You might have come across many articles while surfing the internet on “what a woman should do before trying to conceive”. While it may seem fair for a woman to get all the attention when it comes to pregnancy, a man’s role in conceiving is often overlooked. But, aren’t healthy sperms equally important to lead to a healthy pregnancy? Well, you know the answer. Thus, like women, even men should be given advice or tips to improve sperm health when it comes to conceiving a child. 

At present, 9% of couples worldwide face fertility problems, out of which men contribute to 50% of the issues. From one’s lifestyle choices to certain genetic issues, medical conditions, and medicines - many factors can cause male infertility.1 In this article, we will learn 5 simple tips to improve sperm health that’ll help increase your chances of conception.

Before we discuss the tips in depth, how about we first learn the nitty-gritty details of sperm?

Basics Of Sperm Structure And Tips To Improve Sperm Health

Let’s quickly have a look at the different parameters often measured while analyzing the health of one’s sperm.

  • Sperm Quantity:

For sperm to fall under a healthy category, it needs to have about 16 million or more sperm every milliliter (ml) of semen.2 A sperm concentration lower than this might affect your chances of conceiving.

  • Sperm Movement: 

In order for a woman to conceive, the sperm needs to wriggle and swim. Hence, we need strong swimmers and at least 42% of the sperms need to have this quality.2

  • Sperm Structure:

The sperm structure is nothing but how perfect the sperm looks in its size and shape. Normally, sperm morphology should range between 4% to 39%.2 

Next, we’ll learn some factors that might contribute to male infertility…

Male Infertility Factors To Consider: Underestimated Or Ignored?

1. Unhealthy Diet: 

Excessive intake of saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, and low nutritional value food can cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance. These disorders are one of the main factors for decreased sperm quality and infertility which could be mainly due to the oxidative stress (imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants) generated in the body.3

2. Environmental And Lifestyle Factors: 

Lifestyle factors that may affect male fertility include smoking (which has an overall negative effect on sperm concentration and motility), excessive alcohol intake (impairs sperm motility and morphology), drugs (decrease in sperm count), and a sedentary lifestyle. Exposure to high temperatures, pesticides, or radiation are certain environmental factors that might also affect fertility.3,4

3. Cancer Or Cancer Treatments: 

Cancer surgeries, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy can have a negative impact on male fertility. Hence, for cancer patients, fertility preservation is consistently emphasized during their diagnosis and therapy.5 However, there are many options to choose from, one such being LifeCell’s SpermVault for sperm cryopreservation.

4. Genetic Factors:

Chromosomal abnormalities may also be detected in some men and could be one of the many causes of infertility.6 

We hope you’ve now understood all about sperm health and the factors affecting it.

Next, we move to the most awaited topic - 5 tips to improve sperm health

Here Are 5 Tips To Help Boost Your Sperm Health

1. Balanced Diet

Most of the components required for sperm development and functioning are derived from food. Therefore, consuming a balanced diet is one of the most important tips to improve sperm health. An inadequate diet is observed to affect sperm quality and male fertility.3 

The diet beneficial for male fertility should include vegetables and fruits, whole grains, seafood, nuts and seeds. Now, let’s see how each food group can help boost your sperm health.

Vegetables And Fruits:

Vegetables and fruits are rich sources of antioxidants, folic acid, fibre, and minerals which are beneficial to improve the semen quality and fertility.3

Seafood:

Seafood is an excellent source of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs), and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) - both of which are observed to have a great impact on sperm health. Thus, including fish in the diet can help improve semen quality.3

Nuts And Seeds: 

Add some nuts and unsalted seeds to your diet as they can improve sperm quality.3

Whole Grains: 

Include whole grains rich in fiber, zinc, and magnesium as they all are beneficial for fertility. Also, make sure to limit the consumption of refined flour products.3

2. Get Moving

Overweight men were found to have a lower sperm count, concentration, and motility.7 A study also showed that physically active men had better semen parameters like sperm volume, viability, motility, and morphology.8

3. Say Bye-Bye To Stress

Psychological stress is shown to disturb the semen quality by changing its concentration and appearance.9 So make sure you relax and find ways to combat your stress as stressing out will do you no good.

4. Ditch Smoking And Alcohol

The next tip to improve sperm health is to avoid smoking and alcohol. It has been observed that smoking may adversely affect male fertility by degrading sperm quality. Besides this, daily alcohol consumption also seems to worsen both semen morphology as well as volume.3

5. Go Caffeine Free

Intake of caffeine is known to damage the male reproductive function by causing a deformity in sperm DNA. A few studies also suggest that sweet drinks with caffeine may decrease semen volume and count.3

So, pick your food like a pro, get ready to move, and stay away from stressors to start a healthy parenthood journey!

Let’s Wrap Things Up!

It’s high time you took care of your body and made some necessary lifestyle changes to enhance your overall health. We hope this article on tips to improve sperm health will help you craft your parenthood journey in the right direction. One quick step to get clarity on your sperm health is analysing your semen, for which you can either get in touch with any nearby laboratory or order an at-home test kit! 

So, if you wish to get an at-home test kit, then you can simply order LifeCell’s SpermScore kit. It’s an easy-to-use semen analysis kit that helps test 11 sperm health parameters and 14 sperm health conditions. It’s never too late to look after your health and sperm, isn’t it? 

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6524745/  
  2. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240030787 
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7291266/ 
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5769315/ 
  5. https://link.springer.com/article/10.14310/horm.2002.1620  
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7008178/ 
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312225/  
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5582143/  
  9. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140529100719.htm  

References