According to recent research published in Fertility and Sterility, being on a proton pump inhibitor in the 6-12 months prior to trying to conceive lowers a man's total motile sperm count. What does this mean? Somehow the drugs pantoprazole (Protonix), omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), and other PPIs decrease how many effective swimmers are present in your semen.
Did you think that drug was harmless because many of them are available without a prescription? You wouldn't be alone, but unfortunately there are many unintended side effects of these drugs, including B12 deficiency, magnesium deficiency, decreased bone mineral density, and gastrointestinal infections, constipation, and diarrhea.
Now I'm not suggesting you go without treatment for your nagging acid reflux, but there is so much we can do that doesn't involve these side effects.
Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Try an elimination diet. Often acid reflux is caused by food sensitivities.
- Chew on some DGL, or Deglycyrrhizinated licorice. Glycyrrhizin is the component of Licorice that causes some practitioners and consumers concern about blood pressure. This is most often not a concern to begin with, but more on that later.
- Remove caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol from your diet. They loosen the lower esophageal sphincter, which then allows contents from your stomach to come back up into your esophagus.
Before going off of your medication, speak directly with a medical provider for guidance. None of the above should be taken as a substitute for personalized medical advice.
Dr. Jen Riegle is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) who practices in Santa Rosa, CA. Dr. Jen specializes in women's health, infertility, and oncofertility. If you live in the Bay Area and would like to make an appointment, you may schedule on our website or by calling (707)-243-8998.