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Happy couple... expecting a baby...    PHOTO CREDIT:

Happy couple… expecting a baby… PHOTO CREDIT:

*Exercise ‘helps beat erectile dysfunction’
*Having less than six or more than nine hours sleep reduces man’s chance of getting woman pregnant
*High blood pressure could be affecting fertility as common drugs ‘lowers odd of having baby by 10%’

Exercise could be the key to beating erectile dysfunction, new research suggests. Those who are fit and active have better erectile and sexual function, a growing body of evidence suggests. The study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Other contributors to low sexual function, include diabetes, older age, past or current smoking, and coronary artery disease. But how much exercise people do could be crucial.

The authors of the new report say that until now, no one had looked at all the studies together. Researchers searched for randomised controlled trials testing exercise and physical activity as a therapy for erectile dysfunction.They found seven studies published between 2004 and 2013 that included a total of 505 men, who were tracked for anywhere from eight weeks to two years.

The average age ranged from 43 to 69 years.Altogether, 292 men were randomly assigned to complete aerobic exercises, pelvic floor muscle exercises or a combination of exercises. The other 213 men were not told to exercise.

Scientists then measured erectile function using the International Index of Erectile Function. Scores range from five to 25; men with no erectile dysfunction have scores of 22 to 25, and those with the most severe dysfunction score between five and seven.

Overall, men who exercised had their scores increase by an average of 3.85 points, compared to men who did not exercise. Exercises specific to pelvic floor muscles didn’t seem to yield a benefit.

Among men with an increased cardiovascular risk, coronary heart disease or prostate removal, however, any type of exercise led to improved erectile function scores.

Dr. Landon Trost, who is head of andrology and male infertility at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said it showed exercise should have a role in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

The results show that exercise can also be used alone or in combination with erectile dysfunction medications, said Trost, who was not involved with the new analysis.

He said the average increase in erectile function score would likely be similar to what people see with a medication. Also, not getting enough sleep can reduce a man’s fertility, researchers said.Getting less than six hours of sleep a night reduces a man’s chances of getting a woman pregnant by 43 per cent, they found.

However the Boston University study of 695 couples also found that getting too much sleep was almost as bad for fertility – more than nine hours a night reduces chances of having a baby by 42 per cent.

The study looked at men aged 21 or older and women aged between 21 and 45 who were undergoing In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment.The researchers assessed how much sleep the men got and checked every eight weeks for up to 12 months until the couple became pregnant.Lead author Dr. Lauren Wise said: “Those men who sleep seven to nine hours a night have the lowest risk of adverse health outcomes.

“There has been a growing body of literature of the relationship between sleep quality and testosterone which is critical for male sexual behaviour reproduction.

“Sleep problems specifically have been associated with lower sperm concentrations, total sperm count and per cent of normal sperm morphology (shape), as well as decreased testosterone levels, but no studies have looked at sleep and male fertility.”

Wise, whose study was presented at the annual congress of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, said sleep disruption affected the production of testosterone, the key hormone that caused sperm to grow.She added: “The majority of daily testosterone release occurs during sleep so we think there may be a hormonal mechanism going on.”

Meanwhile, a study has found that common drugs used to control high blood pressure can reduce male fertility.Beta blockers were found to reduce the chance of having a baby by 11 per cent. Another common drug – ACE Inhibitors – reduced the chance by nine per cent.

Further research found beta blockers reduced semen volume, semen concentration and mobility. The drugs work by decreasing the activity of the heart by blocking the action of hormones like adrenaline.

Researchers at Stanford University looked at health data from around 800,000 men on blood pressure drugs.Using data from United States (U.S.) insurance companies, they looked at the incidence of infertility in the year before they were on the drugs and the year after between 2001 and 2009.Infertility was defined as not having a baby despite regular unprotected sex for one year.

In a further study, researchers analysed the quality of sperm from men on blood pressure drugs at sperm at a fertility clinic.The study found beta blockers reduced semen volume, semen concentration and mobility.

Dr. Mark Eisenberg, a urologist at Stanford University, presented the results at the annual congress of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine at Salt Lake City, Utah.

Data was taken from 347,634 men taking ACE Inhibitors, 261,849 men on beta blockers and 190,903 on calcium channel blockers.He said that for a third class of blood pressure drugs, calcium channel blockers, there was no impact on fertility.

To confirm the associations, the team also looked at the semen of men on infertility clinic patients.In conclusion the authors write: “Men taking beta blockers or ACE inhibitors appear to have a higher risk of infertility which is not seen in men taking calcium channel blockers.”

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1 Comment
  • Tosin

    Modern life is too stressful. Too sedentary. Too polluted. Too everything.