If you and your partner want to get pregnant, you should ensure that your sperm is in good condition. Not all men are blessed with healthy sperm, and many actually battle with fertility issues that negatively impact their sex lives and make reproduction difficult. To help you achieve your goal of starting a family, you should be familiar with the different things that can influence your sperm health and fertility.
What are the factors that determine a man’s sperm health?
There are a number of factors that determine the quality of your sperm. They are the:
Quantity of sperm
The ideal amount of sperm per ejaculation is at least 15 million per milliliter. If your semen contains less than that, you will have a tough time getting your partner pregnant. Not enough sperm means there is a lower chance of having healthy swimmers that can fertilize the egg.
Structure or morphology of sperm
A normal sperm should have an oval-shaped head and a long tail to be able to propel itself from the male reproductive system and travel to the egg. If it is malformed, it might not be able to move to the right direction and begin fertilization. The more sperm with normal morphology you have, the more fertile you are.
Movement or motility of sperm
A healthy sperm should move a lot. It should be wriggling non-stop to be able to swim through your partner’s reproductive parts to start fertilization. According to medical professionals, at least 2 out of every 5 of your sperm cells should be moving excellently to have a high chance of pregnancy.
What should you do to help your body produce good quality sperm?
You can boost your odds of healthy sperm production by:
Eating a healthy diet
Foods that are loaded with antioxidants are great for improving your sperm health. Consume more fruits, like grapes, oranges, blueberries, mangoes, cherries, and plums; and vegetables, such as spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, beets, onions, broccoli, and red bell peppers.
Being physically active
Even with moderate physical activity on a daily basis, you can raise your body’s levels of helpful antioxidant enzymes that can provide protection for your sperm. You can try walking or running even for just 30 minutes a day to work your vital organs and systems.
Maintaining a healthy weight
Some medical studies have found that there is an inverse relationship between your sperm health and your body mass index or BMI. The higher your BMI, the lower your sperm quality. Thus, it is essential that you stay within your ideal weight range to not endanger your sperm count, structure, and movement.
Avoiding sexually transmitted diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases can bring about severe complications that can impact your sperm health. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, for instance, can lead to infertility, if not diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. To protect yourself against these infections, you should always practice safe sex — use condoms every time you engage in sexual activities, limit the number of your sexual partners, avoid alcohol and drugs, and undergo STD screening every time you start a new sexual relationship.
Managing your stress levels
If you are always tired, anxious, nervous, or depressed, getting an erection or performing other sexual functions can be very trying. You have to find ways to lower your stress levels to not harm your sperm health. Get into meditation, do yoga, or other activities to clear and relax your mind.
What are the common causes of fertility problems in men?
Fertility problems in men can be attributed to various medical issues. You are at risk if:
- You have something wrong going on in your pituitary gland or hypothalamus, which are important parts of the brain that facilitate the production of sperm and testosterone hormones in your testicles.
- You have testicular disease, such as testicular torsion, which is the twisting of your testicle, and testicular cancer, which characterized by the occurrence of mutations in your testicular cells.
- You have sperm transport disorders caused by congenital disorders and functional obstruction.
- You are older than 50 years old, as sperm health naturally declines as you age.
What should you avoid to not endanger your sperm health?
There are several risk factors that contribute to poor sperm health. To keep your fertility in good condition, you should:
There are compounds contained in cigarettes that can not only damage your lungs and the rest of your respiratory system, but also hurt your fertility and lower your sperm count.
Minimize your alcohol consumption
If you are a heavy drinker, you are putting yourself at risk of lower testosterone levels, reduced sperm production, and impotence.
Stay away from toxins
If your job involves exposure to lead, pesticides, or some other toxins, make sure to wear protective equipment and gear to protect your skin from getting into contact with hazardous chemicals.
Do not wear tight-fitting underwear
Your scrotum should be kept cool and comfortable to allow the production of good and healthy sperm. You should go for loose-fitting underwear to not trigger an increase in scrotal temperature and to not restrict blood flow.
Avoid certain medications
There are medicines that can cause fertility issues. If you are taking anti-androgens, tricyclic antidepressant, anabolic steroids, or calcium channel blockers, you are in danger of developing fertility issues. You should talk to your doctor about looking into using other options that will not affect your sperm health.
Who can help you with your fertility problems?
You should immediately see a fertility specialist the moment you encounter problems with your sperm and fertility. Do not hesitate to share your concerns, and be honest about what kinds of problems in the bedroom you are having. If you plan to start a family soon, they can give you sound advice on how to increase your odds of conceiving. In addition, they can find out what the root cause of the problem is, and recommend treatment solutions to take you and your partner to the right path towards parenthood.