If you’re a childless woman over 35 who would like one day to birth out a litter of your own, life can feel a little like the first week of April. Tax day is a-comin’ and you’ve got a mess of W-2s and no accountant, but that’s OK (right?). Lots of people wait until April 14th — just look at Halle Berry.
Frustratingly, men seem to mosey down life’s fertility path well into old age with nary a care or thought about how their lifestyle choices may affect their ability to become a father. Well, a recent slew of studies prove that if you’re having a hard time conceiving, it might very well be his problem, not yours.
1.) He doubles as Bob Marley after 5 p.m.
One too many spliffs might be good for your neighborhood takeout joint, but bad for Babies “R” Us. A recent study published in medical journal Human Reproduction delivers the terrible news that pot use within three months of trying to conceive might actually change the size and shape of sperm. Since reproduction is a delicate matter indeed, altering his little swimmers at all can make them less efficient and unable to even penetrate the egg.
SILVER LINING: The same study found indulging in booze and cigarettes had no direct effect the potency of his man chowder. Party on!
2.) Is that a phone in your pocket?
Yes, even something as seemingly innocuous as a cellphone in a pants pocket could lead to infertility. A new study out of the University of Exeter found that men who carried their phone in their pocket inadvertently exposed their nether regions to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation. RF-EMR can kill off perfectly healthy sperm and decrease the remaining sperms’ ability to swim. Maybe tell your husband to invest in one of those incredibly chic cellphone clips. The bold fashion move will help him get into a Dad character.
3.) Two tickets to Bermuda, please
If you’re looking to reproduce, you may need to remain employed and book a tropical vacation (minus the cheeba). A study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Rutgers School of Public Health found that men who reported feeling stressed had significantly lower sperm counts than those who were more easy-breezy about things. Unemployed men in particular had even lower quality sperm than those with stressful jobs. It is not fully understood why, except that stress may trigger the release of steroid hormones called glucocorticoids, which in turn softens testosterone and sperm production.
Melissa Noble is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.