Infertility affects about one in every 6 couples trying to achieve a pregnancy. It is estimated that one if every 3 cases is due to fertility problems in the male partner. Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, a healthy sperm count is around 15 million sperm per milliliter or at least 39 million per ejaculate. Doctors believe testosterone levels have the most significant impact on sperm number and quality. However, certain inherited medical conditions, infections and tumors can also impact sperm count. Research shows that sperm counts have dropped at least 53% between 1972 and 2011. Scientists have not been able to identify the causes of this decline, although some Scandinavian research suggested that consuming food or drink stored in plastics may be a factor. Sperm count is important because if you do not have enough sperm, there is less of a chance that the sperm will reach the egg for fertilization.
The good news is that since men produce millions of new sperm every day, even a slight alteration in lifestyle can improve sperm count and quality. Sperm take about 74 days to mature, which means that changes in lifestyle can see improvements in about 3 months.
Sperm Motility: this is essentially the ability of the sperm to swim. Sperm motility is measured as the percentage of moving sperm cells in a sample of semen. 50% motility is considered good.
Sperm Count: the total number and concentration of sperm cells in a given amount of semen.
Sperm Morphology: this is the shape of the sperm. Some sperm have large heads or abnormal tails or no tails. The more normally shaped sperm you have, the easier it will be for the sperm to reach the egg.
10 Ways to Boost Sperm Count
- Exercise – men who exercise regularly tend to have higher testosterone levels than those who are inactive. However, too much exercise can reduce testosterone levels and these men should consider zinc supplements.
- Vitamin C – there is some evidence that Vitamin C may improve semen quality. 1,000miligrams of Vitamin C supplements taken twice a day for two weeks has been shown in one study to increase sperm count and reduce the percentage of deformed sperm cells.
- Vitamin D – low vitamin D levels is often correlated to lower testosterone levels.
- Zinc – low zinc levels are frequently associated with low testosterone levels, poor sperm quality, and increased male infertility.
- Reduce Stress – prolonged stress can raise cortisol levels and result in lower testosterone levels. Taking a walk-in nature, exercising, or spending time with friends can reduce stress levels.
- Limit your alcohol intake – high alcohol consumption reduces testosterone levels and impairs sperm quality. Five drinks a day is considered a high level. So, in this case, less is more!
- Get adequate sleep: good sleep is vital to maintain your health.
- Stop smoking tobacco and marijuana products – in several studies, smoking was found to consistently reduce sperm count.
- Certain medications have been linked to lower sperm counts. However, often the sperm count returns to normal once the medication is discontinued.
- Too much heat – saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs are all sperm killers! There is a reason why they are located outside of the body – it is to keep them cool! High temperatures from any source should be avoided, as should tight jeans or briefs. Normal sperm quality and quantity will return 3 months after the event. Avoid resting your laptop on your lap and instead use a laptop board or cooling pad.
Sperm Super Foods
Healthy eating habits and regular exercise are easy to implement and yield quick results. Here are some foods that are considered sperm superfoods:
|Oysters + pumpkin seeds||High in zinc. Red meat is also high in zinc but be sure not to eat processed meats.
|Oranges, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts
|Contain Vitamin C & nutrients|
|Spinach, romaine lettuce, brussels sprouts, and asparagus
|Contain Vitamin B (folic acid)|
|Salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring
|All are high in Omega-3 fatty acids|
|Walnuts||Have a higher antioxidant activity than any other common nut and are rich in omega-3 fats & folic acid.
|Staying hydrated improves seminal fluid.|
|Maca roots||Herbal supplement thought to increase sperm count.|
Remarkable differences have been seen in men’s sperm morphology and count, who embrace changes such as minimizing alcohol intake, quitting smoking, eating healthy, and exercising.