24 Nov How Men Can Increase Their Sperm Count
Male infertility is directly related to the sperm count and the quality of sperm cells. Sperm count is the number or concentration of sperm cells in a given amount of semen. Factors that define the quality of sperm include sperm motility, which determines the ability of healthy sperm cells to swim. It is measured as the percentage of moving sperm cells in a sample of semen.
A healthy lifestyle and diet are important in ensuring male fertility through healthy sperm. Some foods and nutrients are associated with high fertility benefits.
The most commonly made recommendations for improving sperm count include:
- D-aspartic acid (D-AA) – is an amino acid and is mainly present in semen. D-AA levels are found to be significantly lower in infertile men than fertile men. But its efficacy is not fully established by research.
- Regular exercise – It improves your confidence and physical performance, and possibly raise your testosterone levels and semen quality. Obesity is associated with infertility. If you are infertile and obese, weight loss should be your top priority.
- Vitamin C – is an antioxidant and reduces oxidative stress that may contribute to infertility in men. There is also some evidence that vitamin C supplements may improve semen quality. It also significantly improves sperm count and motility, while reducing the numbers of deformed sperm cells. More research needs to do to be done to establish this.
- Vitamin D – is postulated to improve testosterone levels and sperm motility. Again, the research thus far has not been fully convincing.
- Zinc – is an essential mineral found in high amounts in animal foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, and shellfish. Taking zinc supplements increases testosterone levels and sperm count. However, controlled trials need to be done to establish this.
- Limit alcohol intake – Heavy alcohol consumption may reduce testosterone levels and impair semen quality.
- Drugs – Marijuana and cocaine have also been found to decrease sperm production.
- Stop smoking – Over 20 different studies with a total of nearly 6,000 participants have shown smoking consistently reduces sperm count.
- Folate – Low intake of folate may impair semen quality.
- Adequate sleep – Restricted or excessive sleep has also been linked to poor semen quality.
- Walnuts – have antioxidant properties and seem to benefit fertility.
- Avoid eating too much soy – It is rich in isoflavones, which can lower semen quality.
- Prescription medication – Some prescription medications can potentially decrease sperm production. These include some antibiotics, anti-androgens, anti-inflammatory agents, antipsychotics, corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, exogenous testosterone, methadone, etc.
Other supplements, such as Tribulus Terrestris (puncturevine), Fenugreek, Maca root and Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) are medicinal herbs that have been used to enhance male fertility by either increasing testosterone levels or by mimicking it but they do not have a direct effect on sperm quality or quantity.
The general idea is to improve overall health – eat healthy, control weight, exercise, limit alcohol intake, etc. While some dietary supplements may be beneficial, their efficacy is not fully established.