The leading cause of infertility in men is low sperm count. A man should have a normal sperm count of around 20 million per milliliter of semen, anything lower than that can be difficult for men to have babies and become fathers.
There are different factors associated with low sperm count. Truth is, sperm killers are everywhere and they are silently screwing your chances of having a child. Lifestyle, diet, health and environment are some of the factors that contribute to infertility which men may not be aware of. The good news is, once you become aware of what they are, you can take the necessary actions to avoid them.
So, help your swimmers be like Michael Phelps by taking these simple steps:
1. Keep away from pesticides and other harmful toxins.
Exposure to pesticides and other toxins can affect sperm quality and quantity. Chemical pesticides kill pests and don’t recognize the dissimilarity between your precious seed and a hornworm. Going organic still would be your best bet to avoid exposure to these kinds of chemicals. As for the cleaning products, the best advice is to wear protective clothing or equipment and avoid skin contact.
2. Laptop on your lap is a no-no.
Your lap is the last place you want to rest your laptop on. Laptops generate a lot of heat and men who use laptops on their laps increase the temperature around their testicles very quickly, which results in high temperature that’s enough to damage sperm.
3. Wi–fi may kill your sperm.
Recent studies suggest that using Wi-Fi can damage sperm due to the electromagnetic radiation generated by wireless communication. So, it’s a good idea to keep your Wi-Fi-enabled devices away from the family jewels.
4. Keep your cell phones away from your nether regions.
The convenience of having a cell phone comes at a price, especially if you’re planning to have children. A number of studies proved that exposure to EMR from cell phones lower sperm motility and sperm viability. Cell phone radiation also affects men’s sperm count. Keep your cell phones away from your nether regions as much as possible.
5. Yes to more sex.
Men must be grinning from ear to ear when they read this. Research suggests that having sex every other day improves sperm quality. Regular ejaculation can cut the amount of DNA damage sperm and increases its motility. So, it’s a good idea to keep the river flowing, if you know what I mean.
6. Man up and brave the cold showers.
Cold showers are good for your little swimmers as it helps in the testosterone production. An increased testosterone level not only boosts a man’s libido, but also improves his overall strength, energy level and well-being.
7. Stay clear of plastics.
The chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) found in plastics is linked to poor semen quality in men. This chemical, which mimics the female sex hormone estrogen is possibly blocking the action of the naturally occurring hormone and interferes with the way hormones are processed by the body. It’s usually found in plastic food containers, plastic knives and forks, baby bottles, CD cases and in the plastic lining of many tin cans and food wrapping.
8. Sex toys are fun, but…
If you’re a fan of sex toys, you should avoid pleasure devices made of vinyl as this type of plastic unleashes phthalates which are proven to lower sperm count. But don’t fret, you can still spice up your sex life by buying silicone made sex toys and for that nonplastic pleasure, there’s always a glass dildo.
9. Use natural lubes.
Lubes do make sex play more pleasurable, but did you know that they can actually interfere with sperm movement and hinder your sperm’s ability to move freely? Fortunately, there are sperm-friendly lubricants available on the market today, but did you know that some of the best lubricants can be found in your very own kitchen? If you want to help things move more efficiently, you can use vegetable, safflower or peanut oil. Now that’s convenient!
10. Ditch the canned foods.
No one can deny the convenience, canned foods provide, but before you keep your pantry filled with these tiny tin cans, there’s something you need to know! BPA is also used in the plastic lining of many tin cans and food packaging. It’s believed to be the biggest source of BPA contamination. BPA leaches into food and studies show that the men who are exposed to large quantities of BPA have 23 percent lower sperm counts than men with no BPA exposure. Fresh and frozen food can be a great alternative to canned food and you can also opt to buy sauces in glass jars rather than cans.
11. Use safer pots and pans.
The chemical perfluoroalkyl acids used to keep the eggs from sticking to the pan may keep sperm from sticking to the eggs. Studies show that men with high blood levels of chemicals used for non-stick coating have lower sperm counts. Conclusion: nonstick pans can put you in a sticky situation.
12. Receipts, no thanks.
Most thermal receipt papers are also coated with, yep, you guessed it, BPA! It seems there’s no escaping this controversial chemical. If you don’t really need a receipt, then don’t take it. It’s the best way to limit your exposure and protect yourself. Why take chances right?
13. Your shower can be toxic.
So you thought that by getting rid of your vinyl sex toys you’ve now safeguarded your sperm – the bad news is that the chemical phthalates which destroys your sperm count don’t just linger in your sex toys, they can also be found on your soaps, shampoos, conditioners and deodorants. Avoid toxic showers by going organic and using plant-based and unscented products which are free of the harmful phthalate chemical.
14. Bike less.
According to studies, men who are serious cyclists have lowered sperm counts. Pressure and friction placed against the scrotum by a bike seat increase scrotal temperatures and the heat produced are just enough to decrease sperm production.
15. Watch out for hot baths and hot tubs.
We all love hot tubs and steamy baths, but men might want to reconsider frequenting dips in the hot tub as increased scrotal temperature can hamper sperm production. The testes are very sensitive to heat and they need to be in a cooler environment to produce healthy sperm.
16. Don’t get high.
Sperms get high too, and when they do, they burn out. It’s a case of too fast, too early and by the time they meet the eggs, they are overworked and behave abnormally. Men who smoke marijuana has less seminal fluid and a lower total sperm count which affects fertility adversely.
17. Stop smoking!
One good enough reason to stop smoking is if you want to father a child. A smoker’s sperm is less fertile and men who smoke cigarettes are more likely to have low sperm counts. Smoking damages sperm and are unable to fertilize eggs. If you break the habit, you can expect a great improvement in the sperm count within four to six weeks.
18. Limit the booze.
Men who drink heavily on a regular basis have lowered sperm counts and testosterone levels. Heavy drinking can reduce the quality and quantity of sperm so limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than three to four units of alcohol per day.
19. Lose those extra pounds.
When it comes to making a baby, body size does matter. Obesity has a great impact on men’s fertility and sperm function. It can cause hormonal changes that reduce male fertility. Keep your sperm happy by sticking to a healthy diet and exercise to keep the bulge off.
20. Lessen your Tv viewing hours.
Being glued to the tube for more than 20 hours a week can slash men’s sperm count in half. Have a more physical, active lifestyle to improve your semen quality.
21. Exercise regularly.
Exercising regularly releases testosterone into the body which helps in sperm production. It also reduces stress hormones in the body which can damage sperm.
22. Do not use anabolic steroids.
Anabolic steroids may help you become Mr. Universe, but beware as they decrease sperm production and cause infertility. Men who take steroids have significantly decreased sperm counts. Steroid use can also cause shrinking of the testicles, impotence and low sex drive in men.
23. Exercise your PC muscles.
Pubococcygeus (PC) muscle exercises are used by men not only to last longer, but to improve the strength of orgasm and erection. It also helps your little swimmers to increase the distance of their reach.
24. Have a good rest and sleep.
A good rest and sleep are important factors in increasing sperm count and quality. Our body does production work while we sleep, which is why getting a sufficient sleep every night can help in sperm production.
25. Lighten up.
Stress can interfere with the hormones needed to produce sperm. It’s said that “a man’s ability to produce sperm may depend on his ability to handle stress” so reduce stress by finding ways to relax as much as possible.
26. Drink lots of water.
We all know how important water is but people may not be aware that water is necessary for sperm health as well. Semen is actually composed of 98 percent water so staying well hydrated is essential in producing the volume of sperm a man excretes during orgasm. Drinking lots of water is probably the simplest way to improve your sperm count.
27. Avoid saunas.
Exposure to too much heat can affect the sperm count for months and going to saunas can decrease men’s fertility levels. Pampering yourself is always a good thing, but would you rather visit the sauna or have a good sperm count? Your choice!
28. I know you love heated car seats, but…
For men driving on really cold winter days, there’s no greater luxury than a heated car seat. But this comfortable feeling can hinder you from having your own babies. The direct heat from a heated car seat damages sperm quality and decreases sperm production.
29. Avoid tight underwear, shorts and jeans.
Make sure your testicles don’t get overheated so wearing really tight briefs, shorts and jeans is a no-no. Consider wearing loose boxer shorts instead of briefs so your testicles can breathe and stay cooler.
30. Eat healthy.
Diet impacts fertility, especially sperm count and quality. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important if you want to have kids. A healthy intake of micronutrients and antioxidants is essential to help boost sperm DNA quality. By eating healthy, not only you benefit from overall health, but your little swimmers too.
31. Caffeine intake should be in moderation.
Caffeine has positive effects on men’s reproductive health – looks like it can also make your sperm a bit jumpy. But too much caffeine, according to some studies can also increase the risk of genetic mutation in sperm so have your caffeine intake in moderation.
32. Eliminate processed foods from your diet.
Chemically processed foods are made from refined ingredients and artificial substances which are generally bad for your health. The lack of nutrients can affect your sperm count and quality too. Opt for real organic foods that can give your body the nutrients it needs.
33. Ditch the microwave popcorn.
Just like the non-stick pans, microwave popcorn bags also contain the chemical Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and in some cases, they are 6 times higher than the levels of PFOA detected in non-stick pans. If you love popcorn so much, you can always make it the old-fashioned way – on the stovetop.
34. Go for the fatty fish.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help men produce higher-quality semen. They are also known to be loaded with sex-boosting benefits. It would be advisable to add oily cold water fishes like salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines to your diet plan.
35. Go nuts!
Nuts are great for raising sperm count as they are good sources of zinc and vitamin E. Most nuts, particularly walnuts have alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is a natural plant source of omega-3 that provides the sperm an extra boost. Walnuts also contain arginine, which aids the testicles in increasing sperm production as well as semen volume.
36. Nibble on dark chocolate.
Here’s the good news for all chocolate lovers out there. Dark chocolate contains L-Arginine HCL which has been scientifically proven to increase sperm and semen production by more than 100 percent. This amino acid is also known to improve the dilation of blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the genitals. Men who eat dark chocolate regularly are also known to have more intense orgasms.
37. Snack on some pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds contain protective compounds called phytosterols, which doesn’t only improve testosterone production but can also help shrink an enlarged prostate. Pumpkin seeds also contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which help improve blood flow to both of your heads.
38. Love your bananas.
Bananas contain a rare enzyme in them called Bromelain, which helps regulate sex hormones. This natural anti-inflammatory enzyme also boosts the production of male sex hormone. Moreover, bananas have high levels of vitamins B1, A and C which helps the body, enhance its sperm producing ability and increases stamina significantly.
39. Slurp on some oysters.
Oysters are great aphrodisiacs, but they are also one of the best sources of zinc, a mineral which works wonders for your semen. However, too much zinc can also be harmful, so it’s good to eat around 2-oz serving or about 6 oysters a day which is the recommended daily amount.
40. Go for lean meat.
Consuming a small amount of lean red meat and turkey each week is good for you. Both contain zinc, which has protective properties that keep free radicals from getting at your little swimmers. They also have selenium, which is an essential mineral for sperm production and motility.
41. Say no to soy.
Soy has been associated with lower sperm concentrations on men due to its mild estrogenic effect on the body. This study found that men that ate the most soy food had only 41 million sperm per milliliter which is only half of the normal sperm concentrations for men which ranges between 80 and 120 million/ml.
42. Eggs for eggs.
Eggs are rich in vitamin E. Vitamin E deficiency is linked to testicular tissue degeneration. Eggs also contain vitamin B12 and selenium, which are known to enhance sperm count production.
43. Have some avocado.
Avocado is a good source of vitamin E which boosts sperm motility and gives the sperm the strength to infiltrate the egg. Avocados are also high in vitamin B6 and folic acid, which aids in regulating sexual hormone function for optimised sexual health.
44. Eat more tomatoes.
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant involved in reversing infertility. The lack of lycopene is associated with poor semen quality and male factor infertility. Tomatoes, carrots, watermelons and papayas are rich in lycopene and can aid in the mobility and volume of sperms.
45. Pomegranate is good for you.
Pomegranate is a super food that’s extremely rich in antioxidants. It fights malondialidehyde, a chemical in the blood, which destroys sperm. The daily consumption of pomegranate will not only boost sperm quality but also improve overall immune function.
46. Eat garlic.
Garlic is a super food and has the ability to increase blood flow in the body. Garlic contains allicin which provides its antimicrobial and anti-hypertension properties. This property enhances blood flow to the genital area which increases the production of sperm. Garlic also contains selenium and vitamin B6, which provides healthy sperm production.
47. Green leafy vegetables are good for you.
Kale, spinach, swiss chard and other dark green leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamin A and folic acid which wakes up sluggish sperm. These micronutrients are vital for healthy fertility in both men and women.
48. Eat more broccoli.
Broccoli is one of the best sources of folic acid and this vegetable along with Brussel sprouts and cabbage are great liver cleansers too. Not only do they help detoxify your liver, they also improve sperm health.
49. Eat asparagus.
Asparagus has great powers over the sperm. This vegetable is Vitamin C enriched and it does not only increase sperm volume, but also protects the body against oxidative damage. It also has high levels of Folic acid, which plays an important role in sperm production.
50. Load up with Vitamin C.
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes are packed with vitamin C which not only increase sperm count but also protects them from free radical damage. These fruits are also antioxidants, which can enhance sperm motility.
51. Whole grains are good for you.
There is a correlation between low chromium levels and low sperm count. Whole grains are high in chromium and eating whole grain breads and cereals can escalate sperm count by increasing chromium levels.
52. Be cautious with medications.
Certain medications can contribute to fertility issues. It’s best to discuss with your general practitioner whether they can cause potential complications or interfere with your sperm count. If you really need medications, you can consider storing your sperm before treatment.
53. Your shower can be toxic.
So you thought that by getting rid of your vinyl sex toys you’ve now safeguarded your sperm – the bad news is that the chemical phthalates, which destroys your sperm count don’t just linger in your sex toys, they can also be found on your soaps, shampoos, conditioners and deodorants. Avoid toxic showers by going organic and using plant-based and unscented products which are free of the harmful phthalate chemical.
54. Get tested and treated for STDs.
Sexually transmitted diseases can greatly affect your sperm count and reduce fertility. STDs or STIs can interfere with the transport of the sperm and block the passage of sperm. Avoid STIs and if you’re infected, have it treated right away to boost your sperm count and maximise the chances of conception.
55. If you have infections, have it treated right away.
Men with urinary tract infections should have it treated promptly as some urinary tract infections, especially those involving the epididymis can impair sperm health and weaken long-term fertility.
56. Avoid trans fat totally.
Trans-fatty acids (TFA) can lower the sperm count and can slow down the swimming ability of the sperm. A study showed that men with high concentrations of TFA in their semen have 96 percent fewer sperm than men with low concentrations of TFA in their semen.
57. Take micronutrients folic acid and zinc.
Folic Acid and Zinc are essential in the creation of DNA and sperm according to this study. It also showed that total normal sperm count increases after combined zinc sulfate and folic acid treatment in both subfertile and fertile men. Aside from food high rich in these micronutrients, supplements can also be taken daily.
58. Take L-Carnitine.
Sperm cells have to travel farther than any other single human cell and L-carnitine gives them the boost they need to make that trek. L-carnitine helps maintain sperm quality which is why sperm swim better with this powerful nutrient.
59. Take selenium.
Selenium reduces infertility among men. It helps in maximizing sperm count and protects them from abnormal formations as well as stimulates motility. It’s also known to improve sexual performance among men. Snack on Brazil nuts as they are great sources of selenium.
60. Eat Goji berries.
Goji berries are known to be good for increasing sperm count and motility. They have additional antioxidants, which guards against oxidative stress known to be the cause of male infertility. Goji berries also have high levels of zinc that further increase sperm count.
61. Take Tongkat Ali extract.
Tongkat Ali extract is known to be an effective and natural supplement to boost testosterone levels safely and naturally. It’s used to promote healthy libido and support normal hormone levels in males.
62. Take Maca.
Maca is known to be a wonder herb for fertility. It contains 31 different minerals and 60 different phytonutrients which nourish the endocrine system and naturally balances the hormones critical for conception. Maca can increase the seminal volume, sperm count and sperm motility.
63. Take Ginseng
Ginseng is known to have powerful medicinal properties particularly in improving the virility of men. It does wonders in increasing libido, sexual performance and also aids in blood flow to the testicles.
64. Have yourself checked for varicocele.
Varicocele is the swelling of the veins which drain the testicle and is a common cause of male infertility. When treated, sperm quality and overall fertility will improve.
65. Lead is bad.
Heavy metal exposure and lead intoxication have negative reproductive effects. It can diminish sperm concentrations, total sperm counts, total sperm motility and can cause impotence.
66. Avoid exposure to radiation or X-rays.
Medical X-ray exposure has the potential of harming sperm and can reduce sperm production. High doses of radiation can permanently reduce sperm production. To ensure safety, ask the X-ray technicians for a lead apron to protect your testicles from too much exposure
67. Stay away from cimetidine.
Ulcer medication cimetididine, which is also given to people with reflux disease have been found to increase prolactin levels, which can result in male fertility problems. The increase in prolactin can cause a decrease in LH and testosterone levels resulting in a lowered sperm count and decreased libido and sexual function. If you’re trying to father a child, try switching to alternative medication.
68. Don’t take calcium channel blockers.
People with hypertension are usually prescribed with calcium channel blockers to control high blood pressure. The problem is this medication interferes with the fertilization process and prevents sperm to penetrate an egg. The good news is you can switch to other types of hypertension medication which do not affect your fertility.
69. Choose the right antibiotics.
Some antibiotics are identified to interfere with male fertility. Antibiotics such as Nitrofurantoins, Minocycline, Macrolides, Aminoglycosides and Sulfasalazine are found to lower a man’s sperm count by disrupting the sperm production process as well as reduce both sperm count and motility.
Keep your sperm healthy and swimming for the gold by following the advice provided here and increase your baby-making chances.