Why Increasing Your Sperm Count is Important
For many men and their partners who are trying to conceive a baby, finding information about how to increase sperm count is suddenly becoming an important issue. In order to improve your chances of conceiving, having a healthy sperm count is going to be vital.
But why is sperm count so important? After all, only one sperm needs to fertilize an egg in order for pregnancy to happen.
The basic answer is, a higher sperm count increases the chances for a successful pregnancy. The odds that a sperm will find and penetrate an egg increases if there are more sperm cells in the semen.
What is Sperm Count?
Sperm count means the average number of sperm cells found in one semen sample. Doctors who specialize in fertility evaluate sperm count after performing a semen analysis due to its importance to fertility.
A typical semen sample contains anywhere from 40 million to 300 million sperm per milliliter. 20 million sperm per milliliter can be enough for pregnancy if the sperm are healthy.
According to WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines, doctors consider a sperm count to be low if it is under 15 million per ml, and it may lead to problems with fertility.(1)
Generally, most fertility experts believe that factors that affect testosterone levels to have the greatest influence on sperm quality and quantity. Various medical conditions, such as genetic disorders, tumors and infections, may also affect sperm count.
That said, there are several lifestyle decisions and natural treatments can aid in supporting the hormones that oversee the production of sperm, which can help with healthy sperm development and increase sperm count.
In this article, we’ll cover some natural treatments, changes to diet, and medicines that can potentially improve your sperm count. Keep reading to learn more about sperm count and eight steps you can take now to boost sperm health.
Sperm Count Vs. Sperm Concentration
What is the difference between sperm count and concentration?
Sperm concentration (also called sperm density) means the number of sperm concentrated in any given part of the semen. However, total sperm count is the entire number of sperm in all of the ejaculate, and is derived by multiplying the sperm concentration by the semen volume.(2)
Top 8 Ways to Increase Sperm Count Naturally
1. Lose the Weight
If you are overweight, losing weight is one of the very best things you can do to increase sperm count. Research shows that weight loss can dramatically increase sperm health, quantity, and motility, as well as increase semen volume.(3)
The increases in sperm count were found to be most substantial in men having a higher body mass index (BMI). Therefore, if you are overweight by a large amount, just losing even a small amount of weight can make a difference.
If you need help meeting your weight loss goals, talking to your doctor is a good place to start. You might consider seeing a nutritionist to help you make the best improvements to your diet. Signing up with a fitness trainer or an joining an exercise program is also an excellent option.
2. Get Regular Exercise
Regardless of whether or not you’re overweight, maintaining a healthy and active healthy lifestyle can really help to increase your sperm count. Research shows that lifting weights and exercising outdoors can do more for sperm health more than other forms of exercise.(4)
If you’re looking to optimize your sperm health, you should definitely be adding these types of physical activity into your daily routine if you’re not already. Additionally, regular exercise can help you to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, which, as we’ve seen, could also play a major role in your overall sperm health.
3. Vitamins and Nutrients
Certain vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins C, D, E, and CoQ10, are necessary for producing healthy sperm. When these nutrient levels are low, it can be detrimental to sperm health and fertility.
Research shows that men taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C on a daily basis can see an increase in sperm concentration and motility. While sperm concentration is not the same thing as sperm count, when the sperm cells become more concentrated with increased mobility, it can really improve you and your partner’s chances of successfully conceiving.(5)
Other research indicated less successful pregnancy rates for couples where the man had deficient vitamin D levels. Further studies are needed to fully understand the link between vitamin D and male fertility, but there does appear to be a connection, perhaps related to testosterone levels.(6)
Many of these vitamins and nutrients can be obtained by choosing to add sperm-healthy foods to your diet.
Be sure to speak to your doctor about having your vitamin levels tested. This can easily be done by performing a simple blood test.
4. Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
Studies indicate that men who use recreational drugs, both legal and illegal, show a greater chance of having a poor sperm count and impaired functioning of sperm cells.(7) These substances include (but are not limited to):
- Heavy alcohol use, which is defined as having more than 2 drinks per day.
- Tobacco use of any sort.
- Illegal drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and anabolic steroids/PEDs.
If you are currently using any of these substances and are finding it hard to quit, speak to your doctor. They can suggest programs to help treat and manage problems with substance abuse.
5. Avoid Exposure to Chemicals
Certain chemicals, both natural and man-made, can imitate or interfere with the body’s hormones, known as the endocrine system. These chemicals (called endocrine disruptors) have been linked with negative effects to reproductive health, child development, immunity, brain function, and other areas.(8)
If you are exposed to any of the following chemicals, you might consider showering and/or changing your clothes as soon as possible:
- Paint strippers
- Non-water-based paint or glue
- Lead, arsenic, mercury
- Any other endocrine disruptors(9)
These toxins can negatively affect sperm count. If you have a hobby that exposes you to any of these chemicals, consider placing the hobby on hold until after you’ve successfully conceived.
Occupations that require you to be exposed to excess heat, radiation, or even work involving prolonged sedentary sitting can also adversely impact sperm count.(10)
6. Ditch the Tighty-Whities
One of the surest ways to increase your sperm count is also one of the easiest to implement: keep your testicles cool. And the style of underwear you go with plays a big part in this regard.
Research conducted for over the past 30 years has shown that prolonged heating of the scrotum can negatively impact sperm production. In fact, a recent study found that men who wear loose-fitting underwear have a 25% higher sperm concentration, 17% higher sperm count, and 33% greater motility compared to those men who regularly wear tight-fitting briefs.(11)
There’s no doubt about it: if you’re serious about increasing your sperm count, switching to boxers is the way to go. If you’re not used to wearing boxers, it may feel strange at first, but once accustomed to them many men never want to go back to briefs.
If you still don’t feel comfortable wearing boxers, wear natural cotton briefs over of synthetic material. That will still offer some help with controlling temperature and air flow.
7. Practice Safe Cycling
It has been well established that long-distance cycling causes a large portion of weight on the perineum (the area between the testicles and the rectum). This prolonged seat pressure can inhibit blood flow to the testicles, which can also adversely impact the production of sperm.(12)
This same extended pressure may impact sexual function. Research shows substantial nerve and/or vascular damage in some men who bicycle intensely or for extended periods. Numbness of the genital area may continue for some time, which can greatly decrease sexual function. Bicyclists also report erectile dysfunction. (13)
8. Fertility Supplements
For men with experiencing problems with a low sperm count, supplementation can be a good way to help. Besides getting enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, certain other dietary supplements can be used to increase sperm count, making your chances for conceiving much more likely.
Some of these fertility-enhancing supplements include:
- Tribulus Terrestris
- Gingko Biloba
- D-aspartic Acid
Rather than purchasing multiple male fertility supplements separately, you could simply use one product that contains several ingredients to increase sperm count all in one supplement. For this reason, we highly recommend the potent supplements Semenoll and Fertility Factor 5.
Both of these products are all-natural male fertility supplements formulated with ingredients that are clinically shown to increase sperm count, shape and motility. They also increase semen volume, libido and sexual performance.
More than just a typical health supplements, both Semenoll and Fertility Factor 5 enhance all aspects of male reproductive health.
Keeping Sperm Healthy
Having an optimal sperm count isn’t the only thing to consider when trying to conceive – It’s also important to have sperm that are healthy overall.
A man’s reproductive health is comprised of three different areas of sperm health:
- The health of the individual sperm cells.
- The density or concentration of sperm.
- The overall sperm count.
There is some evidence that indicates that the sperm quality of the male population overall is declining. Researchers aren’t exactly certain of the cause behind this, but nutrition and lifestyle may bear at least be partly responsible.
When Should You See a Doctor?
If no pregnancy has resulted after one year of having unprotected sex, it’s recommended for most couples who are trying to conceive to see a doctor. For females over the age of 35, it’s recommended to see a doctor after six months of unprotected sex that doesn’t result in a pregnancy.
If you have a job, hobby, or medical condition that is known to be linked to a decreased sperm count, you should talk to a physician prior to when you start trying to conceive. They can perform tests to verify that you’re reproductive system is healthy and that there are no fertility issues.
If you’re having problems with conceiving, a fertility specialist will normally perform tests on both partners. The man will give a sample of semen sample for analysis and to check the sperm count, and the woman will have her eggs, ovaries, and uterus tested.
The doctor will look at the number of sperm cells in the sample to see if the sperm count is low or normal. They may also do an ultrasound to check for problems in the scrotum, or in the tubes and ducts that transport the semen.
The percentage of your success at achieving pregnancy with a low sperm count will depend upon both your and your partner’s individual health. If you make the decision to start a family, there are several choices available to you, including adoption, IVF (in vitro fertilization), and making certain lifestyle changes in order to increase the odds of conceiving.
The first step is speaking with a fertility specialist who can help evaluate your sperm count and other factors affecting fertility prior to making plans for your future.
Karl Bianco is an Executive Editor at The Sperm Count Report. He has previous experience as a senior editor for both print and digital media for 8 years, where he wrote about and edited articles pertaining to health and fitness, sex and relationships, medical news and technology.