When trouble conceiving or other male infertility issues exist, omega-3 fatty acids may hold the answer. In the US, approximately 6 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have experienced infertility. Infertility is typically noticed when attempting to conceive for more than one year for women without any positive results. Furthermore, 12 percent of women in this age group experienced a degree of difficulty in obtaining pregnancy. Yet, fertility issues also affect men.
Up to 7.5 percent of all sexually experienced men under age 45 reported seeing a family physician within their lifetime. In this group, 18 percent were diagnosed with a male-related infertility disorder, which includes problems with the sperm, seminal fluid, or the varicocele. To fully understand the relationship between adequate nutrition and fertility in men, take a look at some of the important processes and characteristics of infertility.
In women, infertility may be the result of problems within the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, or gymnastics, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In men, infertility may be brought on by problems with the quality as individual spermatozoa, or sperm cells, the seminal fluid, or the varicoceles, which are the tubules within a man's testes That are responsible for the maturation and transportation of sperm in the reproductive system. Furthermore, male infertility may also be the result of additional medical conditions, such as diabetes, drama, infection, genetic abnormalities, treatment with chemotherapy or radiation, infection, or cystic fibrosis, environmental exposure to toxins, and unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Although many different treatment options for female infertility exist, the male infertility treatment options tend to be rare. In a study, the Association of Decreased Spermatozoa Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels and Increased Oxidative DNA Damage With Varicocele in Infertile Men: A Case-Control Study, researchers found that minimal levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PFUAs), or omega-3s, were a key indicator of impaired sperm cell structure and function. Furthermore, those who suffered from a lack of PUFA ratios often experienced greater damage to the DNA of sperm cells through oxidation. This characteristic is an indicator of the potential damage from free radicals, which are unbound oxygen atoms, and it may indicate how omega-3s help to prevent DNA transcription problems in male sperm. Additionally, the study found omega-3 supplementation may help reduce sperm abnormalities by increasing the function of varicocele tissue.
In another study, the Roles of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Idiopathic Male Infertility, omega-3 fatty acids were found to help increase the sperm density of semen, which is a factor in male infertility. However, the actual cause of male infertility varies from person to person, and low sperm density is not always an indicator of male infertility.
Moreover, the Relationship of Omega 3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids With Semen Characteristics, and Antioxidant Status of Seminal Plasma: A Comparison Between Fertile and Infertile Men, a study conducted in 2009, found that approximately 20 percent of male patients with a healthy level of fertility had significantly higher levels of omega-3s within their semen. As a result, researchers believe omega-3 supplementation can increase the fertility of men by increasing the mobility have poor-quality sperm.
When considering treatment options for infertility, women tend to have access to greater resources for increasing fertility. However, the quality of the sperm is still a determining factor in ensuring the fertilization of the ovum, which may be occurring outside of the female body through in vitro fertilization. For men, omega-3s may be the ideal solution to increasing sperm density, reducing enzymatic action in seminal fluid, and fostering increased fertility.