all walks of life, including fertility and I want to help them achieve their dreams”. “If they dream of having kids,I will certainly encourage them to test and figure out where they stand,” he explains. “I think, this will become more common in the years ahead anyway and by the time they are in their twenties, I hope it will be commonplace for most people to get tested and understand their fertility.” 

When it comes to talking to his children about loss, Tyler knows that the time is drawing closer to where those conversations can be had. “We’ll definitely tell our kids about their sisters that came before them. I wear a necklace with a pendant to remember them and the kids already notice that.” he shares. “I am not sure what age will be best but now, at ages 5 and 4, they are just starting to ask questions about life and death – so it’s coming soon and I’m preparing for that.” 





You probably know Shaun  by his social media handle @knackered_knackers. Since January 2021, Shaun has been sharing an open and honest account of his journey to becoming a father to twins, through IVF, using donor sperm. The account has become a go-to destination for thousands of people looking for support and inspiration around male factor infertility – and azoospermia in particular. 

Whilst Shaun has now dived headfirst into the world of fertility, he feels it wasn’t something he received enough information on growing up. “Sex education at school, and in society in general, is all focused on how NOT to get pregnant,” Shaun says. “Even when I had mumps in my early twenties – which is what caused my infertility – there was no advice or guidance from medical practitioners on its potential impact on my fertility. If I’d known earlier, there may have been other – less invasive – options for my wife and I.” 

The wealth of knowledge Shaun now has around sperm health and fertility, in general, is something he definitely wants to pass on to his kids. “We will be raising our children to believe that they can do anything they want – we already tell them they can rule the world!” he shares. “If that’s starting their own family, we want to highlight the importance of being conscious about the signs and symptoms of infertility and if there’s any doubt, get it checked out.” 

The importance of a healthy lifestyle is something that Shaun also wants to share with his kids – for the fertility benefits and beyond. “There are many aspects of modern lifestyles that have a big impact on our everyday health – we as a generation deal with endocrine disruptors that our grandparents didn’t,” he explains. “As parents, we will be promoting health in general, and clean living (but still enjoying treats obviously!).” 

Both Shaun and his wife want to make sure that their twins are not only prepared for their potential road to parenthood but that they also grow up with a healthy understanding of the amazing way they were conceived. “We don’t want there to be any kind of secrecy or shame on the topic of donor sperm,” he says. “We will be telling early, and telling often and have bought a few children’s books to help us find the best way of explaining it to them. We know we will find the right way for us to do it and  believe that as long as they know about their story, they can own it and be comfortable with it.”

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More to explore

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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.  


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”.


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.