Sperm Count In Men: Few Tips To Increase Sperm Count In Men
Sperms are male reproductive gametes that penetrate the female gamete (egg), leading to pregnancy. Sperm count refers to the number of sperms present in a certain volume of semen.
A healthy sperm count is crucial when trying to conceive. Hence, having a low sperm count can lead to infertility and eventually, the inability to conceive. Other than that, it may even indicate metabolic syndromes and illnesses.
This article will discuss the possible natural and medical solutions to get an increased sperm count. But before that, let’s take a look at some of the signs and causes of a low sperm count.
Low Sperm Counts
Normal sperm count levels are generally between 15 million sperm and 200 million sperm in 1 millilitre (mL) of semen. Sperm counts less than 15 million sperm per millilitre or 39 million sperm per ejaculate are considered low. Oligospermia is the biological term used for a low sperm count.
A low sperm count level can be accurately determined through a semen analysis. This analysis is usually done at a fertility clinic, medical laboratories, or by using an at-home test.
Other than being unable to conceive, there aren’t any obvious symptoms or conditions associated with a low sperm count. But most men may experience some of the following:
- Decreased libido
- Difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection
- Swollen or firm testicles
- Hormonal imbalance (decreased facial or body hair)
Causes of a Low Sperm Count
Several medical and environmental factors can cause a decreased sperm count. Some of them are:
- Varicocele: It refers to the swelling of veins in the testicular area, draining the testicles of sperms.
- Infections or Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs): Epididymitis, orchitis, gonorrhoea, HIV, etc. are some medical conditions that hinder sperm production or sperm health.
- Ejaculatory dysfunction: Sperm counts are also affected when a person faces issues with ejaculation.
- Medical conditions: Certain tumours, cancers, genetic disorders, chromosome defects, etc. can affect sperm health directly or indirectly.
- Unhealthy lifestyle: Regular intake of alcohol, drug abuse, and smoking cause an abrupt drop in testosterone, causing low sperm counts.
- Environmental factors: Low sperm counts are also caused by unintentional or extended exposure to heavy metals, harmful radiations, or industrial chemicals.
Natural Remedies for an Increased Sperm Count
In most cases, low sperm count can be treated by medical intervention only. However, making certain changes to one’s lifestyle and taking up simple cures can bring about a huge change.
Some natural, yet effective, ways to get an increased sperm count include:
A nourishing meal – with adequate amounts of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals – can help men who suffer from low sperm counts and low levels of testosterone. Have at least three fulfilling meals (rich in essential nutrients but low in fat) every day.
Research studies have shown that extreme exercises and endurance training reduce testosterone and other hormone levels in men. Hence, cutting down on intense workouts and gaining a little weight may help when trying to conceive.
Physical activities like cycling, running, and mountaineering has been proven to cause reductions in sperm concentration and motility. Hence, it is also advisable to avoid such activities.
Abstain from Drinking and Smoking
Heavy smokers have an average of 29% lower sperm count and 19% lower sperm concentration than non-smokers. This is because heavy smoking has been linked to a reduction in testicle size, decreased virility, and impotence.
Chronic alcohol consumption also leads to reduced sperm sizes. It interferes with their ability to move and penetrate the egg. Thus, men should limit the use of such intoxicating substances.
Maintain a Healthy Weight and BMI
Obesity and anorexia have both been linked to poor sperm quality and quantity in men. They cause hormonal imbalance leading to irregular levels of testosterone.
Additionally, azoospermia and oligospermia are frequently seen in obese, overweight, and underweight subjects.
A recent study in India has shown that a regular intake of a prescribed amount of Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) results in increased testosterone levels, sperm quality, sperm count, and sperm motility.
Several studies confirm that Tribulus Terrestris, a medicinal herb, leads to increased testosterone levels in men, improved sperm count, and motility. However, its consumption for more than 90 days can lead to certain mild and/or severe side effects. Hence, it must be taken after an appropriate medical prescription.
Avoid Testosterone Supplements
Although adequate testosterone levels aid sperm production, its presence in excessive amounts suppresses the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). This particular hormone stimulates and facilitates sperm production.
Hence, when testosterone is added to the body through supplements, it initiates a process that hinders sperm production.
Avoid Tight Pants and Hot Tubs
The scrotum (skin sac holding the testicles) is located just outside the body. This is because a temperature slightly below the normal body temperature is optimum for sperm production.
Scrotal heating and prolonged exposure to warm temperatures are detrimental to sperm health. Men are, thus, suggested to avoid hot tubs, long hot showers and should wear breathable bottoms.
Work on Stress Management
Psychological stress has a negative association with male fertility hormones and seminal quality. This is because increased levels of cortisol (human stress hormones) inhibit testosterone production in men. For this reason, it is essential to try and minimize stress levels by taking up simple stress-buster activities.
Get Treated for Previous Underlying Conditions
Medical conditions like anaemia, thyroid, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia, etc. negatively seminal quality.
It is, hence, advisable to get checked and treated for any such medical ailments, when trying to conceive.
Medical Procedures for an Increased Sperm Count
Medical treatment for an increased sperm count can start only after a detailed study of one’s past surgical and reproductive history, physical examination and, semen analysis. You might even be asked to get some additional tests done like scrotal ultrasound, hormone level tests, genetic tests, testicular biopsy, etc.
The treatment may include counselling, fertility drugs, surgery, or a combination of these. Some of them include:
These oral pills may be taken to reduce female reproductive hormone (estrogen) or enhance testosterone production in men. These hormonal replacements are generally recommended when there are low levels of desired hormones.
Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring nutrient in the body. When taken as a nutritional supplement, it improves sperm count, seminal quality, and motility.
However, it is necessary to consult a health professional before taking any such supplements.
Surgical procedures are often carried out to correct erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, or varicocele. Further, it is possible to unclog vas deferens, reverse prior vasectomies and retrieve sperm from the testicles through surgeries.
Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART)
ART treatments consist of IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) and IVF (InVitro Fertilization), which include handling of eggs and sperms outside the body. Usually, sperms are retrieved through normal ejaculation or surgically from the testicles. Then, the sperm may be inserted into the vagina or used for IVF.
Foods for an Increased Sperm Count
Certain foods contain specific nutrients that help in increasing sperm count, concentration, mobility, and overall quality of semen. Here are some of them: oranges, oysters, pumpkin seeds, leafy vegetables, salmon, sardines, dark chocolate, pomegranate juice, Brazil nuts, etc.
On the other hand, some foods that deter semen quality should be avoided: fried foods, full-fat dairy products, processed meats, excessive caffeine, alcohol, etc.
You can also read the reasons for low sperm count and how low is too low
To conclude, low sperm counts are surprisingly common among men. Whatever the cause may be, a substantial part of the problem can be solved by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
It is highly recommended to visit a doctor for specialized treatment for complex cases. However, healthier diet choices and a few simple steps on your part can bring about a huge difference.
April 27, 2021 Sam Bell