While conceiving a child can be unplanned, quick or easy for some couples, for others, it can be a difficult process. In fact, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for every 100 couples in the US, about 12 or 13 have trouble becoming pregnant. This can be due to a number of different factors, related to both female and male fertility issues.
According to the HHS, “about one-third of infertility cases are caused by fertility problems in women, and another one-third of fertility problems are due to fertility problems in men. The other cases are caused by a mixture of male and female problems or by problems that cannot be determined.”
For men, many of these fertility issues can be due to a lowered sperm count and, in general, lower overall fertility— both important factors when it comes to creating a viable pregnancy. However, there are a number of different ways that men can increase their chances of conceiving a child with their partner.
- Avoid Smoking and drug use
When it comes to ensuring sperm are strong and active, avoiding smoking, vaping and drug use is a must. A number of studies have actually shown that smokers have a lower overall sperm quality than non-smokers. LIkewise, in studies focused on drug use with substances like marijuana, cocaine, steroids and even prescription drugs, their use has been linked to changes in certain levels of hormones within the male body, impairing sperm production, sperm’s motility, and overall fertility.
- Get enough Vitamin D
Being in the great outdoors can be a huge mood elevator, but it can also give a big boost when it comes to male fertility. The primary way that most people get vitamin D is by being outside and exposing themselves to sunlight. When the sunlight hits your skin, vitamin D synthesis begins, a process that helps humans with bone, muscle and even mental health.
However, even with outdoor time, most people are actually vitamin D deficient. This is why many physicians recommend a supplement of at least 25,000 IUs per week, for both men and women.
When it comes to male fertility in particular, vitamin D has been shown to increase the levels of calcium found in sperm. This, in turn, makes sperm more active, mobile, and thus, more likely to result in fusion with a woman’s egg.
- Limit soy consumption
Soy sauce, tofu and soymilk might all seem like healthy additions to a man’s diet, but when it comes to boosting sperm count, soy products may be something to avoid. Soy has been linked with estrogen production, a hormone that could affect overall sperm production. In fact, according to one study, “men who ate the most soy had 41 million fewer sperm per milliliter of semen compared with men who did not eat soy foods. Normal sperm counts range between 80 million and 120 million per milliliter.”
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants
A healthy diet is imperative when it comes to increasing the chances of a couple having a child. Not only is this great for overall health, it can substantially help to boost the number of active sperm a man produces. Even more specifically, foods that are high in antioxidants can be particularly helpful. Antioxidants are special compounds that can help to slow cell damage caused by free radicals.
Some foods high in antioxidants can include:
— Green vegetables
— Dark chocolate
— And many more.
- Limit alcohol
Having a beer after a tough day, or sipping on a nice glass of scotch on the weekend is something that many men look forward to. However, too much alcohol can have a negative effect on sperm count and fertility. Alcohol has been shown to increase estrogen levels and decrease testosterone, which can both be detrimental when a couple is trying to get pregnant. Likewise, too much booze can lower sperm count, play a role in sperm morbidity, and can damage overall quality.
5 Ways to Boost Male Fertility & Increase Sperm Count
There are a large number of factors that can each play their own roles when it comes to getting pregnant. By exercising, eating right and getting enough vitamins, men can better their chances of conceiving a child with their partner by increasing their sperm health and count. By making healthy choices as much as possible throughout the process, men can help to increase the chances of their partner conceiving quickly, and having a healthy pregnancy.