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Print Posted on 11/24/2017 in Integrative Understanding of Infertility

10 Best Pieces of Advice How to Boost Men’s Fertility and Raise Sperm Count

10 Best Pieces of Advice How to Boost Men’s Fertility and Raise Sperm Count

INTRODUCTION

Infertility, classically defined as the inability to achieve pregnancy after 12 months of sexual relations without the use of contraceptives, affects around 20% of couples. Nevertheless, it is still a taboo discussion. Infertility is a common, but very delicate problem, emotional and very personal, therefore it often lurks in the shadows. Despite the outstanding scientific breakthroughs, medical innovations, compassion, sympathy and understanding, infertility is still a taboo discussion. It causes many marriages to break up and creates a sense of isolation, anger, and loss of self–worth. It causes many marriages to break up and creates a sense of isolation, anger and loss of self–worth. Many couples feel deeply frustrated and embarrassed about their inability to get pregnant because of veiled criticism, which can entail them in the future. If you’ve ever experienced infertility, you can understand the incredibly complex and maddening emotions that accompany the condition.

But before considering yourself as ‘infertile’, look through these 10 pieces of advice how to boost your fertility and raise sperm count and follow the given recommendations. The information, given below is conclusive enough, as it represents the identified few modifiable factors associated with poor sperm morphology, poor sperm count, low sperm motility and low semen volume with effective practical advice to men attempting alternative ways to improve sperm morphological profile, boost their fertility and raise sperm count. 

(1) STOP SMOKING AND AVOID TOBACCO SMOKE

Is it a truth that tobacco is harmful to sperm? Why is it essential to stop smoking and to avoid tobacco smoke? 

The effect of smoking on semen quality has been inclusively investigated in a number of studies with the following conclusions made. It was revealed that smokers have a lower semen quality in terms of the conventional semen characteristics (semen volume, sperm concentration, total count, motility, and morphology). Therefore, the FIRST THING YOU SHOULD DO IS TO AVOID TOBACCO.

The mechanism behind the harmful effect of smoking on semen quality is not completely understood. Mild hypoxia caused by the disruption of the testicular microcirculation is a possible explanation, but a direct toxic effect of the many chemical components in the cigarette smoke on the germinative epithelium is a more likely explanation.

Tobacco smoke affects sperm function and causes DNA damage or disrupts DNA structures of spermatozoa. Harmful effects of cigarette smoke on sperm, particularly the exact mechanisms of damage, have been conclusively represented in many studies. Primarily, smoking cigarettes are associated with altered semen quality, decreased sperm functional integrity and seminal oxidative stress. Alterations in seminal plasma protein profiles are also present and may explain the altered semen phenotype.

The mutagenic and carcinogenic substances present in tobacco (for instance, nicotine, cadmium, and lead) are harmful to all cells undergoing rapid multiplication, including spermatozoa in the testis. Cadmium (a heavy metal), nicotine (a toxic alkaloid), and its metabolite cotinine are detectable in gonadal tissues and fluids in association with smoking. Cigarette smoking is a major source of cadmium (Cd) inhalation. This can interfere with essential metals, including calcium, magnesium, and zinc, which are primary determinants of cellular function. High concentrations of seminal cadmium (Cd) associated with reduced zinc affect the activity of Ca2+ and sperm motility. Cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) are able to cross the blood–testis barrier and cause damage to the endothelium of seminiferous tubules, loss of Leydig cells and consequent decreased production of testosterone. Furthermore, lead (Pb) can adversely affect sperm morphology, motility, and DNA integrity. Nicotine, the primary alkaloid in tobacco, is an oxidant agent capable of causing damage to membranes and DNA fragmentation. Benzo[a]pyrene is a carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon resulting from cigarette combustion. Its reactive metabolite binds covalently to DNA, forming adducts. Transmission of altered DNA from smoking by spermatozoa was demonstrated in preimplantation embryos and in close association with increased risk of childhood cancer.

STOP SMOKING CIGARETTES because smoking cigarettes significantly decreases both spermatozoa count and spermatozoa motility. Smoking cigarettes can cause irreversible sperm morphological abnormalities (cause sperm to be misshapen) and decrease sperm motility (cause sperm to move slowly). Chewing tobacco also may cause low sperm counts and other spermatozoa abnormalities.

(2) AVOID ALCOHOL OR AT LEAST LIMIT ALCOHOL

Cigarette smoking (smoking tobacco) and alcohol consumption (drinking alcohol) were considered both as binary factors associated with impaired spermatogenesis, increased sperm anomalies and sperm aneuploidy. Alcohol can dramatically reduce the quality and quantity of sperm. Excessive alcohol consumption has been closely associated with adverse consequences, especially, with impaired spermatogenesis and increased sperm anomalies. Alcohol is widely known to be teratogenic and its consumption has been reported to reduce men’s fertility greatly.

Alcohol drinking leads to lower live birth rates and higher miscarriage rates. These effects were found to be dose–dependent and considerably greater when the timing of consumption was closer. If the desirable pregnancy was achieved, alcohol drinking has been associated with further complications such as adverse effects on embryonic and fetal development, higher risk of miscarriage, fetal death, preterm labor and compromised fetal growth. Indications for these effects are stronger at higher consumption levels.

Chronic alcohol drinking or excessive alcohol intake may reduce testosterone synthesis, either through effects on the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis or through direct toxic effects on the testis. In addition, chronic alcohol drinking causes teratozoospermia (may be also termed as ‘teratospermia’). Teratozoospermia, also known as teratospermia, is a semen alteration in which there is a large number of spermatozoa with abnormal morphology. The other disease which can be caused by chronic alcohol drinking is oligospermia. Oligospermia is the presence of less than the normal amount, of spermatozoa in the semen. In oligospermia, there are less than 20 million spermatozoa per ml with poor motility (‘asthenospermia’) and often including many bizarre and immature forms (‘teratospermia’).

In a timeline aspect, chronic alcohol drinking may seriously affect the unborn baby (fetus). The known effects range from physical anomalies to behavioural and cognitive deficits, summarized under the umbrella term of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), involving specific facial features, growth retardation, and neurodevelopmental abnormalities. Therefore, the SECOND THING YOU SHOULD DO IS TO AVOID ALCOHOL or at least limit alcohol. TO MINIMIZE THE ALCOHOL consumption is a MUST if you really want TO BOOST YOUR FERTILITY and RAISE your SPERM COUNT.

(3) REDUCE YOUR DAILY CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION

Caffeine has been always implicated as a risk factor for delayed conception and as a risk factor for spontaneous miscarriages. The high caffeine users have an increased risk of infertility. Caffeine concentrations in blood and semen are almost identical.

Basically, coffee is the main source of caffeine, a mild central system stimulant, but caffeine can be also found in tea, cola, cocoa milk chocolate and dark chocolate.

Caffeine consumption, and particularly coffee consumption are associated with increases in sperm concentration, abnormal forms, and sperm motility. The combination of coffee drinking with smoking cigarettes diminish sperm motility and increase the percentage of dead sperm. It was also revealed that caffeine intake from coffee, tea, and soft drinks affects sperm nuclear morphometry. Later it was found that increased risk of poor semen quality correlates with increasing coffee consumption. Even if caffeine intake has no impact on current semen quality, exposure during organogenesis may impact gonadal development and thus later gonadal function. Coffee has been shown to be associated with low levels of estrogen and high levels of testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin; all of which may affect the growth of Sertoli cells during fetal life.

Male caffeine consumption, analyzed as a linear continuous predictor, is a significant risk factor for multiple gestations. If you are to increase your ‘usual caffeine intake’ by an extra 100 mg/day (an equivalent to one more cup of coffee), you would thereby increase your odds of having multiple gestations 2.2 times. 

Choosing between decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee, tea, soft drinks, cocoa drinks, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate sometimes can be difficult but if you are trying with your beloved to have a baby, take into consideration that CAFFEINATED coffee, tea, soft drinks, cocoa drinks, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate and amount (number of cups, glasses, or ounces per day and/or week) of caffeine consumed, DRAMATICALLY AFFECTS your FERTILITY. Total caffeine consumption can be estimated by assigning nearly 100 mg per cup of coffee (however, it is impossible to determine exactly how much caffeine is present in a cup of coffee or tea. The amount of caffeine depends on the mix of the brew, how it is prepared, and the size of the cup), 50 mg per cup of tea, and 50 mg per can of soda. Decaffeinated coffee, soda, and tea can be estimated as 2 mg of caffeine per cup or glass. One cup of hot cocoa contains 4 mg of caffeine, while one ounce of milk or dark chocolate contains 7.10 or 18.6 mg respectively. Caffeine concentrations in blood and semen are almost identical.

Caffeine consumption can be evaluated as continuous and categorical predictors. For men, consumption of 0–50 mg represents light caffeine intake, >50–200 mg represents medium caffeine intake, and >200 mg/day represents high caffeine intake respectively. So, the THIRD THING YOU SHOULD DO IS TO REDUCE YOUR DAILY CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION. TO MINIMIZE THE CAFFEINE consumption is a MUST if you really want TO BOOST YOUR FERTILITY and RAISE your SPERM COUNT.

(4) FOLLOW MALE’S FERTILITY DIET. ADD FERTILITY FOOD TO YOUR MEALS

Antioxidant lycopene

This is your natural antioxidant which improves significantly motility (the sperms ability to swim), activity and structure of sperm. You can find it in TOMATOES. Lycopene is more available in cooked tomatoes or processed tomatoes, so use tomato purees for a real hit and add olive oil to aid absorption of this fat–soluble antioxidant.

Unique anti–inflammatory phytonutrients 

Blueberries are dark blue to purple-black in color. Every berry has semi–transparent flesh with very small, soft edible seeds. Blueberries are the wonderful source of uniquely powerful, anti–inflammatory antioxidants including quercetin and resveratrol. Quercetin maintains healthy sperm parameters, including motility and quality, and resveratrol has been found to improve dramatically sperm count and motility. You can find it in BLUEBERRIES. Include a handful of blueberries daily, they’re delicious whizzed up in a smoothie or sprinkled over Greek yoghurt and topped with a little good quality granola and some chopped walnuts.

Amino acid L–arginine

Do you want to increase your sperm count? Dark chocolate is a rich source of the amino acid L–arginine which can increase the volume of ejaculate and improve sperm count and motility. It also contains several nutrients that are very helpful in sperm development including antioxidants, zinc, and selenium. You can find it in DARK CHOCOLATE. When choosing a bar of chocolate, your preference should be given to bittersweet 85 percent dark chocolate.

Excessive combination of essential fats, zinc, and selenium

Undoubtedly, different nuts have different nutrient profiles. Walnuts have higher omega–3s, Brazil nuts are a top source of selenium, and almonds are high in vitamin E. Nuts are rich in selenium (selenium is a trace mineral that protects cells from oxidative damage), the mineral that has the effect of increasing sperm count and helping them become strong swimmers. They are also a good source of essential fats and zinc (low zinc levels have been linked to decreased semen levels). You can find it in ALMONDS, BRAZIL NUTS, and WALNUTS. Eating a variety of nuts will enhance health benefits of these fertility superfoods.

ALMONDS are regarded as the most fertility nutrient packed of all nuts; they are high in important reproductive system nutrients including zinc and L–arginine. They are also the best whole food source of vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant). Vitamin E is thought to improve sperm quality and motility in men (a study showed that eating seven almonds a day improved sperm quality). The almond nuts boost male fertility: Eating seven nuts a day can improve not only your sperm count but also sperm quality.

BRAZIL NUTS are not only packed full of vitamins, minerals and rich in protein content, they also boast the highest dietary source of selenium. Eating Brazil nuts daily increases natural testosterone levels and improves sperm motility and reduces infertility. Brazil nuts are essential micronutrient for the male reproductive system (testes), an excellent source of omega–6 fatty acids, and nutrient–dense food containing many essential nutrients and vitamins. Brazil nuts are also 18% protein and 69% fat, of which a high percentage is of healthy omega–6 fatty acids. Brazil nuts are also a good source of vitamins and minerals including, vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese.

WALNUTS are the only nuts with appreciable levels of omega–3 fatty acids; therefore WALNUTS are essential for boosting sperm quality. Eating around two handfuls of walnuts daily improves your sperm morphology (sperm shape), movement and vitality.

And don’t forget about STEAK, ASPARAGUS, SESAME SEEDS, SPINACH, and TUNA!

Zinc is an essential trace mineral for the normal functioning of the male reproductive system. Zinc supplementation was found to significantly increase the semen volume, sperm motility and the percentage of normal sperm morphology. Zinc is present in high concentrations in the seminal fluid, and it could play a multifaceted role in sperm functional properties. It influences the fluidity of lipids and, thus, the stability of biological membranes. It affects the stability of sperm chromatin. It is involved in the formation of free oxygen radicals, and it could play a regulatory role in the process of capacitation and the acrosome reaction. Zinc improves the health of your sperm and tops up testosterone levels. You can find it in STEAK.

Folic acid is your essential heir tonic: it reduces greatly abnormal sperm shape. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, one of the B–vitamins. Taking folic acid plus zinc sulfate daily can increase your sperm count. You can find it in ASPARAGUS.

CoQ10 is an antioxidant molecule which is responsible for fertilization occurrence. CoQ10 is a drill sergeant for sperm as it helps the single spermatozoon to drill the oocyte’s zona pellucida. In sperm cells, the majority of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) an energy promoting agent and antioxidant, is concentrated in the mitochondria of the midpiece, so that the energy for movement and all other energy–dependent processes in the sperm cell also depend on the availability of CoQ10. The reduced form of CoQ10–ubiquinol also acts as an antioxidant, preventing lipid peroxidation in sperm membranes. You can find it in SESAME SEEDS.

Magnesium supports men’s hormonal health and improves fertility in those with low sperm counts. Magnesium helps calcium absorption and supports healthy sperm and seminal fluids production. It also helps to regulate the blood flow to the reproductive organs. Decreased levels of magnesium give rise to vasoconstriction from increased thromboxane level, increased endothelial intracellular Ca2+, and decreased nitric oxide. This may lead to premature emission and ejaculation processes. Magnesium is probably involved in semen transport. You can find it in SPINACH.

Selenium just keeps swimming: selenium improves your sperm’s motility by over 50%. Selenium is a mineral that has anti–oxidant properties and protects the cell membrane of the spermatic cells from oxidization. Selenium is an activating component of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which protects your cells from free radical damage. Selenium (Se) is important for reproductive functions such as testosterone metabolism and is a constituent of sperm capsule selenoprotein. Selenoproteins participate in sperm structure integrity maintenance. Sperm capsular selenoprotein has an important structural role in spermatozoa in the form of glutathione peroxidase. Selenium could also protect against oxidative DNA damage in sperm cells. You can find it in TUNA.

So, the FOURTH THING YOU SHOULD DO IS TO ADD FERTILITY FOOD to your daily meals.

 

(5) GET HYDRATED!

Do you want to improve your sperm count and quality? If you answered ‘YES’, you SHOULD… DRINK ENOUGH (mineral) WATER. Semen is a water–based fluid so there is inevitably a connection between semen and water intake. Semen is water based and increasing liquid consumption can help increase the ejaculate and improve sperm production. In other words, drinking more water can help improve sperm production (but don’t drink too much water (not more than 2.5 liters a day, because your kidneys may be affected also). So, the FIFTH THING YOU SHOULD DO IS TO DRINK MORE (mineral) WATER.

(6) Avoid excessive stress whenever it is possible

If you are primed to always face some level of stress, you should do two things: create some perspective to minimize those stressful situations or stressors, and, learn how to de–stress. Essentially, worry and stress are there as a response to stimuli we think is going to be challenging. When you’re feeling anxious, depressed or extremely nervous, you may feel that there is nothing you can do about it. On the contrary, there are a few strategies that will help you cope with stress and release some of the pressure in your life.

Identify the source of your stress. Ask yourself what it is that is causing you this stress, some reasons are more obvious than others and accurate determination of the primary reasons will be an effective method to cope with them. The best thing you can do is to write down what you think is causing you this stress and the best way to solve it.

Accept that some things are out of your control. If the cause of your stress is something you can’t control, then you should subtract that from the list. Try to accept the things you can’t change and focus on coping with the things that you can. It will put your stress in perspective.

Manage your time. Don’t fill your iPhone’s and laptop’s calendars with thousands of plans you can’t commit to. This will only add to your stress and blur your vision even more. Make sure you don’t overextend yourself, you’ll find it easier to stay calm and focused.

Make sure it is not your vulnerability. Being extremely sensitive or excessively vulnerable makes you stress over the smallest things, cast glances or uttered words. If you are in a bad mood, even the smallest stressors can have a huge impact on your nervous system. Try to distinguish between your mood and your problems.

It seems quite unsurprising, that excessive stress has become so integral to our lives. You should accept that a certain amount of stress and worry is always going to be present in your life as its inevitable component. Apart from the fact that chronic (long–term) stress is correlated very strongly with poor health, being a bundle of nerves doesn’t feel very good. And, at this point, the proportion of conversation dominated by complaint has reached unacceptable heights. It was proved, that stress can have many negative health effects, including issues with fertility and it is vital to understand that very extreme stress can disrupt the endocrine system, triggering infertility. Prevent excessive stress and perform relaxation exercises.

If you find yourself being under the pressure, being extremely nervous, being anxious or being depressed, take a timeout. Sometimes you must take a step back to avoid making irrational or inconclusive decisions with adverse consequences which may entail you in the future. Going for a walk, practicing yoga, listening to your favorite music or any other stress–free activity will help you get moving so you can prepare your mind for better thinking and regain control of the situation. Consequently, the SIXTH THING YOU SHOULD DO IS TO AVOID EXCESSIVE STRESS.

(7) EXERCISE REGULARLY. ADD TO YOUR SCHEDULE NOT ONLY THE GYM BUT ALSO YOGA CLASSES

DON’T FORGET ABOUT GYM: overly intense exercise (high levels of adrenal steroid hormones can cause a testosterone deficiency). Current advances in the study of andrology are unfolding some of the idiopathic components of male factor infertility. The inclusion of exercise training as a component of male factor fertility has been proposed secondary to changes observed in the reproductive hormone and semen profile. The semen ejaculate of men who overly exercise presents with nonspecific modifications including a low normal sperm count, decreased motility and several morphological changes that may compromise fertility. Doing at least an hour of exercise three times a week may boost your sperm count. Additionally, if you experience excessive stress, enroll in YOGA CLASSES. The holistic science of yoga has proven to be the best method for prevention as well as management of stress and stress–induced disorders. Yoga is reported to reduce stress and anxiety, improve autonomic functions by triggering neurohormonal mechanisms by the suppression of sympathetic activity, and is beneficial for reproductive health. Adopting a regular yoga practice can improve the quality of sperm if one has issues with sperm count or motility. Practicing yoga is also proven to be excellent for prostate health, warding off prostate disorders, and reducing the size of prostate if it has got enlarged. Adopting a regular yoga practice can reduce stress and anxiety levels also, which can improve the overall health of reproductive organs and helps to treat mild erectile dysfunction. Consequently, the SEVENTH THING YOU SHOULD DO IS TO INCLUDE GYM and YOGA CLASSES TO YOUR SCHEDULE.

(8) SAFEGUARD YOUR SPERM – AVOID EXCESSIVE HEAT 

Excessive heat –– can result in many problems with the sperm, causing infertility issues. Low sperm motility is one of the adverse complications caused by excessive heat. Sperm motility is the ability of sperm to swim or move forward. A healthy sperm has a lashing tail, which helps it swim through the woman’s reproductive system. Poor motility means it is hard for the sperm to swim towards the oocyte: the sperm is simply not able to reach the egg because of its poor motility; fertilization phenomenon cannot happen, and desired pregnancy cannot be achieved.

Excessive heat can have a detrimental effect on normal sperm production. It is for this reason that nature has placed the testicles outside the body in the scrotum rather than in the abdomen like the ovaries. Soaking in a bathtub full of hot water can almost halt sperm production completely. Avoid hot tubs and steamy baths. Saunas may have a similar effect. Prevent overheating of the scrotum: an increase of scrotal temperature (caused by tight underwear, tight clothing (jeans, trousers), long stays in a sauna or Jacuzzi, laptops or other devices placed on your lap as laptops produce a lot of heat) can impair sperm production. Consequently, the EIGHT THING YOU SHOULD DO IS TO AVOID EXCESSIVE HEAT. Just few simple alterations in your lifestyle (taking cooler showers or cooler baths, comfortable underwear, not too tight jeans and trousers, avoidance of placing your laptop on your lap) will help your body to produce healthy sperm.

(9) AVOID CERTAIN MEDICATIONS (if it is possible and only in case if it won’t disrupt your health patterns) 

Anabolic steroids, antibiotics and certain medications used to control chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or inflammatory bowel disease, can reduce your fertility. Anabolic steroid use (may cause testicular shrinkage). Cyclophosphamide, a medicine used for the treatment of some cancers and kidney disorders, can cause permanent infertility if the treatment is given for a long time. Testosterone (tablets or injections), which are used to treat men with testosterone (androgen) deficiency, can cause fertility problems. Testosterone treatment stops the production of the pituitary hormones (FSH and LH), which normally act on the testes to make sperm. Testosterone reduces the size of the testes and can lower or stop sperm production. Even common medications may have a negative effect on sperm production and/or function. Some of those include: Ketoconazole (an antifungal); Sulfasalazine (for inflammatory bowel disease); Spironolactone (an antihypertensive); Calcium Channel Blockers (antihypertensives); Allopurinol, Colchicine (for gout); Antibiotics: Nitrofuran, Erythromycin, Gentamicin; Methotrexate (cancer, psoriasis, arthritis); Cimetidine (for ulcer or reflux). The following drugs can cause ejaculatory dysfunction: Antipsychotics: Chlorpromazine, Haloperidol, Thioridazine; Antidepressants: Amitriptyline, Imipramine, Fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil), Sertraline (Zoloft); Antihypertensives: Guanethidine, Prazosin, Phenoxybenzamine, Phentolamine, Reserpine, Thiazides.

Anti–androgens used to treat prostate enlargement and cancer interfere with sperm production. In addition, chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatment for cancer can cause permanent infertility. Chemotherapy medicines act to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy also attacks normal cells, such as the cells in the lining of the sperm–producing tubes in the testis. Chemotherapy can temporarily or permanently destroy developing sperm cells. Most men will return to the level of fertility they had before chemotherapy, but this can take up to five years. In some cases, fertility is permanently reduced.

Radiation treatment or ‘radiotherapy’ uses high energy X–rays to kill cancer cells in a specific area while limiting damage to normal cells. Radiotherapy for testicular or other cancers near the testes can damage the testis, leaving permanent problems with sperm production. During radiotherapy, the other non–affected testis is shielded from the X–rays but some exposure may happen. The effects of radiotherapy can be temporary or permanent. If you are considering cancer treatment, ask your doctor about saving and freezing your sperm (semen cryopreservation) beforehand. As radiation can cause genetic damage in the early development stages of sperm (germ cells), it is highly recommended by the experts to avoid attempting a pregnancy for six to 12 months (depending on the type of treatment) after radiotherapy. So, the NINTH THING YOU SHOULD DO IS TO AVOID CERTAIN MEDICATIONS IF IT IS POSSIBLE and only in case if it won’t disrupt your health patterns and only in case if it won’t disrupt your health patterns.

(10) GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Rearrange your seven pastel–coloured pillows several times. Hug your pillows tightly. Cuddle up to two of them close. And fall asleep. A good night sleep can fuel your sperm production. Wondering how is it possible? Testosterone is especially crucial for sperm production and the majority of daily testosterone release in men occurs during sleep. Total sleep time is positively linked to testosterone levels. So, the TENTH THING YOU SHOULD DO IS TO GET ENOUGH NIGHT SLEEP. ENOUGH means not less than 8 hours every night J

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