A healthy man discharges 50 million sperm in a single ejaculation. During sexual intercourse, of all those millions of sperm, just a couple hundred will create it to a mature egg that is ready to be fertilized.
Factors That May Affect Sperm Health
It’s important to keep in mind that there is still a lot to learn about male fertility. We do know that a lot of the things that make sperm healthy are the things which are healthy for men anyhow.
Remember, though, that the next tips are merely considerations for men with potential fertility issues. Many guys have no issue with their sperm count, no matter their lifestyles.
Remember, you should explore any fertility issues with your doctor to evaluate an underlying cause.
- Tight trousers and underwear, synthetic material and warmth: it’s been suggested that all these adversely affect fertility, so get those loose cotton boxers! Maintain the family jewels cool. It is understood that the testes operate most effectively (including the creation of semen ) at slightly cooler than core body temperature.
- Geography: One study demonstrated that geographical location influenced sperm count. Men at New York City had higher sperm counts than men in Los Angeles. (Whether a man’s sperm count will increase should he move from L.A. to the Big Apple isn’t clear, however.)
- Hot tubs and saunas: Regular use of hot tubs and saunas can lower sperm counts, as heat may decrease sperm production.
- Alcohol: Alcohol intake can damage sperm production in a couple of ways. To begin with, it may boost the production of estrogen from the liver, which can lower sperm count. Additionally, alcohol can directly poison the sperm-producing cells of the testicle. Limit your alcohol intake when you are trying to improve your fertility.
- Medicines: There are a number of medications that affect male fertility, such as steroids, cytotoxic drugs used in cancer treatments, and opiates. Contact your family doctor if you are on any long-term medicine which you are worried may impact your fertility. Doctors should always inform you of any side effects, but it is always easy to check if you have forgotten.
- Environmental toxins: There is quite a lot of conflicting evidence about environmental substances that might lead to damage to sperm. It is understood that radiation causes harm and birth defects. Other compounds thought to have a damaging effect on semen are a few perfumes containing phthalates, some kinds of pesticides, natural mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, and estrogens at a water supply. Many of these materials continue to be the subject of ongoing research.
- Smoking: Smokers have been shown to possess diminished fertility when compared with non-smokers. Smoking may adversely affect the sperm’s movement, as well as the health of the sperm.
- Time of day: Sperm counts are higher in the morning.
- Excessive ejaculation and prolonged abstinence: Both are known to impact the quantity and quality of sperm. Intercourse every 2-3 days helps ensure optimum sperm count and wellness.
- Diet: A healthy balanced diet is important. Foods rich in antioxidants can promote optimum sperm health.
- Supplements: Folic acid, selenium, and zinc sulfate are shown to increase sperm counts and sperm function.
If you are concerned about your fertility and also think your sperm might not be fit and healthy, speak to your physician. Some simple tests on your semen and also a look at your overall fitness could provide some answers.
Medically reviewed on 5/4/2010