In 2017, Dr. Hagai Levine and his team of researchers published a study concluding that sperm counts among men from North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand appeared to have halved in less than 40 years.  While the study was met with controversy from some quarters, it’s widely Known that lifestyle choices, weight, stress, exposure to toxins, and illness all affect sperm health. In this blog, we’ll share 8 ways you can improve your sperm count – and get closer to conception.

#1 Manage your weight

If you’re currently overweight, Weight Loss can significantly increase your sperm count and overall sperm health. Talk to a doctor or nutritionist to help you get started and map out your weight loss journey.

#2 Stay active

Exercising regularly helps boost your sperm count. One Study found that weightlifting and outdoor activities were associated with higher sperm concentrations, although researchers could not find a link to greater reproductive success. Still, the benefits of exercising are many, both in terms of your mood and overall health.

#3 Avoid alcohol

Even Moderate Drinking can affect sexual health, with a loss of libido and infertility in both men and women.  Heavy Drinking lowers testosterone levels and changes gonadotropin release, impacting sperm production. It also shrinks the testes, causes early or decreased ejaculation, and changes the shape, size, and movement of healthy sperm. The good news is that the effects of alcohol on sperm are Reversible – it takes three months for healthy sperm production to return once you quit or reduce your intake.

#4 Don’t smoke

Tobacco isn’t on friendly terms with sperm. Cigarette smoking reduces semen quality and can contribute to erectile dysfunction.

#5 Steer away from drugs

Illegal drug use, including cocaine and anabolic steroids, contribute to low sperm counts and unhealthy sperm.  We know it’s not always easy to make these changes – if you are having trouble quitting, talk to your doctor for support.

#6 Switch briefs to boxers

Loose boxers at that. Wearing tight clothing may raise the temperature around the scrotum, limiting sperm production.  A 2018 Study found that men who frequently wear boxers had higher sperm counts compared to men who did not. As the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) notes, “avoiding situations that raise scrotal temperature (like hot tubs and using laptops on your lap) might improve sperm quantity and quality”.

#7 Follow a diet rich in antioxidants

Fruit and vegetables provide a natural source of Antioxidants. Opt for organic whenever possible to limit exposure to toxins (which can also affect your sperm count). Vitamins E and C are also an antioxidant and can be found in most multivitamins. Vitamin C improves blood flow and your ability to maintain an erection.

#8 Destress

Researchers are still unsure how Stress Affects Sperm Count, but it appears that “stress may cause the release of steroid hormones, such as glucocorticoids, which can decrease testosterone levels as well as sperm production”. Exercise and meditation can help you relax and improve your sperm numbers.

Final Thoughts

Little tweaks to your daily habits can positively impact your sperm count. Change won’t be overnight, but you should be able to see improvements within three months. Reach out for help if you need support to make some of these changes or if you’re still concerned about your sperm health.