How to Improve Your Sperm Quality

21st February 2022

There are lots of external factors that can affect the quality of your sperm. Some lifestyle and environmental factors can reduce sperm quality, but there are plenty of steps you can take to improve it.  

In this article we will look at the healthy choices you can make to produce healthy sperm and increase your chances of conceiving a baby. 

The Sperm Production Process

At puberty, the testicles begin to produce testosterone. This leads to the production of sperm cells within the testicles. Millions of sperm are produced from within specialised tubes within the testicles every day. 

However, despite new sperm being produced each day, it takes 2 to 3 months for each one to develop. This means that any changes you make to your lifestyle now will lead to improved sperm quality in around 3 months’ time. 

If you attend a fertility clinic and provide a sperm sample for assessment, the clinic will often ask you to provide another sample 3 months later to see if there has been any improvement. Taking a second sample earlier than this would not allow enough time for new sperm cells to completely develop.

If you are hoping to improve the quality of the sperm you produce over the next few months, there are plenty of lifestyle factors to consider.

Optimise Your Nutrition

Having a healthy diet is always important, but when you are thinking about trying to conceive, your diet is even more relevant. The nutrients you eat will later become the building blocks for the sperm cells you produce. 

Protein

Getting plenty of healthy protein will assist sperm development. Lean meats such as chicken, fish, and plant-based choices including lentils and soya are perfect for supporting new sperm cell formation. 

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy veg such as kale, spinach, and cabbage are rich in the vitamins and minerals needed to support healthy sperm formation. This type of veg is rich in selenium and zinc, which improve the quality of sperm.

Selenium is known to increase the production of sperm with good motility (movement), which will aid conception. Zinc significantly increases the proportion of high-quality sperm produced, as well as increasing sperm motility and the volume of sperm produced. For ease, both of these minerals are also available as supplement tablets.

Start a Supplement

If you want to be sure that you are getting enough zinc and selenium, taking a fertility supplement may give you peace of mind. Babystart FertilMan Plus Advanced is a 30 day supplement designed to encourage healthy sperm quality and production, whilst benefiting overall health. This supplement will provide you with 21 nutrients scientifically proven to contribute to healthy sperm.

Stop Smoking

For both men and women, smoking can significantly reduce fertility. The chemicals in each cigarette can slow the rate of sperm production, and lead to a reduction in the number of sperm that are produced with both a normal structure and function.

If you were to stop smoking today, the sperm you produce in 3 months’ time could be of superior quality and quantity compared to the ones currently being made. Giving up cigarettes will also hugely benefit the health of your heart, lungs and blood vessels, too.

Due to the addictive nature of smoking, quitting is hard. However, using the NHS stop smoking service, or trying a smoking cessation treatment could increase your chances of quitting for good. 

The nicotine in cigarettes gives them their addictive nature. Nicotinell Chewing Gum replaces the nicotine you would get from smoking, making it easier to resist a cigarette. Although the gum contains nicotine, you are no longer subjecting your body to the thousands of other chemicals contained in cigarette smoke.

Champix tablets also aid smoking cessation. These tablets reduce feelings of withdrawal, help with cravings, and reduce the pleasure that smoking gives you. These effects boost your willpower to quit. 

Keep Your Testicles Cool

To keep sperm healthy, it must be produced and stored outside of the body where it is kept 2 degrees cooler than normal body temperature. This is why the testicles are contained within the scrotum outside of the abdomen. 

If the testicles get too hot, the production of sperm can be negatively impacted. Keeping your testicles cool during the months before you try to conceive is therefore advisable. 

Try to avoid:

  • Taking a hot bath, or sitting in a jacuzzi or hot tub
  • Saunas or steam rooms
  • Wearing very tight underwear
  • Exercise that will bring the testicles closer to the body or increase your temperature, such as cycling or running.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight can negatively impact your overall health. Losing weight has general health benefits such as reducing the strain on your heart and preventing type 2 diabetes. Modest weight loss can also improve sperm quality and increase production rates.

Men who are overweight or obese may be at risk of negative changes to their hormone regulation, reducing overall fertility. Being heavier can also reduce libido and increase the chance of suffering from erectile dysfunction, too. 

Excess weight can increase testicular temperature. Men tend to carry surplus fat around their abdomen and thighs, which may in turn reduce air flow to the testicles. Losing weight could therefore help to keep your testicles cooler for the production of high-quality sperm.

Losing weight is difficult, especially when food can be so closely linked to emotions. Some men find it helpful to try weight loss treatments to help aid them on their journey. 

Final Thoughts

It takes up to three months for the sperm production cycle to be completed. This means that you have time to improve the quality of the sperm made in the testicles. Making sensible, healthy lifestyle choices can improve sperm motility, volume and the proportion of healthy sperm cells that are produced each day. 

When you are trying to conceive, making lifestyle changes can significantly impact your chance of success, as well as supporting your overall wellbeing.