Why poor circulation can impact fertility for men

Research highlighted by Men’s Health Forum revealed that one in six couples have fertility problems, affecting 1 in 20 men.1

One of the big reasons impacting men’s fertility and sexual health is poor circulation. Your circulatory system pumps oxygenated blood from your heart to areas around the body via the arteries and returns to the lungs via your veins to repeat the process.

If you have poor circulation, it can reduce the blood flow to a man’s penis and ultimately cause erectile dysfunction, meaning it’s very challenging to maintain an erection during sexual intercourse. Poor circulation can also impact the motility (or movement) of sperm, therefore impacting the fertility of a man.

What factors lead to poor circulation and impact fertility?

There are a number of reasons why a man can have bad circulation, including:

  • blood clots – these partially or completely block the flow of the blood, sometimes caused by a poor diet or smoking
  • varicose veins – these are enlarged veins caused by valve failure and are often found on the back of the legs
  • diabetes – this not only affects your blood sugar, but circulation too. Diabetes can be hereditary or caused by consuming too much/or not enough sugar
  • obesity – having large thighs and legs puts a lot of pressure on the testicles, altering the optimum heat needed to function properly. This can lead to a poor sperm count

But it’s not all doom and gloom, as there are some simple ways to help give your circulation system a good old kick up the backside.

Handpicked content: 10 easy ways to boost your circulation

How to boost your circulation

By making a few easy-peasy healthy lifestyle and dietary changes, you can potentially improve your blood circulation and reduce any risks of infertility.

The first way to help your blood circulation is to do more regular exercise. According to the NHS, every week you should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity like cycling, running and walking, alongside strength exercises like weight lifting, yoga or heavy gardening at least twice.2

Adding certain foods to your diet can help combat poor blood circulation too.

You should consider consuming more buckwheat as well. It’s rich in rutin which helps strengthen blood vessels and prevent clots.4 According to Julia Lawless, another way of combating poor circulation is by using ginger essential oil in blends and formulations to get the blood moving in the right direction.5

Adding a pinch of cayenne pepper in tomato juice can also stimulate your circulation too.

Handpicked content: How to tackle poor circulation

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  1. https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/10-things-every-man-can-do-improve-fertility
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/physical-activity-guidelines-older-adults/#muscle
  3. The Health Site – http://www.thehealthsite.com/pregnancy/7-inexpensive-food-items-to-boost-your-fertility/
  4. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-christianson/buckwheat_b_7754674.html  / Sharma S, Ali A, Ali J, Sahni JK, Baboota S. Rutin: therapeutic potential and recent advances in drug delivery. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2013 Aug;22(8):1063-79. doi: 10.1517/13543784.2013.805744. Epub 2013 Jun 25.
  5. Aroma Web – https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/ginger-oil.asp / Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 60-64.

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Men's Health