Boost your sperm count Overview
If you and your partner are trying to conceive a baby, you may be looking for information about how to boost your 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.
A. Lose weight
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.
C. 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.
D. Avoid substance abuse
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
E. Check your environment
Consider changing your clothes and showering as soon as possible if you’ve been exposed to:
- paint strippers
- non-water based glues or paints
- other endocrine disruptors
Jobs that expose you to excess heat or radiation, or even extreme sedentary work can also affect sperm count.
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.
Does sperm count affect IVF success?
Sperm count affects the use of reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), as well. Your success in using IVF with a low sperm count will depend on the health of your sperm and what factors are causing the low sperm count. The sperm can now be injected directly into the egg through a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection as an alternative if the man has a very low sperm count.
No matter how you are hoping to conceive, improving your sperm count can help improve your chances of a successful pregnancy.