For some, trying to conceive a baby is not easy. Many couples get pregnant within a year of trying to conceive.
But as the months of negative pregnancy tests go by, you may start to think you have a reproductive issue.
It’s commonly believed that many of the issues with trying to conceive are the result of the woman.
However, that’s a common misconception.
Not only does a woman need to be in top reproductive health, but so does a man.
Sperm health is just as important for trying to conceive as the health of a woman’s eggs.
To be in top baby making condition, a man’s sperm health needs to be improved by taking small measures to ensure healthy sperm production.
To boost sperm count and quality, let’s look at 15 ways to improve sperm count.
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In order to get pregnant, a man needs to produce a certain amount of sperm per ejaculation.
Let’s look at the numbers considered to be in normal range…
- 20 Million= The amount of sperm per ml of ejaculation
- 2 Ml= The amount of semen produced each ejaculation
- 75%= The percentage of sperm considered viable or alive per ejaculation
- 30%= The percentage of live sperm (within the 75%) with normal shape and size
- 25%= The percentage of sperm moving forward (out of the 30% of normal shape and size).
These numbers might seem a bit confusing at first glance. But let me throw a viable statistic at you.
-Of the couples trying to conceive, 40% of infertility causes are caused by male factor infertility.
For many men, the thought of low sperm count comes with guilt and embarrassment.
It’s been a long-held belief that the inability to get a woman pregnant means that he’s less of a man.
That belief is simply cruel and absolutely ridiculous.
My husband and I cannot get pregnant without donor sperm and insemination.
Just because he has male factor infertility, DOES NOT make him less than a man!
In fact, in my eyes he’s more of a man because he’s able to look past his infertility and help our family grow in any way possible. Even if that’s with donor sperm.
How Do You Know If You Need To Try One Or More Ways To Improve Sperm Count?
Go get a semen analysis!
Again, for many men, getting a semen analysis comes with some embarrassment. It can be uncomfortable to go to a clinic and ejaculate in a cup.
But, let me tell you… It’s better to know for sure if your sperm count, morphology, volume and more are low.
Sometimes it’s better to know the truth, even if the truth hurts.
If you or your husband/partner feels uncomfortable with going to a clinic for a semen analysis, there is a SpermCheck Fertility At-Home Test Kit.
This test can tell you a normal or low sperm count result within 10 minutes.
While this is great for sperm count results, it only tests for sperm count.
It doesn’t test for normal volume, morphology and motility of sperm.
It is possible to have a normal sperm count, but still have low motility and shape of sperm which will cause infertility in men.
If a semen analysis comes back with low numbers don’t be upset!
There’s plenty of ways to improve sperm count naturally!
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What Is A Sperm Analysis? Looking Beyond The Numbers
Ways To Improve Sperm Count
1. Don’t Overheat
This is pretty common knowledge, but it’s worth mentioning. Don’t overheat the testes.
When the testes are overheated at 104 F or more, sperm DNA structure begins to change.
Another words, when sperm is exposed to excess heat it suffers a decrease in viability and motility.
It’s just not worth hot tubing or sweating in a sauna while trying to conceive!
2. Butt Out!
Or stop smoking! Smoking tobacco is bad for our health, but many people are unaware of tobacco’s negative effects on sperm health.
In a 2016 study, 20 research studies were reviewed with over 6,000 participants total.
The results… Smoking tobacco is directly linked to a decrease in sperm count and motility.
Smoking tobacco also decreases oxygen supply to the body.
With a decrease of oxygen comes a lack of nutrients traveling to the testicles.
If sperm count and motility is already low, smoking will not help!
So put that butt out and start following the rest of the ways to improve sperm count below!
3. Skip The Alcohol
While alcohol doesn’t have to be avoided completely, it does need to be limited.
Studies show alcohol reduces sperm production and causes sperm abnormalities.
On top of all this, some men are unable to perform sexually after a few drinks.
That’s not good when you’re depending on timed sex to get pregnant.
Some research studies also found links between alcohol consumption and an increase in hormone changes and inflammation.
This could be due to the fact that alcohol is made from wheat, rice, hops and more that are high phytoestrogens (plant-based estrogen).
Phytoestrogens, also known as plant estrogen is known for lowering the hormone testosterone.
Testosterone is a vital hormone for sperm production.
4. Reduce Caffeine Consumption
This is yet one of the no-brainer ways to improve sperm count! Plus, it’s one of the easiest!
Remember, caffeine is not just found in a Starbucks coffee.
Sodas, tea, energy drinks and chocolate also contain caffeine. Some sodas and energy drinks have even more caffeine than a cup of coffee.
So instead of drinking a triple shot caramel macchiato and a Mountain Dew. Try decaf soda or decaf coffee instead!
So what does caffeine have to do with sperm health?
Too much caffeine lowers sperm count and concentration!
To improve sperm count, try to stay under 300 milligrams of caffeine a day.
5. Ditch The Lubricants
When trying to conceive, lubrication during sex is vital. It helps those little swimmers travel.
But most lubricants actually cause sperm to slow down!
Just because most lubricants are not fertility friendly doesn’t mean you have to nix the extra lubrication.
Preseed is a lubricant that’s fertility friendly.
This lubricant actually makes cervical mucus more hospitable for sperm making sperm to swim better!
6. Add Healthy Fats
Omega-3 and omega-6 are healthy fatty acids that contribute to sperm production.
High fatty acids are essential for providing the cell membrane of sperm.
Studies suggest to consume an equal amount of omega-3 and omega-6.
To do this try adding more foods with equal amounts of both fatty acids.
Foods with equal amounts of omega-3 and omega-6:
- Snow crab
- Flax seeds
- Kidney beans
Of course, sperm development can still be improved with a quality omega-3 and 6 supplement.
7. Increase Antioxidants
Along with equal amounts of omega-3 and omega-6, antioxidants need to be added as well.
Adding omega fatty acids will in turn provide antioxidant benefits.
For sperm health, antioxidants help remove free radicals that damage cells.
Studies found an increase in antioxidants is one of the best ways to improve sperm count.
The following antioxidants help promote healthy sperm:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Coenzyme Q10
8. Ditch The Plastics
Plastics are everywhere we look. Not only are plastics bad for the environment, they’re also bad for reproductive health.
To make healthy and viable sperm, a certain amount of testosterone needs to be produced in the body.
When there’s not enough testosterone, sperm count decreases.
Plastics have a oestrogenic effect on reproductive organs.
The oestrogenic effect reduces the body’s ability to produce adequate amounts of testosterone leading to hormonal imbalances.
To increase sperm count, try to ditch plastics as much as possible.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by not buying plastic water or soda bottles.
Instead, use a stainless steel bottle or a glass bottle to significantly cut back on plastics for sperm health.
9. Avoid Toxins
Just like plastics, toxins are everywhere. Toxins come in the form of chemicals that are found all round the house.
From cleaning supplies to paint, chemicals are used every day.
But the problem with chemicals and/or toxins is that they damage sperm to the point of causing infertility.
So what’s the best way to avoid or eliminate exposure to toxins?
Start at the house. Look around your house and find anything with chemicals.
Make a conscious decision to toss the chemicals and replace them with more earth friendly, natural products!
Here’s some products at-home chemical products to replace:
- Laundry detergent- Replace with Earth friendly Ecos Free & Clear
- Multi-surface cleaner- Replace with Better Life All-Purpose Cleaner
- Dishwasher detergent-Replace with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap
These are just three common replacements for chemicals used every day to get you started with eliminating toxins.
10. Check Your Prescriptions
Believe it or not, a prescribed medication taken for one problem can actually cause another problem…
A decline is sperm production and health.
Here’s a quick list of medications that decrease sperm health:
- Anabolic steroids or testosterone therapy– After the discontinuation of testosterone, it may take up to a year or longer to regain a normal sperm count.
- Certain antibiotics
- anti-depressants– Specifically SSRI’s (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors)
- Blood Pressure Medication
To know for sure whether a prescription medication is affecting sperm health, discuss the medication with a doctor.
A doctor may be able to change a prescribed medication to something more fertility friendly!
Related Articles: The Real Cost Of Fertility Treatment
11. Catch More Zzzz’s
Is there nothing sleep can’t do to improve the body? Just by adding more restful nights, sperm health can increase overtime.
A study in China found that men who slept between 7 to 7.5 hours per night were able to increase sperm production.
However, men that got less than 6 or more than 9 hours a night experienced a decrease in sperm production.
Apparently getting more sleep is essential, but too much may have the opposite effect of lowering sperm production.
12. Reduce Stress
While it’s easy to tell you to reduce stress, I know reducing stress in life is not always possible. Life in general is stressful!
However, when the body is stressed it’s simply focused on surviving day-to-day.
Not on resupplying sperm for reproduction.
In order to reduce stress, you need to find the causes of the stress in your life.
Then, find healthy alternatives to manage this stress.
A simple way to reduce stress is through better quality sleep per night. Another way is through diet changes and exercise.
13. Exercise More
Not only will physical exercise reduce stress, but for men exercise increases testosterone levels.
So just how important is testosterone for sperm health?
Testosterone is responsible for triggering the body to start the process of meisosis.
Meisosis is how sperm is given DNA chromosomes.
Without testosterone sperm will not develop because they are missing crucial chromosomes.
This could also lead to abnormalities.
In a 2017 study, a group of men participated in a 16 week program consisting of 50 minutes of moderate exercise.
Along with 50 minutes of exercise, the participants reached 50 to 65% of their peak heart rate three times a week.
After the study, the men experienced an increase in sperm volume and concentration compared to 45 obese men with a sedentary lifestyle.
Start increasing sperm health today by lifting weights and participating in a moderate exercise program.
14. Stay Away From Soy Products
We tend to think of soy products as a healthy alternative to fatty meats.
But when it comes to having healthy sperm, soy products are actually a hinderance.
Soy products contain phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogen.
With too much synthetic estrogen flooding the body, testosterone is reduced causing lower sperm production.
15. Beware Of Environmental Toxins
Environmental toxins are found in a variety of job professions.
But increased environmental pollution can cause toxins to be released in the air.
Just like reducing your exposure to at-home toxins and chemicals, exposure to environmental toxins also needs to be reduced whenever possible.
The best way to reduce exposure to chemical toxins is to take proper precautions.
Limit contact with pesticides, paints, heavy metals and building materials if possible.
If environmental toxins cannot be avoided, make sure to wear a respiratory mask to avoid inhalation of toxins.
When you’re trying to conceive it can be overwhelming. Many people think that the fault of infertility is with women.
However, it takes two to make a baby!
Sperm health is just as important as the female reproductive system.
Without healthy sperm count, shape and motility, a woman can’t get pregnant within a reasonable amount of time.
If you or your husband/partner is worried about low sperm health, always go and get a semen analysis.
Trust me, it’s better to know for sure about sperm issues while trying to conceive…
That way you or your husband/partner can work on increasing overall sperm health with the above 15 lifestyle changes.
While some of the changes above are easy to implement to boost sperm count, other’s are harder.
It all comes down to will power!
But how long exactly do all these 15 methods above take improve sperm count?
Results should show up in a semen analysis by 72 days.
Yes… 72 days seems like a long time to see positive results or not.
But that’s how long it takes for new sperm to grow to maturity.
Just give these 15 proven methods to increase sperm health a try to see the results for yourself!
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