Fertility refers to people’s ability to reproduce by natural means. Infertility is a growing problem worldwide. Male infertility is when a man has a poor chance of making his female partner pregnant. It usually depends on the quality of his sperm cells.
Infertility can have multiple causes and may depend on genetics, general health, fitness, diseases and dietary contaminants. If you’re trying to conceive a child, fertility may be a concern. Male fertility can be affected by a variety of factors, such as your healthy diet, supplements and lifestyle changes. To increase fertility, work on being as healthy as possible.
Here are 10 tips to increase male fertility and improve sperm health.
1. Exercise regularly
Regular physical activity can help your overall health, which could cause an increase in fertility as it boost sperm count. If you’re trying to increase fertility, work on developing a healthy exercise routine. Men who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels and better semen quality than men who are inactive. Stick to lighter, consistent physical activity to boost your fertility. However, some studies indicate biking may cause a drop in fertility. Very strenuous forms of exercise, such as training for a triathlon, may also cause a drop in fertility.
2. Quit Smoking
Smoking cigarettes can impair both a woman’s and a man’s fertility. Quitting smoking may increase your fertility. Tobacco and secondhand smoke causes reduced sperm count in men. Smoking affects many aspects of sperm health, including decreased sperm counts, decreased sperm motility (the swimming ability of the sperm), and sperm shape. Researchers have also found that smoking had a strong effect on treatment success when using IVF with ICSI fertility treatments. Avoid locations with concentrated secondhand smoke.
3. Antioxidants rich diet
Researchers found that men who took antioxidants in supplement form had less DNA damaged sperm than men who did not take antioxidants. Antioxidants not only fight different diseases but also increases the fertility in men. Some researchers found that couples had higher pregnancy rates when men took additional antioxidants. There are many antioxidants, but the ones that have been specifically studied in regards to improving sperm health are Zinc, Vitamin C, Selenium, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, and Lycopene.
Make sure to include healthy foods from all major food groups. Your diet should be a mix of a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. Cook your foods in a healthy fashion. Always eat foods rich in antioxidants. If you rather take a supplement, make sure you talk to your doctor first. Some supplements can interfere with other medications.
4. Watch the Beverages
Drinking too much coffee or too much alcohol can impair both man’s and woman’s fertility. Having one or two cups a day is fine but more than five cups of coffee a day increases 500 mg of caffeine in your body which is associated with lower fertility.
Men who consume high amounts of alcohol often have lower sperm counts. If you do drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Stick to one or two drinks a night, if any. If you do not drink, do not start. If you believe you have a drinking problem, this may be affecting your sperm count. Talk to a doctor or therapist about how to quit alcohol.
5. Take a multivitamin
Daily multivitamin supplements contain vitamins C and E, as well as a good supply of other essential nutrients for male reproductive health. Some research suggests a daily multivitamin may increase your sperm count.
Choose a multivitamin that also contains selenium, zinc, and folate, which have been linked to healthy sperm production. While there is little evidence that a daily multivitamin is harmful, you should always check with your doctor before taking one. You want to make sure a multivitamin is safe for you given your current health and any existing medications.
6. Have Frequent Sex
Having frequent sex not only at the time of ovulation but all month long may help increase your fertility. To keep your sperm in tip-top shape, you should try to have sex at least twice a week. Research studies have found that semen health is best when sex occurred less than two days prior.
One study of about 3,000 men looked at sperm motility (how sperm swim) and morphology (the sperm shape) in relation to the number of days they abstained from sex. They found that in men with low sperm counts, their sperm swam best after one day of abstinence. Sperm shape was best after zero to two days of abstinence. For men with normal sperm counts, sperm health was significantly decreased after 10 days of abstinence.
7. Healthy Weight
Being underweight, overweight or obese may reduce sperm count and increase the likelihood of producing abnormal sperm. So to increase your fertility, maintain the healthy weight. Check your body mass index (BMI) to check if your weight is within the healthy zone. In a study on thin men, they found that those with a BMI less than 20 had lower sperm concentration and a 28.1 percent lower total sperm count. They also found that FSH, a hormone that plays a role in the reproductive system, was higher in slim men. In a separate study, men with obesity had lower testosterone levels. In addition, as BMI levels went up, the incidence of lower sperm counts went up.
8. Control stress
Not only can stress interfere with your sexual health, high levels of stress can cause changes in hormones that affect sperm production, reducing fertility. Prolonged stress raises levels of cortisol, which has strong negative effects on testosterone. When cortisol goes up, testosterone levels tend to go down. If you have a high-stress lifestyle, take steps to reduce stress. This can potentially cause an increase in fertility.
Avoid unnecessary stress. Do not agree to commitments you cannot fulfill. Stay away from people who stress you out. If something on the news stresses you out, avoid reading about it. To avoid stress also take a walk in nature, meditate, exercise or spend time with friends.
9. Avoid excessive heat
No research has clearly shown a link between exposure to other sources of heat and a man’s fertility. However, some evidence exists that an excess of heat around the groin can lower sperm count. scrotal temperatures went up in laptop users who held the computer on their laps and warned that long-term exposures to high temperatures could harm sperm. Also, exposure to radiation from cell phones by keeping a cell phone in a pants pocket could affect the health of a man’s sperm.
If you’re looking to increase fertility, try to stay cool as much as possible. Be particularly aware of the temperature of your groin region. Try wearing loose-fitting clothing around the groin, such as loose underwear and shorts. Reduce the amount of time you spend in hot baths, saunas, and hot tubs. Avoid using your laptop on your lap. Instead, set it on a solid surface.
10. Limit soy intake
According to a research, too much soy may affect your sperm counts. Soy is found not only in tofu but in a number of foods like fake meat patties, soy sauce, energy bars, and health drinks. The study found men who ate high amounts of soy had lower sperm counts than men who did not. Men who were overweight or obese had a stronger reaction to the soy. In fact, men who had the highest soy intake had 41 million/ml less sperm than men who did not eat soy foods. Soy overall is not be bad. Research found that soy may help prevent prostate cancer. So avoid it if you are planning for baby.