Are you thinking about having a baby? The first step to conceiving is ensuring both partners are healthy. Good health can help to increase your fertility, optimise your chances of falling pregnant and assist with having a healthy baby.
One of the most important factors of male fertility is the quality and quantity of sperm. Below you can find some tips on how to increase your sperm health and in turn hopefully increase your chances of successful conception.
What causes male infertility?
There are several male factors that can contribute to problems in conceiving. The most common include having:
- A low sperm count
- Low sperm motility
- Abnormally shaped sperm
- An obstruction to the ducts i.e. blockages
- Functional problems
- Hormonal and health issues
- Excessive exposure to environmental toxins.
It is also important to note that from the age of 35 sperm quality begins to decrease – the quality of the sperm is negatively correlated with a man’s age.
New Scientist review reported that “Bronte Stone at Reproductive Technology Laboratories in Los Angeles and his colleagues found a deterioration in sperm quality and quantity after age 35. Some previous studies had suggested that the decline doesn’t start until around five years later (Fertility and Sterility, doi.org/m85). Whether it’s 35 or 40, it is important for men to be aware of age-related changes in their reproductive system if they wish to become fathers.
How to Increase Sperm Count
The quality and quantity of a man’s sperm is a huge factor when it comes to trying to conceive. Some of the more common factors that can affect sperm count and quality include:
- Weight and fitness
- Health matters like diabetes
- Smoking and drug use
- Alcohol and caffeine consumption
- Heat and tight-fitting underwear
- Environmental toxins g. fumes and fertilisers
If you’re looking to boost your sperm health and ensure they are as healthy as possible, there are a few things that may help.
1. Quit Smoking
Smoking can decrease sperm quality and quantity. If you are a smoker, quitting smoking should be your first step on your journey to conceive. This goes for women, too.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Your diet plays a huge part in producing healthy sperm. You should be eating a balanced diet of lean protein, carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables to get the nutrition your body needs. There are many Men’s Health Multivitamins on the market to help support a balanced diet which could be useful. Remember to consult your GP or a specialist for advice and guidance.
3. Give up the Alcohol and Caffeine
You might think women have to make all the sacrifices when it comes to pregnancy, but it’s not that simple. A man’s consumption of alcohol can affect pregnancy outcomes, and while coffee might get you up and going, it slows sperm down. If you are hoping to conceive, you should limit alcohol and coffee/tea each day.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or underweight is directly linked to infertility for both men and women. If you are overweight or underweight, getting yourself to a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) will improve your chances of conceiving.
5. Stress Less
High levels of stress can reduce the quality of sperm. If there was ever a time to take it easy and spend more time walking, reading, and relaxing, it’s now.
Aim to undertake at least half an hour of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days. Avoid extreme or over-exercising.
If you have a hormonal problem, hormone therapy may help. If an obstruction or abnormality is the cause, surgery may help. Surgical sperm extraction is also an option.
The health of both partners is equally as important for optimising the chances of achieving pregnancy. To learn more about how you can increase your chances of conceiving, get in touch with our helpful and professional team today.
To learn more about sperm health please read our sperm health fact sheet.
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