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Birla Fertility & IVF
Birla Fertility & IVF

Ways to Make Sperm Stronger & Healthy

  • Published on February 22, 2022
Ways to Make Sperm Stronger & Healthy

When you are trying to get pregnant, all you wish is to have a healthy baby. And for that, it is essential to have good quality and quantity of sperm and eggs. But healthy sperms are not always given, and so it is important to understand what factors might have affected the health of your sperm and how to improve it by making some changes to improve your chances.

In this article, Dr. Muskaan Chhabra, consultant, Birla Fertility & IVF, explains the factors that can affect male fertility and how to deal with the fertility problems.

 

Determining the health of the sperm

The health of the sperm depends on several factors, which include the quality and quantity of the sperm.

  • Quantity: As per medical research, if in every ejaculation there are at least 15 million sperm per millilitre, it indicates that the sperms are fertile. Because the more you have, the more likely it is that one of them will reach the egg. Less sperm in the ejaculation might make it difficult to reach conception as there are fewer sperms available for the egg to move ahead and fertilise.
  • Shape: If the shape of the sperm is smooth, with an oval head and has a long tail, it clearly indicates that it is a healthy sperm. 
  • Movement: For a healthy sperm, a good quantity of sperms need to be good swimmers as it signals that they are healthy and fertile sperms.

 

Causes of infertility in men

Before finding ways to improve chances of fertility, let us understand what causes infertility in men.

Retrograde ejaculation

This is a condition when during orgasm, the semen enters the bladder instead of coming out through the tip of the penis. There are several reasons that can lead to retrograde ejaculation including, spinal injuries, bladder surgery, prostate, and diabetes.

Varicocele

It is the enlargement and swelling of the veins which drains the testes. Varicocele is one od the most common cause of infertility that can be reversed. Consulting a specialist can help treat this condition. However, the exact cause of varicocele is still unknown. It affects the quality and quantity of the sperm.

Weight

Being overweight can affect fertility in several ways, which includes sperm directly affecting the hormonal changes in the body, which may lower fertility in men. Men who have a normal range as per their BMI might have a better chance of fertility than men who are overweight. It may lower their testosterone levels, reduce the quality and quantity of healthy sperms and diminish their chances of fertility. 

Cancer

Cancer is a highly fatal condition, and it can affect the male reproductive system and decrease their chances of becoming a parent naturally. Non-malignant cancer and tumours have been linked with the ability of male fertility. Cancer and tumours treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation can damage the glands that release hormones related to reproduction.

Smoking, alcohol, and drug use

The use of tobacco, cocaine, or marijuana may shrink the testicles and reduce the ability of men to produce healthy sperm. These toxic drugs can affect the quality and quantity of sperms for a short period of time. 

Consumption of alcohol can affect fertility in men. It may lower testosterone levels, cause erectile dysfunction and reduce the production of sperm. Excessive intake of alcohol may lead to liver damage, thereby affecting fertility in men.

Keep a note that men who don’t smoke may also be affected by male infertility if they have been passive smokers.

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Ways to improve the quality of sperm in men

Lifestyle changes can help improve the quality and quantity of sperm and help boost the hormones that control sperm production. Natural remedies, dietary modifications and the right medications may help boost sperm quality.

Exercise regularly 

Working out and exercising daily can help improve sperm health and help people maintain their overall health, which includes their reproductive health. Following the right weight loss program can help those who are overweight to produce healthy sperm over time. People who are fit and work out on a regular basis may have the ability to increase the testosterone levels needed to enhance sexual desire.

Intake of essential nutrients 

What you eat during the day plays a vital role in the quality and quantity of the sperms that will be produced. Determining the kind of food you intake matters, so choosing plenty of fruits and vegetables full of antioxidants will effectively impact the overall functioning of the body and will highly contribute to improving reproductive health. There are some food items that may be beneficial for the production of stronger and thicker sperms, including food rich in zinc, vitamin D & C, and calcium. Food items like banana, ginseng, garlic, goji berries, pomegranate are all items that have been known to be beneficial in the healthy production of sperms.

(Note: Researchers still advise you to use these food items with caution and consult your doctor before deciding how much you should eat.) 

Quit smoking and avoid excessive drinking

Smoking and drinking have never been best friends forever (BFFs) of the body, and so either you consume them in moderate or in heavy amounts, it is going to harm your overall body in some or the other way and also affect your reproductive system. In various researches, the medical experts signify that people who smoke cigarettes or any toxic elements have shown disturbing changes in their chances of fertility, meaning their sperm quality was lowered, and the production of sperms was affected. Therefore, to have healthy and quantity sperms, it is essential to either limit smoking and drinking or stop it entirely.

Herbal remedies

Ancient practitioners of traditional and herbal medicine have shown through their studies that nonpharmacologic treatments help to boost sperm count and improve sperm health. They suggest that these herbal medications positively affect the sperm count in some way.

Ashwagandha is known to be one of the healthiest medications, which have resulted in the improvement of male hormones required for the healthy production of sperms. In traditional ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha has been described as an aphrodisiac that can be used to treat male erectile dysfunction and male infertility.

Healthy fats 

When planning to conceive, it is recommended that men should consume healthy fats like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats as they are filled with omega 3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fats help in improving the health of the sperm membrane. On one side, while increasing the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, the doctors suggest decreasing the consumption of trans fats as they are not only unhealthy for the reproductive system but are also very harmful to the heart.

 

To conclude:-

To improve your chances of fertility, adopt healthy lifestyle choices by avoiding habits and food items that can harm your reproductive health. Get yourself checked if you and your partner have been unsuccessful after a year of trying. Dr. Muskaan Chhabra, consultant Birla Fertility & IVF, would provide tailored treatment plans and prescribe medications that would push you and your partner forward on the path of parenting.

 

FAQs

Which food improves sperm count?

Fruits that are rich in vitamin C, dark green vegetables, food rich in omega 3 fatty acids like fish, walnuts, fenugreek, and food items rich in vitamin D may help to improve the sperm count.

Can exercise increase sperm count?

Maintaining a healthy weight can help improve count by keeping your reproductive system healthy.  Running, jogging, aerobics, walking are all associated with higher production of sperms.

What is the colour of healthy sperm?

If the semen is of whitish-grey colour, it indicates that it is a healthy sperm and if the semen colour change due to some underlying condition, it is recommended to visit the doctor for further evaluation. 

 

Written by:
Dr Shreya Gupta

Dr Shreya Gupta

Dr Shreya Gupta is an experienced OBGYN in Lucknow with close to 10 years of clinical experience. Her friendly patient oriented approach and thorough knowledge in reproductive medicine makes her a stellar addition in our growing fertility team. She completed her MBBS from GSVM Medical College, Kanpur and her MD (Obstetrics & Gynaecology) from KGMC Lucknow. Thereafter she completed her DNB (Obstetrics & Gynaecology) and FNB (Reproductive Medicine) from Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune.   

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