Written by Lizanne van Waart
Director & Founder of Wijnland Fertility Clinic / ART Counselling
MA. (Psychology) University of Stellenbosch

Many conditions place male children/youth at risk for infertility.

Young men may not be aware of the conditions that occurred earlier in their childhood, and many conditions only become present in adolescence.                                       

Endocrinology

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Transgender
  • Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism
  • Growth hormone deficiency
  • Panhypopituitarism
  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Thyroid dysfunction

Chromosomal

  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Kallmann syndrome
  • Noonan syndrome
  • Fragile X
  • Absence of vas deferens
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Galactosemia
  • Down syndrome

We need to talk about this with men.

Prevent

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) & human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • Reproductive health cancers

Promote

  • Sexual health & development
  • Healthy relationships & behaviour
  • Reproductive life plan
  • Preconception care

Reduce

  • Sexual problems, infertility

Increase

  • Quality of life & lifespan

Optimising psychological resources for men

  • “Do men suffer from infertility less than women?”
  • “What is the psychological impact of male factor infertility on men (shooting blanks)?
  • Media reports on the sperm decline construct stereotypical masculinity and conflate male infertility with impotence.”
  • Lack of openness about infertility is a psychological risk factor for men.
  • Male factor infertility is significantly associated with depression (van Waart et al 2011; Babore et al 2017).
  • Reproductive Health System: failing men with diagnoses of infertility.
  • Men need proper diagnosis – clinical examination is critical.
  • Male diagnosis needs proper consultation with a reproductive specialist.
  • Men fear the effect of results being reported back in front of their partner/wife.
  • Please do not let embryologist or nurse give their results – seeing as “secondhand” information.
  • Talk “men” language and understand their feelings and thoughts.
  • Men also suffer from mental disorders like depression.
  • Men also suffer from sexual disorders because of male diagnosis.

Practical things we can do to optimize the emotional well-being of men.

“Research clearly supports that acts for kindness can help improve emotional wellbeing – this is true whether we are giving or receiving it.”

4 Chemicals That Activate Happiness and How to Gamify Them

How can you hack your hormones for a better mood? Keep in mind, hormones are chemicals produced by different glands throughout your body. These hormones travel through the bloodstream, acting as messengers and play a part in many bodily processes.

They also play an active role in regulating your mood, and certain hormones are known to help positive feelings, like happiness and pleasure.

The “Happy Hormones” include:

Dopamine, also known as the feel-good hormone, is a neurotransmitter. This is an important part of your brain’s reward system. Dopamine is strongly associated with pleasure, reward, and reinforcement sensations, along with learning, memory, and the motor system.

Dopamine is involved in many bodily functions, including blood flow, digestion, executive functioning, heart and kidney function, memory and focus, mood and emotions, motor control, pain processing, pancreatic function and insulin regulation, pleasure and reward-seeking behaviour, sleep, and stress response. This hormone is not acting alone, adrenaline also plays a part.

What can you do to release dopamine?

  • Nutrition: Your diet can influence your mental health – eat food, eat lots of protein.
  • Gratitude: Gratitude has been directly linked to increased happiness
  • Essential oils: A study found that bergamot, lavender, and lemon essential oils release dopamine Make time for self-care activities.
  • Goal achievement: When we achieve goals, our brain releases dopamine – short-term goals can add up to achieve a long-term goal and a bigger reward.
  • Novelty: The brain reacts to novel experiences by releasing dopamine – so seek out new experiences.
  • Supplements: green tea boosts dopamine.
  • Music: Increases pleasurable feelings and increases dopamine levels.
  • Sleep: A lack of sleep reduces the release of dopamine

Serotonin is the hormone that is responsible for your mood and feelings. Serotonin is the key hormone responsible for stabilising our mood, feelings, our well-being, and happiness. Serotonin helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion. If the brain has too little serotonin, it may lead to depression. When there is too much, it activates nerve cells and can lead to anxiety.

Serotonin is found in your stomach and intestines and helps to control your bowel movements and function. When your serotonin levels are normal, you should feel more emotionally stable, happier, and calmer.

What can we do to release serotonin?

  • Exercise: At least 30 minutes each day improves one’s overall mood.
  • Spend time in nature: Research found that spending as little as five minutes outdoors in a natural setting can improve mood, increase motivation, and boost self-esteem.
  • Vitamin D: Sun exposure is important in the production of serotonin.
  • Meditation: The practice of relaxed and focused contemplation. Practice mindfulness that is accompanied by breathing exercises. Live in the moment. This relieves stress and creates feelings of inner peace.
  • Omega–3: Fatty acids boost serotonin levels.
  • Running and walking in nature, swimming, and cycling are all great for the release of serotonin.

Oxytocin is better known as the love hormone, cuddle hormone or bonding hormone. Oxytocin is a hormone that acts on organs in the body (including the breasts and uterus) and as a chemical messenger to the brain. This hormone is the controlling key to the reproductive system, affecting childbirth, lactation, and other aspects of human behaviour. Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus.

Research shows us that there is a correlation between low oxytocin levels and autism and autistic spectrum disorders. This hormone is a key element in poor social functioning. During childbirth, it plays an important part in human bonding and bonding between parent and child. Hugging, kissing, cuddling, and sexual intimacy can all trigger oxytocin production. Oxytocin doesn’t change your behaviour, but it can boost feelings of love, contentment, security, and trust toward someone you already care for.

What can you do to naturally increase Oxytocin?

  • Yoga: Research from 2013 suggests yoga helps to increase oxytocin.
  • Listen to music or make your own: If you listen to music you enjoy, you might notice your mood improves, you focus better, and you are better motivated to do something. Music, like jazz, improves social behaviour, such as cooperation, trust, and communication. You also feel more energised and relaxed.
  • Get or give a massage: Oxytocin levels rise when you get or are giving a massage. People often report less pain, stress, and anxiety post message, and may also experience an improved mood and greater feelings of well-being.
  • Tell someone how much you care: Show love and affection. Share feelings with a loved one through a hug, a hand squeeze, or a kiss. Let someone know how much you appreciate them.
  • Spend time with friends: That’s oxytocin at work. The good feelings you experience around your friends can help you feel more positive about your interactions.
  • Cook (and eat) with someone you care about: Eating itself can produce pleasure.
  • Intercourse: This leads to a huge rise in oxytocin levels.
  • Do something nice for someone: Oxytocin can repair a damaged relationship, give you empathy, and help you become more trusting on its own.
  • Pet dogs.

Endorphins are chemical messengers in your body, released by both your central nervous system and your pituitary gland. Endorphin release generally happens when you are injured or experience stress.

When endorphins are released, they can help to relieve pain, reduce stress, and may cause a euphoric feeling.

What can you do to release Endorphins?

  • Get some exercise.
  • Give acupuncture a try.
  • Stop and smell the oil: Euphoric oils, rosemary, citrus fragrances, ylang-ylang, and frankincense.
  • Indulge in wine, dark chocolate, or both: If you don’t care for chocolate, you can also get a boost by enjoying a glass of red wine.
  • Laugh with friends.
  • Enjoy a drama.
  • Perform a random act of kindness: Doing something kind releases endorphins.
  • Take a hot bath: The heat of the water can not only help relieve tension and pain in muscles but can also trigger the release of endorphins into your bloodstream.

“How Being Happy Makes You Healthier”
Positive psychology cannot be fulfilled without the discussion of Happiness, the main concern in mental health.

Reference:

Happy Hormones: What They are and How to Boost Them. https://www.healthline.com, 2021/04/08, 13:28.