Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.
Many factors can affect and compromise your sperm health, in this article we shall discuss the following points:
- Your sperm count
- Sperm motility
- What you can do
- Check with your doctor
- Moderate alcohol consumption
- Improve your diet
- Exercise regularly
- What you shouldn't do
- Ignore health concerns
- Ignore stress
When trying for a baby, it’s important that you understand that there’s a lot that needs to be taken care of as far as your own health is concerned.
Pregnancy can only be achieved if your sperm’s health is in good condition. Sperm health can be put down to the count, the sperm’s ability to move, and its overall condition.
These can all be determined by different factors, so it’s important you’re aware of them. So what affects these factors of your sperm health?
Your sperm count
There are a number of things that can affect your sperm count, and there are a few common causes that have been determined when it comes to low counts. To list a few of them:
- Genetic complications
- A hormone imbalance
- Being overweight
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Medications that affect hormones and certain antidepressants
- Surgeries affecting the genitalia
- Genital infections
Those are some of the known causes of male infertility, and of course, not all of them can be helped - but there are things you can do to improve it; which will be listed below. Overall, having good health should encourage your sperm count.
Sperm motility is your sperm’s individual ability to move around as it should. Having poor sperm health will cause your sperm to have low motility, making it more difficult to encourage fertility.
Similar to sperm count, the problem can arise from surgeries, infections, genetic issues, and possible injuries.
What you can do
If you’re trying to achieve pregnancy and increase your fertility, then it’s important that you’re actively trying to work on your health, instead of keeping on trying without it.
Of course, if the issue is purely genetics, there are limited options - but that should not put you off. So, what can you do to improve your sperm health?
Check with your doctor
If you feel you are in good health, and you’re unsure what the problem with your fertility is, you should check with your doctor.
You might have unknown infections, or issues such as varicocele, and it would be best to find out as soon as possible. If your issue is genetic, it can be hard to determine that without the help of a professional.
You should also find out if any of the medications you’re taking pose a risk to your fertility. You may be able to get an alternative that doesn’t have the same sideaffects.
Moderate your alcohol consumption
Alcohol affects our bodies in a number of ways, and none of them is a health benefit. As far as your sperm is concerned, alcohol can reduce semen quality, making it harder for your sperm to impregnate.
You should try to stick to the healthy recommended amount of alcohol, which is up to two drinks a day. Consider drinking even less if you are already drinking the recommended amount.
Improve your diet
Your overall health plays a part in your ability to produce healthy sperm, and that’s why you need to make sure you’re on a balanced diet.
Your body needs nutrition to properly supply all of your organs with what they need, so be sure to take in a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and possibly meat. You can’t expect to operate properly without essential nutrients such as zinc or a diet rich in antioxidants.
Just as your body will benefit from having a balanced diet, a healthy amount of exercise can work wonders for your mental health and reduce the risk of obesity; often a result of a sedentary lifestyle.
It’s not just your body that needs it, but obesity has been linked to low sperm counts, so losing weight through exercise should help you to increase your sperm count and health.
While it’s not something you can simply do, stress is something that can cause a lot of issues all through the body.
Your sperm is something that will suffer under stress, as well as your sexual ability. Make sure you’re not put under too much stress, especially when you are trying to have a child.
Stress can also affect your hormones, causing a hormone imbalance, making it harder to produce healthy sperm.
If you suspect you’re experiencing a hormone imbalance, you should speak with your doctor. Symptoms include weight gain, stiffness in the joints, fatigue, frequent urination, decreased sex drive, and infertility. That’s just to name a few.
If you’re experiencing low sperm count, the main problem is that it makes it more difficult to fertilize.
That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. If you keep trying, you’ve still got a chance at success, and you shouldn’t give up if that’s the only issue that you’re having. Having a low sperm count doesn’t make you infertile.
What you shouldn’t do
There's plenty of poor practices kncoking around when it comes to improving sperm health and indeed conceiving, so here's a few tips that you should take note of.
Ignore health concerns
If there are any concerns you’ve had about your health regarding your genitals, you should make sure you visit a doctor immediately. Untreated infections may only get worse, and your doctor should know about them.
Stress is something that can be hard to deal with, but it builds up if you haven’t got a way to channel it.
Find healthy ways to handle your stress, be it through hobbies, vacations, communication, or so on. It’s often encouraged to speak to a therapist if you’re unable to get to the bottom of it.
A study published in 2018 demonstratd that those who work in hot conditions may also experience lower sperm count. This is because if your testicles reach a temperate too high, it can cause sperm production to struggle.
Make sure you’re not letting your body overheat. Wear loose-fitted underwear, stay in the shade, avoid hot environments if possible.
Overall, there are a lot of factors you need to be aware of when it comes to male fertility.
Your body can only perform as well as you allow it to, so you should be sure to treat it with care if you’re trying for pregnancy.
A lot of couples find it difficult when they’re having trouble conceiving, but the main thing is not to panic or stress.
There’s still a lot you can do to improve your overall fertility, so keep trying and working on your health if you want to increase your chances.