In conception, a sperm must fertilize a woman’s egg. On average, a man ejaculates at least 100 million sperm during sex. However, many of these sperm die as they travel from the uterus to the fallopian tubes. The more sperm you have, the higher the chances of getting a female partner pregnant. But it is not just the volume – but also the quality – of sperm that increases the chances of getting pregnant. When it comes to improving fertility, it is important to know how to make sperm healthy for pregnancy must be a priority if a couple wants to conceive. It not only increases your odds for a successful pregnancy but can also determine if you will have a healthy one.
Male infertility is the lack of ability of a man to impregnate an otherwise fertile woman. Men usually discover that they have this condition after having regular, unprotected intercourse for more than a year and not being able to get their partner pregnant. Infertility in men has a lot to do with sperm count and quality.
In the Philippines, one out of 10 Filipinos are infertile, survey shows. Infertility affects both men and women. However, men’s infertility accounts for 25% of total cases. Male infertility is not always treatable. However, it can be managed and there are treatments to make sperm healthy for pregnancy.
What You Should Know About Sperm Health
The following factors determine sperm health:
Sperm count The odds of conceiving increase when you have more sperm. According to the World Health Organization, anything lower than 15 million per milliliter (mL) of semen is considered “low sperm count.”
Motility Motility refers to the ability of the sperm cells to move.
Sperm morphology This refers to the shape, size, and appearance of a man’s sperm cells. A properly formed sperm head is important. It will ensure that it penetrates the egg for fertilization.
Testosterone levels Having low levels of testosterone can affect sperm production.
What Causes Male Infertility?
Male infertility can have multiple causes. Some cases are due to genes, while others are a result of poor lifestyle choices. How to make sperm healthy for pregnancy depends on the cause. Male fertility does not have visible symptoms. However, it is important to know what may be causing it. Some causes include:
Pre-existing health conditions like chromosomal abnormalities and hormonal imbalances affect reproduction.
Men whose body mass index (BMI) is above 30 are more likely to have poor sperm quality. An increase in fat can affect sperm shape and motility. Additionally, it influences male traits that can alter the baby’s DNA.
According to a study, a man’s potential to conceive decreases by the time he reaches the age of 35. Children who are born during and after this time are more likely to suffer from genetic defects, such as Down’s Syndrome and autism. Sperm motility also declines as you get older.
A history of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause male infertility. It affects sperm quality due to genital inflammation. Severe cases can also produce blockages that prevent sperm cells from moving out of the testicles. STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
These injuries often include pain, discomfort, and swelling around the testicles. Trauma and accidents usually are the root cause. In severe cases, varicoceles can affect sperm production due to the disruption of blood flow.
Testicles have a lower temperature compared to other organs. Subjecting them to heat for extended periods can compromise sperm health and functionality. How to make sperm healthy for pregnancy include avoiding hot baths and saunas, as well as wearing loose-fitting undergarments.
Alcoholism, tobacco, and drug use
Heavy drinking and frequent smoking reduce the quality and number of sperm. Medications and other recreational drugs can affect sperm production.
How is Male Infertility Diagnosed?
A semen analysis can help diagnose male infertility. The male patient provides a sample of semen that is then examined under a microscope. The advice of medical professionals will help you learn how to make sperm healthy for pregnancy.
How Do I Improve My Sperm Health?
It is never too early to prioritize one’s sperm health. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the first step to making sperm healthy for pregnancy. Listed below are male fertility tips, you can follow.
Regular exercise can help increase testosterone levels. Staying fit and active improves semen quality. Try to incorporate weightlifting and cardio into your routine to help maintain or lose weight effectively.
Cortisol is a hormone responsible for the body’s stress response. Prolonged stress increases cortisol levels. As a result, testosterone levels go down. Certain medications can help alleviate anxiety and stress management. Self-care activities, such as meditating and walking also helps.
Avoid substance abuse
Frequent intake and use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco result in low sperm count and quality. Steroids hamper sperm production as well.
Limit exposure to toxins
Toxins found in solvents, pesticides, heavy metal, and paint can decrease sperm count.
Regular intake of antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that control and prevent free radicals, which damage cells. When the body’s antioxidant defenses are overwhelmed, this may lead to infertility. Antioxidants can come in the form of certain vitamins and minerals.
Here are other tips to increase sperm naturally:
The following can help make sperm healthy for pregnancy:
Vitamin C. A study in infertile men showed that daily intake of vitamin C supplements increased sperm motility by 92% and sperm count by 100%. Additionally, it can boost immunity and prevent iron deficiency.
Vitamin D. Having low levels of vitamin D can reduce testosterone levels.
Zinc. Zinc is a mineral found mostly in animal products. Try to incorporate meat, shellfish, eggs, and dairy into your diet. This will help improve sperm quality and count.
Try medicinal herbs. Apart from vitamins, medicinal herbs can also enhance male fertility. Always consult your doctor when trying any new fertility treatments and measures.
Male infertility accounts for 25%-30% of infertility cases. Male infertility can have multiple causes, yet show zero visible symptoms. This condition may be due to a pre-existing health condition or a result of poor lifestyle choices.
Undergoing a semen analysis will help determine the cause and identify proper treatment. Apart from medications and procedures available, male infertility can be improved by adopting a healthy lifestyle. How to make sperm healthy for pregnancy includes eating a balanced diet, maintaining an active lifestyle, and taking vitamins and supplements regularly.
Learn more about Getting Pregnant here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.