Written by Ed Feil The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the B.1.1.529 lineage of...
The more you keep yourself engaged in physical activity, the chances are that you would be able to...
Image: John Rintoul, styling: Arrnott Olssen. When it comes to buying a new pair of men's swim...
Test cricket captain Tim Paine readily admits to being one of the luckiest athletes in Australian...
How to Increase Your Sperm Count, According to Experts
By Mens Health Staff | May 1, 2021
For couples trying to start a family, male infertility is an all too common roadblock. In fact, about one-third of couples who have trouble conceiving can directly attribute their struggle to male infertility. And according to public health experts, this issue is only getting worse.
In 2017, an alarming paper published in the journal Human Reproduction Update concluded that over the past 40 years, men’s sperm counts have dropped more than 50 percent in Western countries. Study co-author Dr. Hagai Levine said that if this trend continues, it could lead to “extinction of the human species.” And while scientists not associated with the study have expressed skepticism towards Levine’s comments, the problem still stands: sperm counts are dropping, and fast.
While the reasons behind the decline are difficult to pinpoint, scientists believe our sedentary lifestyles, obesity problem, and happy hour culture could be contributing to the problem.
What makes sperm healthy?
While you may think that sperm count is the most reliable indicator of male fertility, it’s not the only factor at play. Here’s what else makes your sperm strong and healthy:
- Quantity, or how much sperm is present in semen. Guys who have less than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen are considered to have low sperm count.
- Motility, or how well your sperm can move to implant an egg.
- Morphology, or the shape and size of your sperm. Normal-sized sperm have oval heads and long tails, while abnormalities can include misshapen heads and crooked or even multiple tails.
Here are 6 science-backed ways to boost your overall sperm health and get those little swimmers moving fast.
1) Eat the right foods.
Here’s another reason to eat your fruits and veggies: guys who eat produce that is rich in antioxidants have higher concentrations of sperm.
“One of the factors that affect sperm quality is something we call oxidative stress,” urologist Dr. Ali Dabaja tells . Oxidative stress occurs when there are too many unstable atoms called free radicals in our body. Antioxidants help counteract these harmful substances.
Dabaja recommends eating several servings of antioxidant-rich foods, like berries, a day. Try adding blueberries to your breakfast, as they offer about 9019 total antioxidants per cup. Other good sources of antioxidants include prunes, blackberries, and grapes.
also advises getting plenty of vitamin E. Studies have shown that vitamins C and E can also improve sperm shape. The recommended adult dose of vitamin E is 15 milligrams per day. Including one-fourth of a cup of sunflower seeds and a cup of spinach into your day will help you get this amount of the good stuff.
2) Limit your alcohol intake.
You may want to rethink having drinks at happy hour and at dinner. “Alcohol can be toxic to sperm in itself,” Dabaja says.
How much is too much? More than 10-15 drinks a week, according to Dabaja. For guys trying to boost their sperm count, “it’s recommend not to have more than three to five drinks a week,” he says.
3) Maintain a healthy weight.
A study published last year found that overweight or obese guys had lower sperm count and decreased motility compared to men with lower BMIs.
“If you have a lot of body fat, you’re going to have a lot of oxidative stress to the body,” Dabaja stresses.
He advises patients to exercise regularly in order to stay slim.
4) Avoid hot tubs.
Dabaja warns that the high temperatures found in hot tubs could increase the temperature of your testicles, which could reduce how much sperm is produced. A study from 2013 also found that using a hot tub twice a week reduced sperm count and motility.
5) Avoid tight underwear.
This might seem obvious, but wearing tight underwear and pants could lead to your testicles becoming overheated, which could wreak havoc on your sperm count.
“If you’re wearing support that’s hugging your gonads very close to your body, that might lead to an increase in testicular temperature,” Dabaja explains.
Loose boxers or moisture-wicking, boxer briefs are good options.
6) Try acupuncture.
Acupuncture doesn’t have a direct impact on sperm quality, but it has been shown to reduce stress — which, in turn, could help with sperm count. In 2014, researchers found that men who reported high stress levels had less sperm with reduced motility than men who reported lower stress levels. “A healthier body = healthier sperm,” says Dabaja.
Brought to you by While separating from your partner is one of life's most difficult decisions, it doesn't need to be that complicated, drawn-out, or costly if you're both on the same page. The smart and simple DIY online tool, 'amica' can empower your post-split...
If winter is synonymous with heavy casseroles and warm stews, summer is associated with light meals and salads. But where salads have got a bad wrap over the years with plates adorned with nothing but lettuce leaves, devoid of all flavour but the aroma of a citrus...
New South Wales and Victoria are set to introduce a suite of reforms to sexual offences legislation which set a new standard for sexual consent. Both states will implement an affirmative model of consent. Affirmative consent is based on the idea that someone who is...
If you’re looking for a useful present that a guy probably won’t buy himself, the answer is a stellar grooming gift. We’re talking top-notch electric razors to replace the dull blades in his Dopp kit, the best skincare kits for men to upgrade from soap-and-water, and...
Recommended to you
At a time where Netflix seems to churn through TV seasons with the kind of speed you’d expect of a...
Benedict Cumberbatch has played all manner of iconic roles, but in his most recent film The Power...
Politix When Lady Gaga ascended the stage of the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards draped in various...
In recent years, the push to see immediate climate action adopted by governments and businesses...
With No Time to Die marking Daniel Craig’s final outing as the iconic 007 agent, James Bond,...