What Factors Affect Sperm Quality?

What Factors Affect Sperm Quality?

Sperm cells are so sensitive, they can be affected by almost anything. From the time they're produced up to the time they exit your penis together wit

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Sperm cells are so sensitive, they can be affected by almost anything. From the time they’re produced up to the time they exit your penis together with your seminal fluid, your spermatozoa are vulnerable and their quality can go bad any time.

When it comes to sperm quality, testosterone is the one factor that’s really important. That’s because it’s needed to nourish your sperm. Without it, your spermatozoa die off while they’re still developing. Aside from testosterone, here are several other factors that can also affect the quality of your sperm.

Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

Many researchers and scientists blame exposure to EDCs as one of the biggest contributors to global infertility cases. EDCs or endocrine-disrupting chemicals are called such because they interfere with your endocrine system. Such interference causes abnormal hormonal production and hormonal imbalance.

Bisphenol A or BPA

Commonly found in food packaging and plastic bottles, BPA exposure can lead to low sperm counts, cryptorchidism or undescended testicles, and testicular cancer. Fetal exposure to BPA can negatively impact the development of the testes because BPA mimics the actions of endogenous estrogen.

DDT or Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane

DDT can cause harm to the male reproductive system by blocking androgen receptors. DDT has also been shown to cause reduced sperm motility and increased the percentage of sperm with abnormal tail morphology. DDT exposure can also cause sperm DNA damage.

Dioxins

Animal studies show that dioxin exposure can lead to abnormalities in the testes, as well as decreased testicular weight and reduced spermatogenesis.

Lifestyle Factors

Male infertility isn’t always about genetics or environmental exposure. There are also many instances when infertility is caused by lifestyle factors such as dietary habits and occupational environment.

Diet

A high intake of unhealthy fats and processed meat can lower sperm counts and reduce sperm motility. High-fat dairy products may also cause abnormal sperm morphology and reduced sperm motility.

Smoking

Tobacco consumption causes problems in both male and female reproductive systems. Aside from respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and lung cancer, infertility is another health problem that’s closely linked to smoking. Lower sperm concentrations, reduced sperm density, lower ejaculate volume, and lesser motile sperm are common among male smokers.

Alcohol consumption

Chronic and heavy alcohol drinking can lead to structural testicular changes and significantly decreased levels of testosterone. In addition, alcohol consumption has also been shown to result in poor sperm morphology characterized by sperm head breakage, curling of the tail, and distention of the sperm midsection. Men who drink also tend to have lower sperm concentration and motility, as well as reduced sperm viability.

Recreational drugs

Opiates, cocaine, methamphetamines, and other recreational drugs negatively affect the HPG or hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. These illicit drugs may also cause changes in the testicular architecture, as well as negatively affect sperm function. Marijuana smoking alone can lead to lower sperm count and concentration. When marijuana is taken with other illicit drugs, the negative effects on sperm quantity and quality multiply.

Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS)

Used to enhance athletic performance, excessive use of AAS can induce hypogonadism, suppressed spermatogenesis, and testicular atrophy. If AAS use isn’t discontinued, it can eventually result in infertility.

Stress

The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis becomes activated in response to stress. Unfortunately, the HPA axis inhibits the HPG axis and the Leydig cells in the testicles, thus leading to lower testosterone levels which, in turn, cause Sertoli cell modifications and suppressed spermatogenesis.

Testicular Environment

Because spermatogenesis occurs in the testes, it’s best to keep your testicular environment as optimal as possible to ensure good sperm quality. Abnormalities in the testicular environment can lead to poor sperm production and poor sperm quality.

High scrotal temperature

One of the functions of the scrotum is to help regulate testicular temperature. When testicular temperature increases, such as when you’re working in a high-temperature environment or wearing extremely tight clothes, spermatogenesis gets affected. Heat stress causes increased sperm DNA damage and sperm death.

Varicocele

A bulging vein in one or both testicles marks the presence of a varicocele. This can contribute to infertility because varicoceles generally raise the scrotal temperature, thereby affecting sperm production.

Radiation

Testicular exposure to radiation can lead to abnormal semen concentration and poor sperm quality. Radiation exposure from cell phone usage has been shown to reduce sperm quality. Radiation treatment for cancer often leads to infertility because it kills the stem cells that are responsible for producing sperm.

Natural Protection for Your Sperm

For protecting your sperm production and semen quality, sticking to a healthy lifestyle is one of the best things you can do. Next to that, you can take supplements that can help enhance your fertility.

Tongkat Ali

When it comes to natural protection for your testicular cells and sperm cells, Tongkat Ali is one of the leading choices. For one, it promotes increased testosterone production. Tongkat Ali also improves spermatogenesis and increases sperm quality. In addition, Tongkat Ali can also help you fight stress.

dried maca and powderMaca

Studies indicate that maca supplementation is effective in improving sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology. Maca is also good for regulating hormone levels, as well as lowering stress levels.

Ashwagandha

One of the best supplement choices for fighting stress, Ashwagandha has also been found to improve sperm quality by increasing sperm motility and improving sperm morphology.

Tribulus terrestris

Known to improve testosterone levels, Tribulus terrestris has also been tested for its effects on male fertility. Results indicate that Tribulus terrestris can help increase sperm motility and improve sperm morphology.

Zinc

Men who are trying to conceive need to have sufficient zinc levels. Zinc deficiency leads to poor testosterone production. In addition, the developing sperm cells also require zinc. The mineral is needed in order for the sperm tail and sperm head to develop normally.

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