Healthy sperms are an important factor in male fertility. Sperm count is referred to the average total number of sperm present in one sample of semen. According to recent World Health Organization guideline, a healthy sperm count is 15 million per milliliters (ml) or 39 millions per sample. Sperm count lower than 10 millions per ml is considered abnormal and can result male infertility.
Markers of Sperm Health
Dr. Rohini, Chief Infertility & IVF Specialist Explained That, “Sperm count is directly associated with sperm health. Before you start thinking to improve your sperm health, lets first understand the markers of sperm health.” The markers of sperm health includes:
- Sperm motility: Sperm mobility refers to sperm movements. Sperms must be able to swim to reach and fertilize the egg.
- Semen Volume: A minimum volume is required to carry the sperms through the female reproductive region. A normal semen volume ranges from 2 to 5ml per ejaculation.
- Sperm morphology: The average ideal size and shape of sperm cell in a sample.
- Sperm count: The concentration of sperm cells per ejaculation.
Now, the question arises is, How to increase the sperm count? The answer is not complicated as we think. You can improve the sperm counts by three methods: Lifestyle changes, Food and Supplement. However, medication is suggested in the treatment of low sperm counts when the sperm count is too low.
Now, let’s check all one by one.
Lifestyle changes: Current lifestyle is the major factor in both male and female infertility and little change in lifestyle is can take to the door to happiness.
Say NO to:
- Smoking: In 2016 a study reviewed the result of over 20 studies with nearly 6000 participates that smoking consistently reduces sperm counts.
- Alcohol: Alcohol is not only injurious to health also to sperms. If you drink alcohol, you need to do so in moderation. As per the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, up to two drinks per day is considered moderate for men.
- Drugs: Several prescribed medicines may decrease the healthy product of sperms such as anti-androgens, anti-inflammatories, antipsychotics, corticosteroids, methodone and some antibiotics. Once you stop taking these medicines, your sperm counts return to normal and even can decrease. Drugs such as marijuana, cocaine etc decreases sperm production.
- Stress: Stress never good for any one. At the time of stress the body is less concerned about reproduction and more concerned about surviving. A healthful diet and exercise may help to reduce the stress.
- Excess weight: A study says,” overweight or obese guys had lower sperm count and decreased motility.
- Soy: Soya food is contains a good amount of phytoestrogens or plant estrogen. Excess of this reduces testosterone bonding and sperm production. So, you need to limit your intake of soy-based foods, such as soya milk, soya sauce and tofu, etc.
The list is too long, but these are the major things to improve the sperm count and health. Above all, there are few habits to adopt in order to increase the sperm counts. Say YES to:
- Healthy eating: Healthy and balanced diet is key to healthy body as well as healthy sperm. Unhealthy lifestyle not only effect your overall health but also fertility.
- Exercise: Exercise not only improves your psychical performance but also raise your testosterone levels. Several studies have shown that exercise can lead to improved sperm quality and can increase sperm counts.
- Adequate Sleeping: Getting adequate sleep is important to maintaining your health. Restricted or excessive sleep is linked to poor semen quality.
- Fenugreek Supplements: Fenugreek seed extract may increase testosterone level, which is directly connected to sperm production. A study in 2017 found that the Fenugreek seeds extract can significantly improve the overall semen quality and sperm count.
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is a herb that has been used in Ayurveda since ancient times. Ashwagandha may boost male fertility by boosting testosterone levels. A 675 mg of Ashwagandha root extract per day improves fertility.
- Healthy fat intake:
Food to improve sperm counts:
Here is a list of foods which have a wide range of health benefits, including the ability to increase the sperm counts:
- citrus fruits
- whole wheat and grains
- most fish, especially wild salmon, cod, and haddock
- vitamin D enhanced milk and milk products
- dark chocolate
- Broccoli: A green vegetable full of folic acid.
- Turmeric Super high in Vitamin C
- Asparagus: Super high in Vitamin C
- fermented nuts and seeds
Medication to improve sperm counts
Doctors may prescribe few medicines to few men as the treatment of low sperm counts if your sperm count is too low. This medication is depend on your other heath conditions and considerations along with low sperm count.
Medicines for low sperm counts can 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
- human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG)
- letrozole or anastrozole
- exogenous androgens
Low sperm count is not a disease. Dr. Reema Sircar, from Indira Fertility and IVF Center Allahbad says, “ low sperm count can be one of the major cause of infertility in male. If the the sperm count is between 5 to 10 million per ml then IUI and IVF technique are recommended to these couple to conceive. However, ICSI is more preferable if the sperm count is less than 5 million in male partner.” Here it is important to notice that the success rate of IVF is better than IUI.
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