What can I do to improve my sperm count?
We asked Dr. Kenan Omurtag what he says to his patients who ask this question. Here is his answer:
“More and more I’m hearing from guys that they want to do something positive to contribute to the pregnancy journey they are undertaking with their partner. Since guys contribute sperm the focus of my answer is on how they can improve their sperm quality. So, two questions: (1) WHAT lifestyle changes can guys make to be more proactive in the conception process and (2) HOW will these changes optimally impact results?”
First of all, lets’ talk about what lifestyle changes you can make to impact your sperm quality.
- Supplements and vitamins:
- A men’s multivitamin + 500 mg of vitamin C per day – Provides lots of antioxidants (Vit C, E and others) – Helps to optimize semen count and quality
- Coenzyme Q10 600-800 mg per day – Boosts cellular energy (sperm are cells!)
- Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplements 1000 mg /day (i.e. Fish Oil)
- Vitamin D 100% of recommended daily value – Check to make sure it is not already in the daily multivitamin
- Mediterranean diet (high in unsaturated fat, lean protein, low on refined carbohydrates)
- No Marijuana – This disrupts how the brain communicates with your testicles to make sperm
- No Testosterone – Testosterone actually tells your testicles to stop making sperm
- No Tobacco products – These products disrupt sperm motility
- Alcohol consumption – Reduce or eliminate alcohol completely
- Sexual lubricants – if you use, use only water based
- Frequency of ejaculations – no restrictions (the good news)
- Stop using products such as Finasteride (Propecia) to reduce male balding
- Sleep – Get enough and opt in for a consistent bedtime if possible
Secondly, let me address your expectation about HOW these lifestyle changes will impact your sperm and set some realistic expectations.
- Timeframe: It will take THREE MONTHS to see the benefit of your lifestyle changes. The sperm you are ejaculating now were produced 3 months ago. So, lifestyle changes you make now will only impact the sperm you are currently making – which take ~ 3 months to “manufacture” – So, you will need to truly make a commitment
- What to expect: It is unlikely that lifestyle changes will spontaneously make sperm appear in a guy’s ejaculate if he has none (or very little). Lifestyle changes can improve wildly fluctuating sperm count/quality and provide a more consistent count and quality per ejaculate which is important for conception because timing is so critical for pregnancy.
- Set a baseline: A great way to look at your fertility potential and monitor improvements is to test your sperm at home first, using the YO Home Sperm Test. This will give you information: (1) If you are LOW, you should see a physician and determine why and (2) If you are in the MODERATE/NORMAL range, the app provides you with a YO SCORE (10-90 based on your Moving Sperm Count).
- Measure improvement: Using YO, re-test yourself after 90 days of lifestyle changes and use the graph on the app to monitor further improvements over time. Again, lifestyle changes will not make someone with a YO SCORE of 10 jump to 80 but the changes could improve your YO SCORE and get you into a better place for conception.
See a physician: Because all people are unique and conception is a timed process that involves both partners, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you speak with your fertility doctor about how these lifestyle changes fit into your procreative plans.