WANTED: Healthy Sperm
The major cause of male infertility is failure to produce enough healthy sperm.
About one in six couples experiences difficulty to conceive. 50% of these cases points to sperm problem as the main reason.
While ejaculation troubles, spinal cord injury, erectile dysfunction, and diseases that affect the nervous system like diabetes contribute to the prevalence of male infertility, sperm problems remain to be its number one cause. They account for about 75% of all male infertility cases.
The average sperm count per ejaculation is 100 to 750 million. Out of that, only a few hundred can make it to a woman's fallopian tube where eggs are fertilized. Sperm count lower than this figure lessens the chances of conception. In addition, the quality of the sperm is another factor affecting conception rate.
Sperm problems can be caused by:
Antibodies that clump sperm into heavy clusters, thus prohibiting sperm movement
Sperm trapped inside the testicles
Sexually transmitted infections that damage tubules where sperm are stored
High temperature leading to reduced sperm production and poor quality sperm
Orchitis or the inflammation of one or both testicles, resulting in reduced sperm production
Varicoceles or enlarged veins around the testicles
Cancer drugs which damage sperm-producing cells
Vasectomy reversal's side effects which causes poor quality sperm
To improve the quality (sperm shape and structure), quantity (sperm count), and motility (sperm movement) of the sperm, both a healthy lifestyle and diet must be observed.
Here are some tips that ensure production of healthy sperm:
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Foods which are rich in antioxidants help improve sperm health.
Take a multivitamin. A daily dose of multivitamins can help provide zinc, folic acid, and selenium, which are the key nutrients for optimal sperm production and function.
Exercise Regularly. Adequate exercise is good for both reproductive and overall health. However, over-exercise can lead to changes in hormone levels and a drop in sperm quality.
Maintain healthy weight. Certain amount of body fats is needed to fuel production of reproductive hormones. Too much or lack of body fats can reduce sperm count and increase percentage of abnormal sperm.
Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake. Smoking can damage the sperm's DNA and may also cause low sperm count. Research shows that men who both smoke and drink alcohol have lower sperm counts and poorer sperm motility than those men who don't.
Stay away from illegal drugs. Marijuana decreases sperm density and motility while cocaine and opiates help trigger erectile dysfunction.
Avoid hot tubs. Heat is the number one enemy of sperm. To maximize the quality and quantity of your sperm, avoid hot tubs, saunas, and steam baths. Spending more than 30 minutes in water which temperature is 102 F (40 C) or above may lower your sperm count.
Reduce or manage stress. Stress disrupts production of hormones which are essential to produce sperm.
Detox regularly. As researches report that toxicity level of today's environment is much higher than hundred years ago, it is advised to have a regular detox. Toxins from workplace and household substances have some effects on sperm quantity and quality. Heavy metals used in industrial workplaces, pesticides, and chemicals in solvents are the ones most hazardous to sperm health.
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