Don’t despair — there are clues about how to increase sperm count, like keeping your cell away from your privates, you can do right now.
Scientists are debating how much sperm counts are falling and why. One 2017 study found a drop of nearly 60 percent since 1979 in the industrialized West and blamed exposure to chemicals. But other, better-quality research has found no decline. So the jury is still out on whether there’s a public health crisis.
What we do know
About one in every six couples runs into fertility problems — defined as being unable to conceive after trying for a year. In about one out of three cases, the male is the sole cause, and in another third the cause is unclear.
If you’re looking for advice on how to increase sperm count — and you should be interested in sperm quality as well — the good news is that some of the steps are simple.
How to increase sperm count
For starters, you can keep your cell phone away from your scrotum. Don’t put it in your front pocket or clipped in front to your belt. In early studies, researchers at Cleveland Clinic exposed semen samples to standard cell phones for an hour, and saw the sperm quality drop. This doesn’t mean your phone caused your problems, but it’s easy enough to keep your phone in your back pocket or a briefcase or back pack.
If you appear to have low testosterone, it’s possible that D-aspartic acid supplements will help boost your testosterone and thus your sperm count.
Then there’s lycopene — researchers have tested giving infertile men 4 to 8 mg daily for 3 to 12 months and seen improvements in sperm counts and more pregnancies. However, there’s also some conflicting evidence. Do you like tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, and red peppers? They all contain lycopene (the red color is a tip-off). You’ll see many reports online of foods to increase sperm count and foods to avoid. You might simply choose foods on the pro list that you like.
What causes low sperm counts?
It’s often unclear what causes low sperm counts. A possible trigger is a varicocele, an enlarged vein in the testicles, which shows up in about 40 percent of men with fertility problems. A varicocele may affect the number and quality of sperm by heating up the testicles. If you do have a varicocele, your doctors may recommend surgery. A review for the well-regarded Cochrane organization concluded that there was “low quality” evidence that the surgery could help a couple with otherwise unexplained fertility problems conceive.
Evaluate your bad habits. Do you miss sleep? Spend all your time sitting? Carry around a big belly or regularly get drunk? Lack of sleep, obesity, and alcohol consumption can all affect your testosterone levels, semen quality, and fertility.
If you’re overweight, losing pounds will help, but exercise may do even more to boost your testosterone. Research has shown a tight link between the number of steps you take in a day and increases in testosterone levels. Don’t focus on eating tomatoes and taking a pile of supplements rather than the harder job of sticking to an exercise routine. Whether or not you conceive, exercise will make you feel better and more confident. Show your partner you care by doing your best to look hot.
February 27, 2020
Janet O’Dell, RN