Men with a low sperm count may face difficulties in pregnancy. It is important to understand that male infertility is far more common than female impotence and hence the need for sperm analysis is of utmost importance.
A healthy sperm count lies between 40 million to 300 million each ejaculation. For conception to take place, the sperm count needs to be optimum along with good motility and anatomy so that fertilisation can take place. Reasons varying from environmental causes to genetics to lifestyle can affect the health of the sperms.
But what is a healthy sperm count?
Sperm count is measured by a semen analysis test. Levels below 10 million are considered to be low, while 20 million or more can be considered to be healthy, if the sperm anatomy and motility are normal.
How to keep your sperm healthy?
To increase sperm motility and count usually, a course of medication is prescribed. However, there are some other methods to improve sperm health that can help your partner conceive.
- Stop taking testosterone
Testosterone taken in any form externally as a prescribed drug or as an anabolic steroid to improve sport performance can affect sperm health. Using artificial testosterone destroys the body’s ability to produce natural testosterone which is detrimental if you wish to start a family. Consider this fact: Testosterone is scientifically proven as a male contraceptive.
- Eat pomegranate
Researchers have seen that rather than taking synthetic testosterone to improve sperm motility, popping pomegranate seeds is a better alternative as it is a natural aromatase inhibitor that prevents testosterone from being converted into estrogen.
- Avoid junk food
You need to hold those pizza and burger deliveries for a while. Processed and junk foods do not contain any essential nutrients that help produce sperms or improve their quality. Cutting down on sugars, fats and adopting healthier options like whole foods will provide the necessary nutrients to make good quality sperms.
Regular exercise boosts testosterone levels that will keep your sperm health in check. It also helps to relieve stress levels. Yet, too much exercise can deplete stored vitamins and hormonal levels. Moreover taking too much spinning classes can damage the testes, so go easy on that one.
- Choose lubricants wisely
Your sperms need to stay alive for fertilization to take place. Though several ‘lubes’ claim that they are 100% natural, truth remains that they do contain some amount of chemicals that could be detrimental to sperm life span. Australian researchers have claimed that almost 72% of the sperms can get destroyed with 30 minutes of usage. So it is advisable to choose a brand that has a blend that helps in conceiving.
- Include more folate
Diets that lack in folic acid can affect the chromosomal patterns in the sperm. Just as moms – to -be need folates in their diets for boosting development, men need it too. Include more green veggies to boost your folic acid levels.
- Avoid too hot showers
Yes, we know all too well how relaxing a hot shower is for aching muscles. A research conducted on monkeys who were kept in a tub of hot water for just 15 minutes rendered them sterile. So if you are trying to conceive, stay away from all steamers, saunas and soaks for a while.
- Stop smoking
If you need another reason to kick the habit, well we’ve given you one. Smoking leads to oxidative stress that can affect sperm count. Recent studies have even proved that marijuana smoking can change sperm morphology.
- Cut down alcohol
This one’s a no brainer really. Women during pregnancy are advised to steer away from all type of booze, but studies have shown that heavy drinking can affect sperm count and quality in men as well. If you are trying to have a baby, curtail your drinking to low or moderate quantities only.
Although these are no substitutes for medical advice, these tips can surely get your swimmers to float more effectively.
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Related article: Get fit, get pregnant: Exercises to help with infertility