Infertility impacts over 48 million couples worldwide, and in 20 to 30% of those cases, men are the guilty party. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet for treating infertility. However, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of having the family you always dreamed of.
Fertility can be improved in a variety of ways. Because we always want to give you the best and most accurate information possible, we will talk about ways to boost male fertility and increase your sperm count.
If you and your partner are dealing with fertility issues, please know and understand that you are not alone. Infertility is more common than you might realize, and there is help available. Read on to learn more.
First off, let’s quickly touch on what male infertility actually means. Fertility refers to a person’s ability to conceive a child without the assistance of medical advances.
Male infertility is when a man has little to no chance of making his female partner pregnant and is generally dependent on his sperm cells’ quality. However, infertility can also be tied to sexual function or semen quality. Other sexual health functions that can be linked to infertility include:
Testosterone levels - Having lower than normal levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone (low testosterone).
Libido - AKA sex drive, libido controls a person’s desire to have sex.
Sperm motility - As a critical function of healthy sperm, motility is measured as the percentage of a man’s ‘little swimmers’ moving around in a semen sample.
Erectile dysfunction - ED is when a man is unable to develop or maintain an erection.
Sperm count - An indication of semen quality that measures the number of sperm cells in a given amount of semen.
The causes of people, including men becoming infertile, can depend on genetics, overall health, fitness level (or lack thereof), underlying diseases, and the food you consume. Leading a healthy lifestyle and diet are super important, with some foods being more nutritious and beneficial than others.
Please keep in mind that this guide on increasing sperm count and heightening your fertility is meant to be used as just that, a guide. Yes, it might be the best and most ultimate, but in no way, shape, or form are we medical doctors (we like to think of ourselves as health nerds), so it is always important to speak to your doctor before taking anything medical related into your own hands.
Men who are having a hard time conceiving naturally may get a boost from adding nutritional supplements into their daily routine to increase their sperm count. Many researchers have studied the benefits of a few specific vitamins and minerals that, when taken regularly for six months, sperm count increased by 74%.
Supplements are concentrated forms of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly. Without the right amount of these crucial vitamins and minerals, your fertility levels could suffer. The following supplements are known to boost the count of your swimmers and increase your fertility level.
D-aspartic acid (D-AA) is a type of amino acid present in certain glands, such as your testicles, semen, and sperm cells. Studies from the National Institute of Health have shown that D-AA levels are much lower in infertile men than fertile men. D-AA has also been shown to increase a man’s testosterone levels by 30 to 60%. And, if you didn’t know, testosterone plays a supercritical role in the male fertility show.
When we think of vitamin C, we usually think of its immune system boosting qualities, but low and behold, there is some evidence that taking this antioxidant-rich vitamin can also improve fertility! There have been links between how your system responds to infection and how your system handles deformed sperm cells. And this link is the amount of vitamin C in your system. Studies have shown that taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C supplements twice a day for two months improved sperm motility and count by more than 90% and reduced the number of deformed sperm cells by 55%.
Zinc can almost be considered the end all be all when it comes to men’s health. Men with low levels of zinc are much more likely to be found as infertile, as zinc is one of the foundations of male fertility. Zinc can not only increase testosterone levels, but taking a zinc supplement can also boost sperm count and the quality of your sperm.
Lucky for you, supplements are available over-the-counter, usually at your local drug store or even grocery store, but let’s be real, who wants to leave their house these days? There are now many online doctors, such as Strut and Roman, that are more than happy to send high-quality supplements directly to your front door in discreet packaging that won’t alert the media about your wanting to boost your sperm count. Strut offers users a scientifically formulated supplement called StrutVite that is advertised as a skin product, but we did a little research into the active ingredients and found all of the vitamins mentioned above, plus a few others that are said to aid in boosting fertility, such as niacin and ashwagandha. Why not get more bang for your buck in one pill?
When you hear medicinal herbs, where does your mind go to first? Does it go directly to 420 friendly products, or does it take you to the ancient times in some south-eastern Asian country? Regardless of where your mind wanders to, medicinal herbs have been used since the dawn of time to treat an S-ton of medical conditions, including infertility. There are many herbs available, but the following have proven to be most effective in the fertility boosting sperm production department.
Does this name not sound like the game Tetris, or is that just us? This herb is considered one of the best natural testosterone boosters and is frequently used to enhance fertility in men. Some men have even said that after incorporating 12 grams a day for two months, they saw improved erectile function and increased libido.
Like we mentioned briefly in the supplements section, ashwagandha is the blue-ribbon of all herbs and is known to boost fertility and significantly improve sexual health. Studies have shown that ashwag has the power to increase sperm count (by 167%), sperm motility (by 57%), and the number of little swimmers per load (by 53%).
Medicinal herbs can be a bit more difficult to find at your local drug store, especially in rural areas. They are generally available at specialty health food stores, but again, if you’re like us and would instead order everything from an online source, Roman will be the best place to start. Roman is an online provider focused on men’s health and offers a product called Testosterone Support. This product has all the good stuff you’ve just read about, plus a few others that are known to increase libido, sex drive, and fertility, like maca root and fenugreek.
One would think that increasing sperm count and boosting fertility wouldn’t generally be associated with a healthy lifestyle when in reality, it has a lot to do with how we go about our day. There are a handful of things you can do to increase your chances of conceiving if you’re willing to make shifts in day-to-day activities.
If you rarely exercise but are looking to improve your fertility, it is suggested that you try your darndest to make physical activity a top priority, as regular exercise has been shown to boost testosterone levels. Studies have shown that men who exercise more often than not have higher testosterone levels and much better semen quality than men that remained inactive.
The last thing anyone really wants to do at the end of a stressful workday is getting frisky. Stress induces the fight or flight mechanism, which oftentimes causes your to retreat or feel angry. Stress can reduce sexual satisfaction and has been shown to impair your fertility. This might be easier said than done, but take a deep breath, sit in your favorite chair, go outside, or do whatever it is that helps you relax because prolonged stress levels have negative effects on testosterone.
Making little shifts in your day-to-day can really enhance your mood, leading to more time spent with your partner.
Limit your alcohol intake
Lose those last ten pounds - for a little extra encouragement, try a weight loss app like Noom
Eat a more balanced diet
Get a good amount of sleep
Stop or reduce smoking
Get enough vitamin D
Try a meditation app
If you’re unsure about your testosterone levels or the health of your sperm, there are a couple of online companies that have revolutionized the world of fertility testing. Companies like Dadi and Legacy have your back when it comes to educating you about all things fertility related. Both companies offer their clients at-home fertility tests that will be sent directly to your home for you to provide a sample of your semen in the privacy of your own home. These tests measure five key metrics that will tell you everything you need to know to start your journey to healthier sperm and increased fertility in a few short days.
Infertility is more common than you may think, and as difficult as it might be, please continue to remind yourself that you are not alone! Start slow and try your best to focus on your health. Improving your overall health can definitely increase your chances of creating the family you’ve always wanted.
There’s no guaranteed cure for infertility, but incorporating some of the things we’ve talked about just might be the answer you're looking for.
Sarah covers mental health, parenting, and women's health-related issues at ReliefSeeker. As a mother of two wonderful kids with a long career in marketing & media, Sarah's perspective on access to world-class healthcare connects to both heart and mind.
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