Sperm count plays an important role during the fertilization process. It is the actual strength or force with which the egg may be approached, with the chance that one out of the millions of sperm will successfully penetrate the egg’s protective walls. Men with a low sperm count can obtain a boost from natural nutritional supplements.
Determining Normal Sperm Count
Sperm count is the measurable concentration of sperm in a given sperm sample. The World Health Organization provides international guidelines on what a healthy sperm count should be. The normal concentration for sperm count is 20 million sperm per milliliter in a quantity of semen that has a volume of 2ml. This calculation will equal a total number of sperm per sample of 40 million.
It is possible for couples to check their sperm counts in the comfort and privacy of their home. The test can then be used to determine if the sperm count is in the normal range (over 20 million per milliliter). Depending on the results, natural supplements can be introduced into the diet to boost sperm count.
- Zinc and Folic Acid: The March issue of Fertility and Sterility contained a Dutch study that assessed the effects of supplements on men with low sperm counts. The study included men whose female partners had not conceived within a year of unprotected sexual intercourse and focused primarily on the effects of folic acid and zinc. The research revealed that men who took 5mg of folic acid and 6mg of zinc daily for 26 weeks achieved a 74% increase in sperm count. The overall standard intake for a man should be 15mg of zinc per day (30mg if he is a vegetarian.) In addition, an intake of up to 50mg of zinc per day is advised for men with low sperm count. Foods that include high doses of zinc are oysters, lean beef, baked beans, lamb, pork, shellfish, and pumpkin seeds.
- Antioxidants: The supplements proven to improve sperm count are those that are rich in antioxidants. Research shows that oxidative stress can have a major effect on spermatogenesis. Vitamin C and E have been known to have intensely high improvement rates in sperm count and male reproductive health as a whole.
- L-Carnitine: This also plays a part as a major sperm count booster. It aids in spermatogenesis and sperm development, by ensuring the quality, consistency, vitality and mobility of the sperm.
- Vitamin D: This vitamin is vital for the healthy development of the sperm cell nucleus. It also aids in maintaining proper sperm count, semen quality, and increases levels of testosterone, which in turn can boost libidos.
- Maca: This herb is indigenous to the Andes mountains, and is believed to be an aphrodisiac, as well as helping with low sperm count.
- Carnitine and acetylcarnitine: These two nutrients also help improve sperm motility.
There are many different herbs that are also known to help increase low sperm count, such as:
- Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris)
- Kapikachchu (Mucuna pruriens)
- Salabmisri (Orchis mascula)
- Jeevanti (Leptadenia reticulata)
- Kokilaksha (Hygrophila auriculata Syn. Asteracantha longifolia)
- Vanya Kahu (Lactuca scariola)
- Extracts Vriddadaru (Argyreia speciosa)
- Shaileyam (Parmelia perlata)
- Suvarnavang (Mosaic gold)
One of the easiest ways to increase sperm count naturally is to change up a man’s diet. A good diet should consist of the following components:
- Whole, unprocessed foods such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds
- Raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds are known to boost male fertility. The recommended amount is 1/4 cup of raw seeds every day
- Organic foods should be eaten whenever possible, as some researchers suggest that there is direct link between pesticides and chemical fertilizers with both female and male infertility
- Fish oils can also improve sperm volume
- Identify and avoid any food intolerances and/or allergies
- Drink at least 8 glass of water each day
- Reduce alcohol intake as it can decrease sexual performance