We all know that sperm is vital for conception. The quality of the sperm determines whether or not the woman will get pregnant and it can also affect how many eggs are fertilised.
It’s also a fact that men and women are just as likely to contribute to fertility challenges.
A lot of men don’t understand what they can do to improve their sperm quality so let’s break it down with a few easy tips!
Different Types of Poor Quality Sperm
There are 3 main categories that define the quality of a man’s sperm:
1. Sperm Quantity or Count
This refers to the number or concentration of sperm cells in a set quantity of semen. In someone who is fertile, a typical ejaculation would contain many millions of sperm.That might sound a lot but fewer than 15 million per millilitre and it could make it harder to get pregnant due to there being too few candidates to fertilise the egg.
2. Sperm Structure or Morphology
A normal sperm has an oval head and long tail. These work together to propel it. The more sperm that have a regular structure and shape, the more fertile a person is likely to be.
3. Sperm Movement or Motility
To reach and fertilise an egg, sperm have to wriggle and swim. They have to make their way through a woman’s cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes. The medical term for this is sperm motility. A person is most likely to have fewer fertility issues if more than 40% of their sperm are moving.
It follows that good quality semen needs:
- A high sperm count.
- Sperm that are a normal shape.
- Sperm that have the ability to swim to a woman’s fallopian tubes.
When any of these factors are lacking, male fertility decreases.
Factors That Affects Sperm
There are many causes of sperm problems. These include a person’s genes, disease, infections, previous surgeries, overall health, and fitness levels as well as disease and dietary contaminants.
You can’t control your genes, however, there are many things you can control that will make a big difference:
- Air pollution.
Natural Ways To Improve Sperm Quality
Libido and fertility typically have a close connection with our general health. It follows that improving your overall health is likely to increase your fertility. Here are some things you can do to help straight away:
- Take regular exercise to balance testosterone and increase semen quality.
- Don’t over-exercise (high-intensity daily workouts) because it can negatively affect testosterone.
- Lose excess weight.
- Relax and reduce stress. Long periods of stress increases levels of the hormone cortisol. This can have a negative impact on testosterone which is vital for a healthy sperm count.
- Get good quality sleep. Too little or too much sleep might cause poor sperm quality
- Eat organic dairy and meats and avoid heavy alcohol consumption.
- Make walnuts your snack of choice: they are rich in antioxidants
- Avoid too much soy: it’s rich in isoflavones, associated with lower sperm quality.
9 Supplements To Improve Sperm Quality Naturally
Here are details about 9 supplements that can help to improve your sperm quality – remember it’s really important not to self-prescribe supplements. What is right for one person is not for another. Before you take supplements, read the 5 Mistakes Everyone Makes With Fertility Supplements:
Eating enough zinc is one of the foundations of male fertility. Zinc deficiency has an association with low testosterone levels and poor sperm quality. Consuming zinc supplements boosts testosterone levels and sperm count in those whose zinc levels are low.
2. D-Aspartic Acid Supplements
D-aspartic acid or D-AA is a kind of amino acid. People often supplement their diet by taking it in capsules. It’s present in the testicles and sperm cells. Men with fertility challenges typically have D-AA levels that are significantly lower compared with fertile men. Some studies have shown that taking D-AA increases sperm count and motility by up to 100%.
3. Vitamin C
Evidence is emerging that antioxidant supplements might boost male fertility and semen quality. Studies have found that Vitamin C supplements greatly improved sperm count and motility. They also found they reduced the level of deformed sperm cells.
4. Vitamin D
This vitamin is another nutrient that may increase testosterone levels. Research has shown that men with a deficiency in vitamin-D were prone to have low testosterone levels. Another study found that taking a vitamin D supplement every day for a year increased testosterone levels by around 25%.
5. B vitamins
Take sufficient folate and vitamin B. Not enough could impair sperm quality.
6. Tribulus Terrestris
Many people use this medicinal herb, also known as puncture vine, to boost male fertility. Research shows that it might improve the libido-promoting effects of testosterone.
Fenugreek is a well-known culinary and medicinal herb. Studies show it can improve libido, sexual performance, and strength. Other research found that, together with strength training exercise, it increased testosterone levels, strength, and fat loss. Bear in mind that these studies used fenugreek extracts. It’s not likely that whole fenugreek used in cooking and herbal tea would be as effective.
8. Ashwagandha Root
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb. People in India have been using it for thousands of years. Studies have shown taking ashwagandha root extract can increase testosterone levels. It was also found to dramatically improve sperm counts, semen volume and sperm motility.
9. Maca Root
Maca root is a popular plant food from Peru. Men have traditionally taken it to improve their libido and fertility. Studies show taking maca root powder every day for 3 months can increase sperm count and motility in healthy men.
Improve Sperm Quality Today
It’s never too late to start making changes in your life that can have a positive impact on your sperm quality. Some simple lifestyle strategies could have a huge and positive impact on sperm quality. Combine these with natural supplements known for their male fertility benefits. You could be on your way to starting or adding to your family.
Before self-prescribing supplements, read the 5 Mistakes Everyone Makes With Fertility Supplements
For more information on how we can help, please take a look at our Path To Pregnancy Membership and apply for a Fertility Analysis at the bottom of the page. We help couples to find the right supplements and action steps to optimise their fertility.
All my best,
Rachel Bolton BSc (Hons), Lic. Ac., Lic. Tui Na.
I empower women to see themselves as Fertility Heroes and help them to optimise their fertility, get pregnant and have healthy babies.
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