Given that nearly 40-50% of all fertility challenges that couples face are a result of male fertility, it is essential to maximize sperm count. In general, sperm count is not correlated with the amount of semen that is ejaculated. Thus, it is impossible for a male to know if he has low sperm count without getting professionally tested. It is also worth noting that sperm count generally decreases with age. Men over the age of 35 often see a decline in the number and quality of their sperm. Following some of these steps below should help men of any age increase their sperm count.
The sperm's journey
The journey of a sperm is a long one, so having many strong, fast sperm greatly increases your chances of pregnancy. On average, each ejaculation contains 200-300 million sperm. However, many sperm die or get lost as they battle their way through the cervix, into the uterus, up into the fallopian tubes. As a result, only 500 sperm actually make it to the egg to penetrate it. That is a .00166% chance of sperm survival! Given those statistics, you can see how having as many viable sperm as possible is very important.
Ways to increase and improve sperm
Do NOT overheat the sperm
Given that the scrotum house the precious supply of the body's sperm, it is important to keep them at the right temperature. Sperm tend to die off when over-heated. As a result, it is important not to overheat the testicles. Here are some activities that you should avoid if you want to increase your sperm count.
- Minimize or eliminate hot tubs. Hot tubs and extremely hot baths can significantly reduce sperm count. Spending more than 30 minutes in a hot tub of 102 degrees Farenheit can reduce sperm count. Saunas and steam rooms can also have the same effect. In moderation, these activities are probably ok; however, those working with sperm count or motility issues should avoid them all together. However, if you are actively trying to conceive, why not just hold off on the hot tub until you have succeeded with pregnancy?
- No tight clothing. Tight underwear, leather pants and jeans, can have the same effect as heating the testicles. Spending many hours in tight clothing can reduce sperm count. Try wearing boxer or loser fitting pants.
- Minimize bike riding. If you ride your bike to work, you may want to walk or drive some of the time. Studies show that the pressure of bike seats on the testicles (especially for longer bike rides) can decrease sperm count. Those who are professional or long distance bikers may need to significantly cut back on biking.
- Do not put your laptop computer on your lap. It is comfortable and easy to work on your computer with it sitting in your lap (while watching TV, etc.) Do not do this, laptops get very warm and significantly heat up the testicles, reducing sperm count.
In general, increasing sperm count might require a lifestyle switch. While many of the changes may feel like a big sacrifice, the rewards (of a baby) are huge. Also remember, the lifestyle changes may just make you feel better and happier all the way around. If they don't, then you can pick them back up a soon as you have succeeded with pregnancy.
- Cut back or eliminate smoking. Men that smoke a lot have lower sperm counts than those who do not smoke at all. If you are a smoker, try quitting for a few months. You should notice an increase in sperm count.
- Cut back on alcohol. While not all studies prove that alcohol is bad for sperm, some do. In fact, excessive drinkiing can significantly lower sperm count. Moderate drinking seems to be ok. While it is true that many babies are conceived while both partners are significantly under the influence, if you are having trouble with sperm count, play it safe. Even consider tee-tolling it the nights or days you plan to "shoot for gold".
- Eliminate drugs. Marijuana and cocaine have been proven to lower sperm count. Excessive marijuana use significantly suppresses sperm production and even just the slightest bit of cocaine use can hurt the sperm count. If you are actively trying to get pregnant, try cutting these (and other illicit drugs) out of your lifestyle all together.
- Reduce stress levels. Too much stress can limit the body's optimal function in many regards. Sperm counts can be sensitive to elevated levels of stress in the body. If necessary, make the relevant lifestyle changes to reduce stress levels and enable more productive relaxtion and sleep.
- Get exercise. The body responds well to healthy amounts of exercise and it may even help to increase your sperm count. On the other hand, too much strenuous exercise can reduce sperm count. If you are unsure what this means, check with your doctor.
- Avoid steroid-use. Anabolic streoids are associated with decreased production of sperm.
Healthy diet and nutrients
As with nearly all forms of maintaining optimal health, eating well is important. Here are some basic guidelines through maximizing your health through supplements and various foods.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Eat as many whole grains as possible. Avoid saturated and transfats. Try eliminating super fatty animal products.
- Eat lots of healthful fruits and vegetables.
- Eat lots of nuts, seeds and legumes. Raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds are correlated with higher sperm count rates.
- Eat organic when possible. It is likely that fertilizers and pesticides have a negative impact on sperm counts.
- Avoid too much caffeine.
- Drink lots of water, up to 50-64 ounces a day.
- Take a Men's Multivitamin. Zinc, selenium and vitamins C and E are associcated with healthy sperm levels. Taking a multi-vitamin or specific supplement with these in it, can make a difference.
Save your ejaculations
- Ejaculate less often. As suspected, the less a male ejaculates, the higher the density of sperm. While sperm count tends to regenerate every day to few days, if you are having trouble with fertility, try holding off on ejaculating until you are having sex at the peak times of the month. This can have its payoffs as it is likely to make conception sex that much more exciting and memorable. And when you are actively trying, try to have sex every other day rather than every day (even around the time of ovulation.)
- Have sex in the morning. Studies suggest that sperm count is the highest in the afternoon and morning hours. If possible, save your peak sex attempts for the morning.
- This page was originally created by Pregger at 09:32 on June 19, 2013.
- This page was last modified by An Anonymous User at 00:59 on January 26, 2008.
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