Sperm count is the average total number of sperm present in one sample of semen. Sperm count is one of the several qualities that are assessed during routine semen analysis and is considered an essential factor for fertility.
Based on the most current World Health Organization guidelines, a healthy sperm count is 15 million per milliliter (ml) or at least 39 million per sample. A sperm count lower than 10 million per ml is abnormal and commonly associated with male infertility. Factors that influence testosterone levels are believed to have the most significant impact on sperm number and quality.
Ways to naturally increase sperm count
Researchers have known that sperm quality and fertility rates have been in decline in most Western nations for years now. According to a 2017 study, between 1973 and 2011 the average sperm count in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand dropped by 59.3 percent.
In spite of studies recognizing the problem, the reasons for this waning and ways to reliably reverse it are still unknown.
Several non-pharmacologic remedies have been used by ancient, herbal, and traditional medicines to increase sperm count and overall sperm health for thousands of years. Researchers have shown that most of these remedies influence sperm count in some way.
Natural ways to increase sperm count include:
Increase intake of healthy fat
Polyunsaturated fats, also called healthy fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6, are vital to the healthy development of the sperm membrane.
According to researchers, people should consume these two essential omega compounds in equal quantities for ideal sperm development and antioxidant benefits.
Reduce unhealthy fat intake
A study in 2014 surveyed 209 healthy Spanish men between the ages of 18 to 23 years of age found that as they increased their consumption of trans fatty acids, their sperm count decreased proportionally.
Several studies have also shown that trans fatty acids may impair the ability of long-chain polyunsaturated fats to incorporate into sperm membranes, a critical step in sperm development.
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, has long been used for the treatment of sexual dysfunction. A 2016 study found that 46 men with low sperm counts who took 675 milligrams (mg) of ashwagandha everyday for 90 days saw a 167 percent increase in sperm count.
- Increase intake of antioxidant-rich foods
Antioxidants are molecules that aid in eradicating and deactivating free radicals and other compounds that damage cells. Several vitamins and minerals have shown to act as antioxidants, and several studies have linked antioxidant consumption with increased sperm count. Antioxidants that may contribute to a healthy sperm count include:
- vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
- coenzyme Q10
- Fenugreek supplement
Fenugreek has been used for a very long time in the treatment of poor sperm health, and may improve sperm count. A study conducted in 2017 discovered that the patent-pending compound Furosap®, which is developed from fenugreek seeds, pointedly improved general semen quality and sperm count.
- Exercise and sleep
According to several studies have shown that weight loss and exercise in obese and overweight individuals can lead to improved or increased sperm counts. But, the science connecting a healthy Body Mass Index to a healthy sperm count is still weak.
A research conducted in 2017 found that performing a 16-week aerobic exercise program of at least 50 minutes of moderate exercise at 50 to 65 percent peak heart rate 3 times weekly, increased sperm volume and concentration in 45 sedentary, obese men.
- Get enough vitamin D and calcium
Researchers are not completely sure why, but vitamin D and calcium seemed to appear to impact sperm health. Some studies have shown that low dietary vitamin D intake seems to correspond with lowered sperm count.
- Limit exposure to environmental or occupational toxins and contaminants
As the atmosphere become progressively polluted and congested, environmental factors, such as air quality and toxic chemical exposure, have frequently been linked to reduced sperm health and total count. Avoiding environmental toxins wherever possible also contributes to whole health.
It is vital to point out that while some studies have shown a link between low sperm count and environmental contaminants, most of them do not support it.
- Avoid too much soy or foods with non-human estrogen
Soy products contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogen), compounds shown to reduce testosterone bonding and sperm production. Synthetic forms of estrogen are high in most canned and plastic products are also high in synthetic forms of estrogen.
- Stop smoking
A 2016 study reviewing the results of over 20 different studies with a total of nearly 6,000 participants discovered that smoking steadily reduced sperm count.
- Avoid excessive alcohol use and drugs
The number of studies exploring the connection between sperm health and drugs is limited given ethical thoughts. However, some researchers have connected the global use of drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine to reduced sperm production.
- Avoid several prescription medications
Some prescription medications can decrease the healthy production of sperm. Once a person stops taking the drug, his sperm count should return to normal or upsurge. Medications that temporarily reduce the production and development of sperm include:
- some antibiotics
- anabolic steroids (up to 1 year recovery time)
- exogenous (outside) testosterone
- Get enough folate and zinc
Folate and zinc in combination has been proven in limited studies to increase general sperm health, including sperm concentration or total count.
14. Reduce stress
Stress can cause the body to take defensive actions and conserve energy. In times of distress, it produces biological sense for the body to become less concerned with reproduction and more focused on surviving.
Reducing stress requires addressing the cause, though factors such as exercise and a healthful diet are thought to lessen the effects of stress.
A doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications for those with severe stress.
Foods to improve sperm count
Studies suggest that eating foods rich in specific compounds and chemicals allows the body to use them more efficiently. So the best way to increase sperm count naturally may be to increase the consumption of foods high in sperm-friendly nutrients. These include:
- citrus fruits
- whole wheat and grains
- most fish, especially wild salmon, cod, and haddock
- most shellfish, especially oysters
- vitamin D enhanced milk and milk products
- dark chocolate
- most leafy greens, especially spinach and kale
- fermented nuts and seeds
Medications to increase sperm count
A doctor may prescribe medication for men with very low sperm counts or who have additional health factors or considerations.
Medications sometimes used to treat low sperm count include:
- clomiphene citrate oral (Serophene)
- serophene oral
- Gonal-f® RFF* Redi-ject® (follitropin alfa or gonal-F) or subcutaneous (under the skin) injections
- antibiotics if caused by urinary or reproductive tract infection
- exogenous androgen
- human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) (brand names Choragon and Pregnyl)
- letrozole or anastrozole
Disclaimer: The content provided on healthdiary365.com is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.