Tips for Improving Sperm Quality
The majority of fertility treatments focus on improving the woman’s fertility. This is unfortunate, since half of all fertility problems couples experience have to do with male fertility. Many men are hesitant, for whatever reason, to undergo medical testing to determine whether male infertility factors into a couple’s infertility. Even if a man doesn’t want to undergo fertility testing (and treatment, if appropriate), there are a number of things he can do to help improve the quality of his sperm.
The better the quality of the man’s sperm, the better the chances that a couple will be able to become pregnant. Here are some things he can do to help his little swimmers along:
- Lose weight if needed. Excess body fat affects a man’s reproductive hormones. This in turn lowers his sperm count. It can also lead to higher percentages of abnormal sperm. Dropping a few pounds can go a long way towards improving sperm quality.
- Limit or eliminate vices. Tobacco, drugs, and alcohol all affect your sperm quality. Nobody’s saying he can’t have a drink now and then, but if he limits drinking and eliminates tobacco and drugs, it could help you conceive.
- Stay off the bicycle. Exercise is good, but bike riding heats up the boys, which has a negative effect on sperm quality.
- Boxers, not briefs (or thongs). You want to give the testicles plenty of room to breathe. You also want to keep things relatively cool down there.
- Take showers, not baths. Sitting in a tub of hot water heats things up down there. It may be relaxing, but it’s not good for sperm quality. Men should especially avoid hot tubs, saunas, and steam baths.
- Supplement with a multi-vitamin for men. Your doctor or nutritionist can recommend one for you if you’re not already taking vitamin and mineral supplements. Proper nutrition improves sperm quality.
If you’re doing all these things and still not able to get pregnant, you should really consider seeking medical advice together. With the odds being 50/50 that it’s him, it can’t hurt for you to both get checked out. It’s important to realize that infertility doesn’t make him any less of a man (any more than female infertility makes her less of a woman).