One of the parameters assessed during semen analysis, sperm count refers to how many sperm is present in a semen sample. When your sperm count falls
One of the parameters assessed during semen analysis, sperm count refers to how many sperm is present in a semen sample. When your sperm count falls below the threshold which is 15 million for every milliliter of ejaculate, that’s already considered low.
Your sperm count is an important factor for your fertility. When you have a low sperm count, a condition referred to as oligospermia, your chances of successful fertilization decrease. Here are three ways for you to increase your sperm count naturally.
#1 Increase Your Testosterone Levels
Testosterone is important not only because you need it for your libido and muscle mass, but also because it’s necessary for normal sperm production. Of the many factors that affect sperm count and quality, testosterone is perhaps one of the most crucial factors.
Men with low testosterone levels typically suffer from impaired fertility. That’s because without sufficient amounts of testosterone, spermatogenesis becomes impaired. Not only does testosterone help regulate sperm production, but it’s also necessary for supporting the functions of the Sertoli cells in your testicles.
As you produce sperm in your seminiferous tubules, your Sertoli cells support the growing sperm by nourishing them. When you don’t produce enough testosterone, your Sertoli cells won’t be able to nourish all of the growing sperm. Spermatogenesis then becomes stunted, resulting in a low sperm count.
This is why testosterone therapy is often recommended to infertile men. However, exogenous testosterone or testosterone derived from external sources can have negative effects on your testicular functions, which is why it’s better to boost your testosterone levels through natural means.
To do that, you can try to eat foods that are known to contain nutrients, such as zinc and folate, which are needed for testosterone production. Legumes and Brussels sprouts are both good sources of zinc and folate, so you should try to incorporate these in your diet.
You can also try taking herb-based supplements such as fenugreek and Tongkat Ali. In truth, Tongkat is extremely beneficial for men with idiopathic or unexplained fertility. Not only does Tongkat Ali improve your testosterone levels, but it also provides antioxidant protection for your sperm cells so that they don’t get damaged by oxidative stress.
Fenugreek is also helpful in increasing your testosterone levels since it prevents your circulating testosterone from being converted into estrogen. The benefits of fenugreek on your sperm count does not end with just increasing your testosterone levels. It’s also good for reducing your appetite and decreasing your fat mass, thus helping you lose weight.
#2 Shed Unwanted Pounds
Overweight and obese men tend to have lower sperm counts than men whose weight are within the normal range. Previous studies indicate that the more excess weight you have, the more likely your sperm count will be low. In fact, obese men have been shown to have much lower sperm counts than men who are overweight but not obese.
According to research, obesity impairs your reproductive potential in several ways. For one, being overweight or obese can lead to low testosterone levels. In addition, obesity also results in altered hormone profiles. And since spermatogenesis is subject to the regulation of various hormones, any hormonal imbalance can impair your sperm production.
Moreover, scientists have found that obesity can also affect your germ cells, which are the precursors of your spermatozoa. In obese men, the molecular and physical structures of the germ cells are altered, which results in reduced sperm quality. Obesity also increases oxidative stress in the testicles, leading to a high number of sperms with DNA damage.
Scientists thus recommend that overweight and obese men try to lose weight to improve their sperm count and overall fertility. Even just a slight decrease in weight can already help in improving your hormonal profile and increasing your fertility.
It’s also been shown that losing weight through bariatric surgery is effective in improving total and free testosterone levels, as well as in reducing waist circumference and lowering fasting blood glucose levels.
However, bariatric surgery is not readily accessible for everyone, which is why losing weight naturally through regular exercise and diet is a great option.
#3 Follow A Healthfully Balanced Diet
Because sperm production is greatly dependent on hormonal regulation, a lot of people overlook the fact that diet also plays a crucial role in male fertility. In fact, researchers have shown that processed meat, carbonated beverages, and full-fat milk may have detrimental effects on your sperm count and quality.
Chronic and excessive alcohol consumption is also associated with reduced fertility. A high intake of processed foods like junk foods and fast food can also hurt your sperm production.
On the one hand, your reproductive function and overall health may be greatly improved if you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Since fruits and vegetables are rich in various types of antioxidants, they can help lower oxidative stress levels in your testicles and protect your sperm from damage caused by oxidative stress.
Citrus fruits, for example, are great sources of vitamin C, while broccoli and spinach can give you substantial amounts of vitamin E. Both vitamins C and E are antioxidants found in your seminal plasma, and they help protect your spermatozoa.
Fruits and vegetables are also great sources of nutrients and minerals that your body needs in order to produce sperm. For instance, you can get zinc from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale. Zinc is actually very important in the production and development of sperm cells.
A zinc deficiency can lead to low sperm count and poor sperm quality. When your sperm cells develop and mature, they will need zinc so that their tail can attach properly. Zinc is also needed for normal acrosome function. The acrosome is the cap-like structure found in the head of your sperm cell, and it’s necessary for successful fertilization.
The Bottom Line
Increasing your sperm count can be as easy as eating the right kinds of foods and quitting unhealthy habits like excessive alcohol drinking or smoking. In addition, you can also raise your sperm count by working out on a regular basis, as well as by taking supplements that help increase your testosterone levels.