The complacency of the male population when it comes to preserving their fertility is well known to fertilization clinic specialists.
And, to some extent, this is excusable, as, unlike with women, it is quite normal for a man to be unaware of any fertility problems he may have until the very moment he decides he wants to have children.
Before we look at some tips on how to take care of sperm quality, let’s get to know some basic concepts.
What is good quality sperm?
For pregnancy to occur, a male sperm must be introduced into a female egg.
Therefore, the greater the number of spermatozoa present in the semen, the greater the chances of achieving pregnancy.
Values of between 40 and 300 million spermatozoa per milliliter of semen are considered normal. And, for the sperm count to be considered problematic, it would need to be fewer than 20 million per milliliter.
However, even 15 to 20 million sperm per milliliter may be perfectly sufficient to get pregnant, as long as the sperm are functional and have high motility.
Another factor that also contributes to successful fertilization is sperm volume. If both the man’s sperm concentration and the volume of ejaculated semen are high, then, by pure logic, there will be a higher likelihood of achieving fertilization.
However, the most important factors are the functional capacity of the sperm and the concentration per milliliter.
How should a man look after his fertility?
Assuming that there is no genetic infertility disorder or other diseases that could cause infertility, then lifestyle habits are the main factors that will have a bearing on sperm quality.
And this is not mere speculation; it has been backed up by medical statistics. Let’s analyze how we can help to ensure optimal sperm quality without having to make too many sacrifices.
1. Avoiding excess weight
Reducing body weight directly influences the observed sperm count. In addition, it also influences sperm motility and ejaculation volume – a triple effect.
The more overweight you are, the more noticeable this triple effect is; in very obese men, a moderate weight reduction is a very effective measure to improve semen quality indexes.
2. Practicing moderate exercise
An active and healthy lifestyle helps to increase sperm quality. So, even if you are not overweight, experts strongly recommend that you practice physical activity on a daily basis.
Any sport should be practiced in moderation. This is backed up by research carried out by the Medical University of Cordoba, Spain, who showed that sperm quality decreased significantly in people who perform intensive or highly-demanding workouts.
The same study indicates that cyclists who ride more than 300 kilometers per week are much more susceptible to sperm anomalies.
If you are a professional athlete, if you like extreme sports, or if you spend many hours on a bike, then experts recommend that you cut down on, or even cut out, these activities when you are trying to have children.
3. Damaging environmental factors
Sperm is especially sensitive to chemical and toxic substances, as well as those that cause hormonal or endocrine disruptors. For example:
- Metals, especially heavy metals
- Acrylic and synthetic paints
- Emissions from automotive exhausts
- Hormone or endocrine disruptors, such as some substances used in muscle development.
If, either for work reasons, or in your free time, you are subjected to these substances on a regular basis, then you should take action to avoid, or at least reduce, exposure to them.
When it comes to working, then the only real way will be to adopt the appropriate self-protection measures. However, if it’s a hobby, then the most sensible thing will be to stop doing it when trying to have children.
4. Wearing appropriate clothes
This is one of the most influential factors in improving or worsening seminal quality. The scrotum has not been placed outside the body by chance. The purpose here is that the testicles should always be at a lower temperature than the rest of the body.
When testicular temperature rises, the quality of the spermatozoa reduces very noticeably.
Trying to keep up with fashion often means that men wear excessively tight underwear and trousers. The detrimental effect is twofold: in addition to the pressure exerted on the testicular area, there is an excessive increase in temperature. The more time we can spend wearing light boxer shorts, the better.
So, avoid tight-fitting clothing, and always opt for clothes that allow adequate ventilation and perspiration, and that are made of natural fibers. Cotton is the best choice here.
5. Substances that influence sperm quality
Low sperm counts and sperm motility problems are much more common in people with an excessive intake of:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Illegal drugs
- Anabolic supplements
If you overindulge in any of these substances and have trouble quitting, then seek qualified help to quit.
6. Ensuring an adequate vitamin intake
Certain types of vitamins, such as vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and coenzyme Q10D, can directly influence sperm health and quality. For example, a daily supply of 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C improves sperm motility.
Similarly, pregnancy rates are lower in couples where the male partner has low vitamin D levels, although the mechanisms of this relationship aren’t known.
However, you shouldn’t self-prescribe vitamins; get a blood test to find out whether you are suffering from any type of vitamin deficiency that could be affecting your sperm quality.
In summary, there are three tips to put into practice that can directly lead to an increase in sperm quality. This may not be immediate, but the difference will soon be noted:
- Wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid compression and heat in the scrotal area.
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and drug use
- Temporarily cut out intensive sporting activities, especially cycling.
So, if you have a fertility problem due to semen quality, then, before undergoing any type of therapeutic treatment, you should try these free, effective alternatives.
Author: Andrés Suro (Sexual Coach at MYHIXEL)
Psychologist specialized in the social area and expert in sexology applied to education.
PS: Remember you can book a private consultation with me at MYHIXEL CLINIC. Book your appointment here.