Sperm count or total sperm count refers to the average total number of sperm present in one sample of semen. Sperm count is one of the several qualities that are assessed during routine semen analysis and is considered an important factor for fertility.
Infertility is a growing problem worldwide. People tend to think that if a woman is not getting pregnant the fertility issue must be with the woman, but that is not necessarily always the case. There is an equal chance that male factor infertility can be the cause of a couple’s difficulty in achieving pregnancy. While women have many tests to try to find out the cause of infertility, men have only a couple, the sperm analysis being the easiest.
Normal semen contains 40 million to 300 million sperm per milliliter. A low sperm count is considered to be anything between 10 and 20 million sperm per milliliter. Twenty million sperm per milliliter may be adequate for pregnancy if the sperm is healthy.
Here are some of the ways to boost sperm count and increase fertility in men.
- Exercise regularly
Exercising raises your testosterone levels and helps to stay fit. Weightlifting and outdoors exercise can help sperm health more than other types of exercise. Moreover, several studies have shown that weight loss and exercise in obese and overweight individuals can lead to improved or increased sperm counts.
- Stop smoking
A study of 2016 reviewing the results of over 20 different studies with a total of nearly 6,000 participants found smoking consistently reduced sperm count.
- Improve your diet
Getting plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can help boost fertility. Also avoid tobacco, refined carbohydrates, coffee, tea, alcohol, and foods with artificial additives. Food deprivation in men leads to a loss of sex drive and structural changes to reproductive tissue leading to infertility.
- Reduce stress
Stress may reduce your sexual satisfaction and impair your fertility. Any form of stress can cause the body to take defensive actions and conserve energy. For men who are experiencing severe stress, a doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications. Stress may interfere with certain hormones needed to produce sperm which can also decrease sexual function.
- Ejaculate less frequently
Frequent ejaculations can lower sperm count. Your body produces millions of sperm each day, but if you already have a low sperm count, consider storing them up longer between ejaculations. If you have sex or masturbate daily, cut down on the frequency of increased sperm production.
- Avoid excessive alcohol use and drugs
The number of studies exploring the link between sperm health and drugs is limited given ethical considerations. However, some researchers have linked the worldwide use of drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine to decreased sperm production.
Heavy drinking can reduce the quality and quantity of sperm.
- Get enough vitamins
Some types of vitamins, including vitamins D, C, E, and CoQ10, are important for sperm health.
One study showed that taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C every day can help men’s sperm concentration and mobility. The overall sperm count won’t improve, but the sperm can become more concentrated and able to move more efficiently. That can boost your chances of conceiving successfully.