11 ways to improve your sperm health [Infographic]

Follow these helpful tips to produce healthier sperm, which, in turn, will boost your chances of conceiving a baby, stat!

It’s a fact — in your 20s, you will have up to about 100 million sperm. Of course, only 20 percent of your sperm will make their way towards the egg.

You should also note that male fertility problems are responsible for a third of a couple’s inability to conceive. So, boost your chances of having a baby by taking steps to improve the quality and quantity of your sperm… Try these suggestions!

Infographic: Rachel Lim

 

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DO

1) Eat more fatty fish

Fish like salmon, cod and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which supplies DHA to your body. This can improve not just the amount of spermyou produce, but also its movement.

2) Consume foods rich in zinc

Zinc is an essential element required for the proper functioning of the male reproductive system. Increasing your intake of foods that are rich in zinc — such as fish, meat, eggs and shellfish — will improve\ your testosterone levels and sperm count.

3) Get more sleep

The lack of sleep can cause you to feel moody for the day and there’s nothing like an irritable spouse to ruin any chances of romance. Insufficient sleep can affect the levels of testosterone in your body, which is released while you sleep. Insufficient levels of testosterone can lower your sperm quality and count. The Boston University School of Public Health advises that you get between seven and eight hours of sleep a night.

4) Exercise regularly

Obesity is associated with metabolic syndrome — a condition where an overweight adult male suffers from low testosterone levels — which contributes to unhealthy sperm development. Stick to a healthy and balanced diet and work off any excess calories through regular exercise. The Health Promotion Board suggests completing 150 minutes of physical activity every week.

5) Have sex more often

Some people may think that by delaying ejaculation and choosing to “save up their sperm” will increase its concentration and, hence, your chances of conceiving. In fact, infrequent ejaculation exposes your little swimmers to toxic substances that can damage them. To improve your sperm quality, you should ejaculate at least about three to four times a week.

6) Choose boxers over briefs

Your testicles hang away from your body because they need to be a few degrees cooler than the rest of your body. Wearing tight underpants will bring it closer to your body which increases the temperature around your nether regions. Hence, you should refrain from wearing skin-tight undergarments such as tiny briefs, trunks and compression tights.

Insufficient sleep can affect the levels of testosterone in your body, which is released while you sleep. Insufficient levels of testosterone can lower your sperm quality and count.

DON’T

1) Consume processed foods

Bacon, ham, salami and hotdogs are the top “culprits” responsible for the decline in your sperm quality. These meats contain more hormones than other types of meat, which can affect your testosterone levels.

2) Eat so much soy products

Taking excessive amounts of soy can decrease how much sperm you have, as it’ll mimic the functions of oestrogen, the female sex hormone. While it’s unknown just how much soy you have to take before the damage sets in, do try to reduce your soy product intake including of soy sauce, tofu and edamame.

3) Drink so much liquor/beverages

While treating yourself to a glass of bubbly can help you unwind after a long day in the office, having too much wine can do more harm than good. In fact, drinking more than two bottles of wine a week can have a negative impact on your fertility.

Consuming too much caffeine — which can be found in coffee, tea, chocolate, ice cream, soft drinks and certain sports beverages — will also be bad for your sperm. High doses of caffeine reduces your sperm count and affects its functions, so take less than 200mg of caffeine daily. Remember, a 100ml cup of black coffee (Kopi-O) contains about 40mg of caffeine.

Also, soft drinks and sugary beverages won’t just cause you to pile on the kilos, it’ll also lead to poorer sperm quality, lowered testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction. So, try to reduce your intake of these drinks!

4) Smoke

The chemicals in a cigarette not only damages your sperm DNA, it’s an expensive habit that will also increase your odds of getting cancer.

5) Take herbal supplements

As such, if you’re below age 35 and healthy, refrain from consuming any herbs, especially if your doctor hasn’t endorsed it or it comes from unknown sources. For instance, the effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs like Horny Goat Weed and Tongkat Ali (Malaysian Ginseng) in correcting male infertility has yet to be supported by scientific research.

Main photo: iStock

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