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Of SpermComets, Cellphones & Wannabe Dads: Men's Health Week 2011

Posted Jun 13 2011 9:24am
It's that time of year again, guys: Men's Health Month is here and this week is Men's Health Week ! I know I talk a lot about my lady bits at this blog, but let's not forget that infertility is not just a woman's issue. In 30-40% of cases, infertility is the result of the man. And while I know there are a broad range of health concerns for men besides infertility, I choose to highlight how men  can be impacted by infertility during this Men's Health Week. Believe me: there's plenty we can talk about on just this subject alone.

Take for example, the latest news to come out of Queen's University Belfast. Researchers there have developed a test for sperm quality that could revolutionize the diagnosis of male infertility and assist couples in determining the best path for fertility treatment in the process. The test, in all its inifinite wisdom has been named (and trademarked) as... wait for it...

The SpermComettest.

Now, I assure you that the name is not the result of a haughty researcher ego: the results actually look a bit celestial .The test itself measures the DNA quality of sperm. Knowing this information is key to predicting the success of certain infertility treatments over others. The SpermComet™ test is indeed 'groundbreaking' as its been described in the media, as it provides another way of giving couples more diagnostic information to make more informed decisions regarding their treatment. The test may ultimately lead them on a faster path to success.

Also making news in the past couple of weeks is the that cellphone use can impact a men's fertility , specifically the development of sperm. The study comes out of Queen's University Kingston (Ontario, Canada); it's not clear from what I read what exactly they mean about "use." The study was conducted from 1997-2003; the iPhone wasn't even released until June 2007 (which is totally crazy when you think about that for a second). I'm sure cellphone "use" in their study meant call time, but as we all know, that has broadened quite a bit in the age of smartphones. Sure I use my phone all the time, but not just for calls: checking email, GPS, playing music, banking, etc. In fact, call time probably makes up the lesser amount of time that I actually use my phone. Ditto my husband.

The study has examined the role of cellphone frequencies and their impact on sperm DNA. Their findings? There's a definite link between sperm health and cellphone use. Ladies: remind your gentlemen friends to keep their phones out of their pockets from now on and maybe that they don't need to play another level of Angry Birds.

But if you're worried, you can always have a SpermComet™ done.

All kidding aside, Men's Health Week always falls the week before Fathers' Day every year and the emotional health of the men in our lives in just as vital as their physical health. There are plenty of Wannabe Dads out there who find Fathers' Day just as painful as Mothers' Day for their wives and partners. This year I asked people to Remember Us on Sunday ; that post came from a very woman-centric place. This year (and every year!) I'm asking folks to remember the Wannabe Dads this Sunday for Fathers' Day. Men have a biological clock too, and while it may not always be in sync with ours, we can't forget that it takes two to make a baby and that just as much as we want to be moms, they want to be dads, too.

I'm not saying go out and grab your guy a new tie and some golf clubs, but don't forget about his feelings this Sunday too. For all the tips and tricks you can use to make it through Mothers' Day, the same can be applied to Fathers' Day. Go out and have a day to celebrate yourselves or just celebrate the Wannabe Dad in your life. Stay away from kids on Sunday, if you can. Make it a weekend getaway. Or, maybe just give your spouse a little extra space if he needs it. Men process their emotions in a variety of ways, some more overt than others. You know your guy best, but make a plan on how to tackle That Dreaded Sunday in June.  RESOLVE has a great guide for coping with both Mothers' and Fathers' Day on their website that I highly recommend.

For more fertility-related Men's Health Week goodness, check out my Five Myths of Male-Factor Infertility , as well as last year's Men's Health Week Roundup .

What are you doing to recognize Men's Health Week? How are you coping with Fathers' Day coming up this Sunday?
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