Trying to ConceiveFertilityPhysical healthTTC healthWellbeingMen
The principal key on how to improve sperm health for fertility success is to be as healthy as possible prior to a conception attempt.Statistically, half of all couples trying to conceive will get pregnant within 2-3 months of trying and up to 92% will get pregnant within 1 year. However, these statistics are not in the favour of many of our patients. Male factors such as abnormalities in sperm, represent approximately 40% of the reason why some couples have difficulty conceiving.[1-3]In many cases, with sufficient time, natural treatment methods can make a dramatic improvement on the quality of sperm health parameters. Although, at least 120 days of targeted treatment is required before definite developments can be possible to sperm health.[4]

7 ways on boosting sperm quality

To ensure greater fertility, heat, toxic environmental exposure, and oxidation are enemies that must be avoided. The way to go is to be as diligent as possible with leading a healthy lifestyle, whilst implementing effective natural strategies.[5]For proactive ways on how to improve sperm health naturally, here are some tips you can start implementing NOW:

1. Take your zinc

Zinc is the male fertility mineral that is necessary for healthy testes as well as optimum sperm count, motility, and shape. Some of the best foods packed with zinc for sperm health include beef and lamb, spinach, and pumpkin seeds.[6-8]

2. “Fishy business”

Fish oils are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for healthy male reproduction. The sperm depends upon high fatty acid content to provide its cell membrane with the fluidity that is crucial for fertilisation.[9,10]However, these fatty acids are easily damaged — making sperm particularly vulnerable to attack by free radicals (molecules responsible for damaging healthy cells) and lifestyle factors promoting oxidative stress such as smoking, drinking alcohol, exposure to environmental chemicals, and more.[11,12]Without the proper level of antioxidants required to protect the body against free radicals, essential fatty acids can be a double-edged sword that is associated with reduced fertility. The solution for optimum health of the sperm and fertility? A supplement with a combination of high levels of antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids daily.[9-15]

3. Be cool

As best as you can, try to avoid overheating the testicles. Take note that boxer shorts are BETTER than briefs. Also, STOP crossing those legs.Research shows that squashing the testes for long periods can harm nerves and temporarily impede blood flow. This can cause tingling and numbness in the entire reproductive region and lead, not only to infertility, but to erectile dysfunction eventually.So if your job involves sitting for long periods, be sure to get up and walk around to cool things down a little. Also avoid using heated car seats altogether, and definitely stir away from hot baths, spas, and saunas.[16-19]

4. Plastic is NOT fantastic

When it comes to fertility, plastics have a negative impact on sperm quality.Plastics can cause hormonal imbalances, exerting an oestrogenic effect upon reproductive organs. This reduces the body’s production of testosterone, which in turn can decrease sperm count and may even lead to other abnormalities.The key here is to avoid plastics as much as you can, particularly in the form of plastic containers, water bottles, plastic food wraps, and the likes. Use glass whenever possible.[20-22]

5. Watch where you put that thing

Did you know that the last place you should put your mobile phone is in your pocket?Sperm cells are very sensitive to radiation of any kind, and your sperm parameters will negatively suffer from the exposure. For incredibly better sperm health, best to avoid and protect yourself as much as possible from all types of ionising and non-ionising radiation.Ensuring you do not have any electrical equipment in the bedroom is already a great positive start because the hours you spend sleeping are potentially the only time in your day that you are not constantly being radiated.[23-25]

6. Beware: Toxins kill

Not only can toxins have a negative impact on general health — they can literally kill or damage sperm to a level which renders them unable to effect a healthy conception, causing infertility and/or being a contributing factor in recurrent miscarriages.[26-29]A lot of chemicals in our environment are hormone disruptors and have a part to play. The solution? Avoid chemicals in every form as much as possible — from cleaning products and pest control to paints, building materials, heavy metals, and more. If not entirely possible, reduce your exposure to them.Do your homework and ensure you use every available protection from chemicals and other toxic hazards in the workplace.[26-29]

7. Clean up your diet and lifestyle

Cut out the junk food, cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar. Base your meals on fresh, unprocessed, vital foods every day. The healthier your diet and lifestyle, the most optimum your fertility — it is that simple.[30-36]If you want to learn more about how to improve sperm health through healthy eating, we offer fertility diet plans designed to have you eating foods for the best sperm quality. Available by subscription, these healthy eating plans provide meal plans, recipes, snacks, and treats that will put you on track for a healthy sperm diet.

Final thoughts

Naturally boosting sperm health and fertility are not just confined to the ways mentioned above. However, they are vital pillars. Bear in mind that making positive changes to optimise your general health will also have a remarkably positive impact on your fertility — and the benefits do not stop there.When you and your partner are trying to conceive and asking how to make sperm healthy for pregnancy, the most basic and direct answer would be making better choices — not tomorrow, but TODAY. Your prospective child's life depends on them.In ensuring you are doing your best now, you are also making a decision about your legacy in the form of your offspring.For more information about optimising sperm health, take a look at the following related resources: What constitutes a healthy sperm? | How to improve sperm morphology | Improving high-viscosity sperm | Advice on sperm-friendly lubricants | Can sperm be incompatible with the egg? 

References:

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Arab Journal of Urology, 2019. 17(2). PMID: 31285919. [12] Wright, C., et al. Sperm DNA Damage Caused by Oxidative Stress: Modifiable Clinical, Lifestyle and Nutritional Factors in Male Infertility. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 2014. 28(6). PMID: 24745838. [13] Arafa, M., et al. Efficacy of Antioxidant Supplementation on Conventional and Advanced Sperm Function Tests in Patients With Idiopathic Male Infertility. Antioxidants, 2020. 9(3). PMID: 32155908. [14] Majzoub, M., et al. Systematic Review of Antioxidant Types and Doses in Male Infertility: Benefits on Semen Parameters, Advanced Sperm Function, Assisted Reproduction and Live-Birth Rate. Arab Journal of Urology, 2018. 16(1). PMID: 29713542. [15] Wang, J., et al. Efficacy of Antioxidant Therapy on Sperm Quality Measurements After Varicocelectomy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Andrologia, 2019. 51(10). PMID: 31423629. [16] Abdelhamid, M.H.M., et al. Mild experimental increase in testis and epididymis temperature in men: effects on sperm morphology according to spermatogenesis stages. Translational Andrology and Urology, 2019. 8(6). PMID: 32038961. [17] Mínguez-Alarcón, L., et al. Type of Underwear Worn and Markers of Testicular Function Among Men Attending a Fertility Center. Human Reproduction, 2018. 33(9). PMID: 30102388. [18] Jung, A., et al. Influence of Heating Car Seats on Scrotal Temperature. Fertility and Sterility, 2008. 90(2). PMID: 17919605. [19] Garolla, A., et al. Seminal and Molecular Evidence That Sauna Exposure Affects Human Spermatogenesis. Human Reproduction, 2013. 28(4). PMID: 23411620. [20] Meli, R., et al. Oxidative Stress and BPA Toxicity: An Antioxidant Approach for Male and Female Reproductive Dysfunction. Antioxidants, 2020. 9(5). PMID: 32397641. [21] Rahman, M.S., et al. Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms of Bisphenol A Action in Spermatozoa. 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Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is positively associated with sperm motility: A cross-sectional analysis. Scientific Reports, 2019. 9(1). PMID: 30833599. [33] Ricci, E., et al. Coffee and caffeine intake and male infertility: a systematic review. Nutrition Journal, 2017. 16(1). PMID: 28646871. [34] Silva, J.V., et al. Study on the Short-Term Effects of Increased Alcohol and Cigarette Consumption in Healthy Young Men's Seminal Quality. Scientific Reports, 2017. PMID: 28367956. [35] Sharma, R., et al. Cigarette Smoking and Semen Quality: A New Meta-analysis Examining the Effect of the 2010 World Health Organization Laboratory Methods for the Examination of Human Semen. European Urology, 2016. 70(4). PMID: 27113031. [36] Sharma, R., et al. Lifestyle Factors and Reproductive Health: Taking Control of Your Fertility. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 2013. PMID: 23870423
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