When your spermatozoa are not motile, you’ll have problems getting your partner pregnant. Sperm motility defects are common in infertile men. Your sperm cells need to be able to swim toward your partner’s egg cell. But if your sperm motility rate is low, it will greatly reduce your chances of fertilization.
Sperm motility is dependent on various factors such as oxidative stress and your seminal antioxidant levels. When your sperm is exposed to oxidative stress, it can lead to an impairment in the structure and functions of your sperm cells. Take a look at these 3 toxic metals and how they cause poor sperm motility and diminished fertility.
How Toxic Metals Affect Your Fertility
When toxic metals accumulate in your body, it leads to increased production of reactive oxygen species which cause oxidative stress. Reactive oxygen species can lead to the destruction of DNA structures in your cells. They can also make your cellular membranes unstable. In addition, toxic metals can induce mutations and cancer formation.
When there’s a high level of oxidative stress in your reproductive organs, it can lead to impaired sperm function, reduced sperm motility, and abnormal sperm morphology. When reactive oxygen species attack your testicular cells, it can lead to alterations in the structure of those cells. Such alterations can result in an impaired testicular function.
1. Aluminum Chloride
High concentrations of aluminum chloride can be toxic for your reproductive system. When you’re exposed to high concentrations of aluminum chloride, it can lead to reduced sperm concentration, decreased ejaculate volume, as well as poor sperm motility.
The cellular membrane of your sperm is quite rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. That’s because these polyunsaturated fatty acids are necessary for the fusion of the sperm and egg during fertilization.
In the presence of reactive oxygen species, the polyunsaturated fatty acids in your sperm’s cellular membrane may become damaged through lipid peroxidation. Studies have shown that the peroxidation of sperm samples is increased when aluminum is present.
2. Cadmium Chloride
Cadmium chloride has long been recognized as a carcinogenic substance that also causes an increased production of reactive oxygen species. When you’re exposed to cadmium chloride, it can lead to reductions in your sperm concentration and motility. It can also lead to increased percentages of sperm with abnormal morphology.
In fact, studies show that even doses of cadmium that don’t affect sperm concentration can lead to a reduction in sperm motility. This means that the motility function of your spermatozoa is very sensitive to the toxic effects of cadmium.
Cadmium has also been shown to cause oxidative damage to the DNA material of sperm. Sperm with damaged genetic material has been tied to various fetal developmental disorders. In fact, damaged sperm DNA is one of the common causes of miscarriage.
Your testicular tissues are actually very sensitive to the toxic effects of cadmium. This helps explain why long-time heavy smokers often suffer from testicular atrophy. Cadmium contained in cigarettes can destroy your testicular cells and cause your testicles to shrink.
When cadmium enters your seminiferous tubules where your sperm cells are being produced, it can actually induce testicular necrosis. This means that your testicular cells start dying. And when the ones that are dying are the cells that produce and nourish your sperm, then your sperm count and motility will definitely decrease.
3. Lead Chloride
Exposure to lead chloride can result in various infertility-related problems such as asthenospermia, teratospermia, and even hypospermia. When you have asthenospermia, it means that your sperm motility is below normal, and complete asthenospermia means all the spermatozoa in your ejaculate are not motile.
Teratospermia, on the one hand, means that the presence of sperm having abnormal morphology in your semen is significantly high. This also contributes to infertility because those abnormally shaped spermatozoa reduce your chances of fertilization. Men exposed to lead usually have high numbers of short sperm or sperm with wide or round heads.
Hypospermia is another condition that can reduce your fertility. It means that your ejaculate volume or your semen volume is very low. Men with hypospermia typically have semen volume that’s less than 1.5 milliliters.
Lead chloride does not only result in sperm quality reduction. Lead is also toxic for your testicular tissues, and the presence of lead in your testicles can result in an impaired testicular function. For instance, lead can cause a complete halt in your sperm production because the toxic metal can make your seminiferous tubules degenerate.
Lead chloride can also disrupt the balance of your reproductive hormones. For instance, lead can negatively affect your hypothalamus-pituitary-testicular axis, resulting in abnormal levels of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, luteinizing hormone, and testosterone.
Lead can suppress the secretion of testosterone in your body, inhibit your production of testosterone by your Leydig cells, and affect how luteinizing hormone regulates your testosterone production. Your Leydig cells may also degenerate when lead accumulates in your testicles.
Other Metals That Have Adverse Effects on Male Fertility
There are many other metallic compounds that can adversely affect your fertility. For instance, exposure to arsenic trioxide can lead to alterations in the structure of your seminiferous tubules and reductions in your sperm count, motility, and viability.
Gallium arsenide can also reduce your sperm count while increasing the number of abnormally shaped sperm in your semen. Potassium dichromate can induce severe damage in your testes, reduce your sperm count, and affect your sperm forward motility.
Supplements That Can Help Protect Your Fertility Against Toxic Metals
For men who are exposed to toxic metals, supplementation with antioxidants can help reduce the damage to the reproductive system caused by these heavy metals. Flavonoids, for example, have been shown to help ameliorate the damage caused by aluminum chloride, cadmium chloride, and lead chloride.
If you want to increase your body’s defense against toxic metals, you can take an all-natural male sex enhancement supplement that contains Tribulus terrestris. Research indicates that Tribulus terrestris exhibits protective effects against the adverse effects of aluminum chloride on male fertility.
It also contains several other herbs that also have pro-fertility effects such as maca and Tongkat Ali. Aside from enhancing your fertility, it can also enhance your sexuality by improving your erectile function, increasing your libido, and boosting your sexual stamina.