A high number of healthy sperm increases the chance of conception. A report put out by Thorne Research indicates that men are experiencing a decline in their sperm counts, and that nutritional and environmental factors contribute to this decline. Knowing what factors have a negative effect on sperm count allows you to take measures to counteract them, thereby increasing sperm count. If you are trying to conceive, implement these nutritional and lifestyle changes to increase sperm count and increase the chance of conception.
Lifestyle Changes to Increase Sperm Count
Stay cool. Keep the scrotal area below 95 degrees F. At temperatures above 96 degrees F, there is a sharp reduction in sperm count. Avoid hot tubs and saunas, and wear loose-fitting clothing and boxer shorts. Tighter briefs hold the testes close to the body, which increases their temperature.
If you smoke, quit. Smoking not only reduces sperm count, it also causes defects in the sperm that are produced. According to a report from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, if you quit smoking at least two months prior to trying to conceive, you increase your chances. Second-hand smoke can also affect the fertility of the woman trying to conceive.
Limit or omit alcohol. A study done by the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse states that alcohol consumption affects the male reproductive system in several ways, such as reducing testosterone production and shrinking the testes, both of which will lower sperm count.
Limit or avoid exposure to toxins. There are many environmental toxins we come in contact with every day, from pesticides to cigarette smoke to hormones in food. According to the report by Thorne Laboratories, and printed in the Alternative Medicine Review, these toxins cause "estrogenic effects" in the male body. The result of these effects is a decrease in both the quality and the quantity of sperm.
Relax. Trying to conceive can be every bit as stressful for a man as it is for a woman. Endocrinologist Matthew Hardy says stress affects the male reproductive system by limiting the production of testosterone, which is needed to make sperm. Go for a walk, play some golf or do whatever you need to do to relax from your day. Just don't let it involve cigarettes or alcohol.
Nutritional Changes to Increase Sperm Count
Add Vitamin E and selenium to your diet. Supplementing with at least 600mg of Vitamin E per day, along with the trace element selenium, increases sperm count and the health of the sperm, according to the research report by Thorne Laboratories. You can add Vitamin E and selenium to your diet by eating a wide variety of fresh fruit, nuts, vegetables and leafy greens, or you can purchase a quality supplement from your local health-food store.
Add Vitamin C to your daily routine. An amazing study quoted by Steven Sinclair, ND, in his Alternative Medicine Review article, showed that males who took Vitamin C supplements in the amount of 1,000mg per day raised their sperm production by 140 percent over the course of seven days. Vitmamin C is found in citrus fruits, strawberries and leafy green vegetables. It also can be purchased as a supplement from the health-food store.
Add other key supplements, such as Zinc, Co-enzyme Q10 and Vitamin B12. In the same article by Steven Sinclair, ND, mentioned above, its was shown that adding these to the daily intake of the studied subjects increased their sperm counts over the course of 30 days. Since these ingredients are difficult to obtain in adequate amounts through food sources, buying a quality supplement from a health-food store is the best option.
Drink more water. Water is necessary for the optimal functioning of all cell structures, and without it, every system in our body suffers, even the reproductive system.
Eat a healthy diet. In addition to getting some of the vitamins and minerals mentioned above, a healthy diet will ward off fatigue. Fatigue can lead to stress and improper eating habits, which can ultimately cause a decline in sperm count. Concentrate on fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meat choices.