If you and your partner are trying to conceive a baby, you may be looking for information about how to increase sperm count to improve your chances of getting pregnant. A healthy sperm count is necessary for fertility.
For pregnancy to occur, only one sperm and one egg are needed, so why does sperm count matter? In short, it increases the odds for a successful pregnancy. When a man ejaculates into a woman, the chances that one sperm will reach and implant itself into an egg increases if more sperm are in the semen.
Normal semen contains 40 million to 300 million sperm per milliliter. A low sperm count is considered to be anything between 10 and 20 million sperm per milliliter. Twenty million sperm per milliliter may be adequate for pregnancy if the sperm are healthy.
Read on to learn more about sperm count plus seven things you can do to improve sperm health.
Losing weight if you’re overweight is one of the single-most effective things you can do to increase sperm count. Studies have shown that weight loss can significantly increase semen volume, concentration, and mobility, as well as the overall health of sperm. The changes in sperm count have been found to be most significant in men who have a higher body mass index, so if you have a large amount of weight to lose, even losing a small amount of weight may help.
To accomplish your weight loss goals, talk to a doctor who can help you get started. You may want to schedule an appointment with a nutritionist to change any eating habits that could be improved. Working with a trainer or other exercise program can also help.
Even if you don’t need to lose weight, staying active and leading a healthy lifestyle can help boost your sperm count. One study found that weightlifting and outdoors exercise can help sperm health more than other types of exercise. Consider incorporating these kinds of activities into your routine. Exercise can also help you maintain or lose weight, which may have additional benefits for your sperm health.
3. Take your vitamins
Some types of vitamins, including vitamins D, C, E, and CoQ10, are important for sperm health.
One study showed that taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C every day can help men’s sperm concentration and mobility. The overall sperm count won’t improve, but the sperm can become more concentrated and able to move more efficiently. That can boost your chances of conceiving successfully.
Another study noted less successful rates of pregnancy among couples where the man had low levels of vitamin D. More research is needed to understand the relationship between this vitamin and fertility, but there does seem to be a correlation.
Talk to your doctor about testing your vitamin levels. They can do this using a simple blood test.
Low sperm counts and unhealthy sperm have been linked to people with a history of:
heavy drinking, which is defined as drinking two or more alcoholic drinks per day
tobacco use of any kind
illegal drug use, including cocaine and anabolic steroids
If you use any of these substances and are having trouble quitting, talk to your doctor. They can recommend programs to help manage and treat addiction.
Consider changing your clothes and showering as soon as possible if you’ve been exposed to:
non-water based glues or paints
other endocrine disruptors
Those toxins may affect sperm count. If you’re exposed to any of these things because of a hobby, consider putting your hobby on hold until after you’ve successfully conceived.
Jobs that expose you to excess heat or radiation, or even extreme sedentary work can also affect sperm count.
Biking might be related to low sperm count. Bicycling more than five hours per week is associated with lower sperm concentration. Having your bike checked for a proper fit can help.
Keeping your sperm at an adequate temperature and allowing lots of air flow to the scrotum can help cultivate the right environment for healthy sperm. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing boxers, choose cotton briefs instead of synthetic ones. That will still help control air flow and temperature.
Sperm count isn’t the only thing that matters when trying to conceive. You also want to have overall healthy sperm.
A male’s reproductive health is defined by three aspects of sperm:
the health of the individual sperm
the amount or concentration of sperm
the volume of the overall sperm
Some findings suggest that men’s sperm quality is declining. Doctors aren’t completely sure why that is happening, but lifestyle and nutrition may play a role.