My Top Tips to Improve Sperm Quality
So now we have busted the male fertility myths and you might be more aware of factors that could be affecting sperm health.
So, what can we do to improve the health of your sperm?
#Tip 1 Eat a sperm supporting diet.
First things first, one of the BESTways to improve not only sperm health but overall health is through diet! But what does a healthy diet even look like? What should you be eating specifically?
Well a diet rich in antioxidants is key, and if you remember it’s the reactive oxygen species that cause damage to sperm and antioxidants are protective of this! We want foods which are rich in vitamin C and E (vitamins as well as antioxidants), so that’s fresh fruit and vegetables, and as many vegetables as you can pack in per day (8 is a good number) but variation is key!
But it’s not just about fruits and veggies we need some other stuff too. Nuts and seeds are little nutrient powerhouses and contain vital vitamins and minerals essential to sperm health. Pumpkin seeds for example contain high levels of zinc which has been shown to support sperm count and can also be protective against heavy metal toxicity. Omega 3 has amazing anti-inflammatory properties and is protective of sperm, so that’s oily fish like salmon and mackerel.
#Tip 2 Limit exposure to toxins and pollution.
Some of your exposure to toxins is probably obvious, everyone knows about pollution from car and bus exhausts but what are all the other ways we are exposed to toxins?
Well, recent studies show that the air in our homes might be more toxic than outdoors and this is because of all the chemicals we use in our houses. Think cleaning products, fire retardant furniture and paint etc. Swap for toxin free cleaning products, natural fabrics that don’t require fire treating and clay based paints for redecorating your home.
As for pollution, there isn’t a lot we can do about that so ensuring our homes are as toxin free as possible is the best way to go.
#Tip 3 Manage any underlying health conditions and infections.
No one likes going for an STI test I get it, it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable!
But did you know that many STIs can be asymptomatic meaning they don’t show symptoms?
Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs and can cause permanent sterility in men and women. Five minutes of being uncomfortable over years of heartache is worth it in my view.
You don't even need to book a doctors appointment, there are plenty of sexual health clinics which you can pop in to.
#Tip 4 Stop using lubricants which are harmful to sperm.
Not only are many lubricants harmful to sperm but they can also change the pH of the vagina making it an inhospitable environment for sperm to live in! What are some of the ingredients that we need to look for when look for lubricants?
Glycerin, propylene glycol, petroleum, parabens, silicone, nonoxynol-9 are just a few of them.
The smitten kitten guide to lubricants will help you find which one is right for you. You can find it here.
#Tip 5 Stop drinking fizzy caffeinated drinks.
A large 2017 review found that caffeine intake can negatively affect male fertility possibly through sperm DNA damage.
The culprits were caffeinated fizzy drinks like cola rather than tea or coffee.
Is that can of cola a day affecting your fertility? Something to consider removing, if not just for the time you are trying to conceive. It can’t hurt, right?!
#Tip 6 Improve your sleep.
I’m talking about getting 8 hours of sleep a night, having a bed time routine which consists of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day.
Getting good, deep sleep each night has been shown to improve overall health not just that of your sperm.
Studies show that men who sleep for shorter periods had lower sperm counts and lower survival rate of said sperm.
Try to limit blue light before bed (or wear blue light blocking glasses), alcohol and stress as these can all affect overall sleep quality.