Low Sperm Count – Causes and Natural Treatment Options




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Low Sperm Count

What is Low Sperm Count?

Low sperm count means that, when tested, the total amount of sperm in your semen is below a certain amount. The most current World Health Organization guidelines define low sperm count as having less than 15 million sperm in a milliliter of semen (15 million/ml).

Having low sperm count means that you have lower odds of fertilizing your partner’s egg.   While it is true that it only takes one sperm to fertilize the egg, you really need a significant number of sperm to make it successfully through the obstacle course that is the female reproductive system.

If you don’t get pregnant in the first couple of months of trying to conceive, don’t worry.  The statistics show that, for some couples, it just takes a bit longer to get pregnant.

  • 20% will conceive within one month
  • 70% will conceive within six months
  • 85% will conceive within one year

It is hard to let nature take it’s course when you have baby on the brain.  Fertility specialists typically want to see you after you’ve tried unsuccessfully for a year, or at the 6 month mark if you are over 35 years old.

There are many things you can do proactively to help improve your overall sperm health before you reach the 12 month “Call the Dr.” mark.   Changes you make now will improve your chances of getting pregnant. Take a look at your lifestyle to see if something your are doing or dealing with on a daily basis is known to cause sperm health issues.

Environmental Causes of Low Sperm Count

  • Chemical Exposure – If you have a job that requires you to work with industrial chemicals on a daily basis, that exposure could lead to a lower sperm count. Jobs that work with pesticides, solvents, or heavy metals can have a negative impact on your overall sperm health.
  • Overheating Your Testicles – Your sperm like a cooler than body temperature environment. If you regularly squash your testicles close to your body with tight pants or underwear, your sperm count could suffer. Sitting for long times will also increase testicle temperature. If you are trying to get pregnant, you might also want to avoid saunas and hot tubs for the same reason.
  • X-rays – If possible, ALWAYS make sure a protective apron is used if you need x-rays. This will help shield your sperm and sperm producing organs from the damaging effects. Failure to do this can cause a dramatic decrease in sperm count that can last a long time.

Lifestyle Changes to Improve Low Sperm Count

Sometimes, you can boost your sperm count by making changes to things you do on a daily basis. Some are easier to accomplish than others but all have the potential to improve your sperm count and all other aspects of male fertility. What you do and eat on a daily basis is directly related to your overall fertility.

Keep in mind, unless you have a medical cause for your low sperm count, the changes you make in your day to day life will take 2 to 3 months to show up in improved sperm health.

 

Exercise Regularly – If you are a couch potato, your fertility can suffer. Research shows exercise helps balance your hormones (yes, men have fertility related hormones, too) and help improve your sperm count (and other aspects of your sperm too!).

 

Quit Smoking  – You already know that smoking isn’t good for your overall health. Smoking increases your risk of heart disease, stoke, cancer and a multiple of other diseases. In addition to the well known health risks, smoking can also cause a decreased sperm count and overall sperm health. Low count and low sperm quality make it more difficult for your sperm to fertilize your partner’s egg.

Oh, and let’s not forget how you smoking affects your partner’s fertility. Research has shown that exposure to secondhand smoke can cause fertility problems and earlier onset of menopause in women.

 

Check Your Medications – Anabolic steroids (not good news body builders out there), antibiotics and certain medications used to control conditions like high blood pressure, ADHD and antidepressants can reduce your fertility. You can ask your prescribing doctor or pharmacist about the effects of your medications on your overall fertility.

 

Take Natural Supplements to Boost Sperm Health – In addition to the other changes you are making, adding supplements that are proven to improve your sperm health can improve your chances of getting pregnant. The most helpful supplemental nutrients that help improve your sperm are Vitamin C (at least 2,000 mg a day), Zinc (66-200 mg per day) and Folic Acid (5,000 mcg per day). The vitamin C helps improve the motility and morphology of the sperm. The zinc, when taken with the folic acid, has been shown to increase sperm count and improve sperm motility and improve the sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg. FertilAid for Men, in combination with CountBoost, provides all these nutrients and many more that are proven to improve overall sperm health and sperm count.

 

De-Stress – Extreme and long term stress can cause the hormones required for healthy sperm production to become unbalanced. Balance your mind and your body will go in the direction of balance as well.

 





Leafy Greens for Improving Sperm Count

 

Eating for Improved Sperm Health

Focus on eating foods that ensure your body has the right amount of sperm friendly nutrients.   Most of these nutrients can be purchased in supplement form, but your body will benefit more if you try and incorporate them into your daily diet.   Many research studies have show that the nutrients below help improve sperm count and overall male fertility. To receive the biggest nutritional and sperm count friendly benefits, you should stick with organic, grass fed, and wild caught food whenever possible.

 

 

Nutrient Recommended for Sperm HealthFoods To Eat
Vitamin CBell Peppers (All colors), Guavas, Dark Leafy Green Vegetables (Kale and Spinach for example), Kiwifruit, Broccoli, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Peas, Papaya, Chili Peppers, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Mango
ZincBeef, Shrimp, Spinach, Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Oysters, Lima Beans, Kidney Beans, Egg Yolks, Turkey, Salmon, Dark Chocolate, Beef Liver
ArginineTurkey, Chicken, Pork Loin, Pumpkin Seeds, Peanuts, Dairy, Chick Peas, Lentils, All Types of Seafood
L-CarnitineBeef, Pork, Whole Milk
Essential Fatty AcidsSalmon, Herring, Mackerel, Flax Seeds, Almonds, Walnuts, Eggs, Dark Green Vegetables
ChromiumWhole Grains, Broccoli, Potatoes, Raw Tomatoes, Green Beans, Barley, Oats
SeleniumTuna, Shrimp, Sardines, Turkey, Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Brazil Nuts, Eggs, Spinach
Folic AcidDark Leafy Greens, Broccoli, Citrus Fruits, Beans, Peas, Lentils, Brussel Sprouts, Sunflower Seeds, Peanuts
CopperSunflower Seeds, Lentils, Almonds, Dark Chocolate, Mushrooms, Beef Liver, Oysters
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)Beef, Chicken, Salmon, Herring, Tuna, Soybean Oil, Canola Oil
AntioxidantsGoji Berries, Dark Chocolate, Kidney Beans, Berries, Pinto Beans, Sweet Cherries, Apples,  Red or Purple Grapes,  Sweet Potatoes

 

It should be easy to increase your daily intake of  these sperm friendly foods.  Unfortunately, totally changing the way you eat isn’t always possible.  Adding  a fertility supplement might give you the added nutrient boost that you need to improve your count.  FertilAid for Men and Countboost are two of the best selling male fertility supplements on the market.  These supplements are formulated to include the scientifically proven nutrients for improving sperm count and overall sperm health.

 

How To Get Your Sperm Count Checked

If a doctor’s visit is daunting, you can take an at home sperm count test.  These tests let you assess your sperm count in the comfort of your own home.  Keep in mind, it will only let you know about sperm count. The test will not alert you if there are any problems with sperm motility or morphology.

You may discover that the sperm count appears normal with the at home test, awesome! BUT … that doesn’t mean you are off the hook. All it says is that sperm count may not be the issue. A fertility doctor visit should be your next diagnostic step.

Many men are hesitant to get a semen analysis done.  Unfortunately, it’s the only way to find out if you are the reason why you and your partner not getting pregnant.  You are going to have to “Suck it up, Buttercup!” and get the testing done if having a baby is important to you and your partner.

 

 

 

Synopsis:

If you are trying to get pregnant and have low sperm count, these changes may help your achieve your dream.

  • Visit a fertility specialist if you have been trying to conceive for over a year.
  • Evaluate what you do and eat everyday and make changes if you have activities that can harm  your sperm count and overall health.
  • Eat healthy foods with nutrients that support healthy sperm count and overall male fertility.
  • Take a fertility supplement with ingredients that help improve sperm count.

 

 

 

Resources:

Tips to Improve Sperm Count, Motility and Morphology




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Healthy Sperm

 

 

When you are trying to get pregnant, women bring their eggs to the party and the men, the sperm. Having healthy sperm will increase the chances for you actually getting pregnant.

What is “Healthy” Sperm?

There are many different components that add up to “healthy sperm”. Good sperm count, healthy forward movement, and well formed sperm are three of the main ones. With the exception of a home sperm count test, there is very little you can do to figure out the baby making potential of your sperm without the help of a doctor. A semen analysis done by your doctor will provide the scientific details about these important sperm issues.

  • Healthy Sperm Count   A conception friendly sperm count would be at least 15 million sperm per milliliter of ejaculate. Of course, the higher the count the better when you are trying to get pregnant. If you have fewer than this amount, you could have difficulties getting pregnant. It’s not impossible, but you might need to have a doctor’s help to facilitate pregnancy.
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  • Healthy Sperm Motility   Motility is how the sperm moves within the semen and in the woman’s body. Healthy sperm know which way to move. Limited forward motion makes it very difficult for the sperm to get to the egg to fertilize it.  Healthy sperm motility is when 40% or more of the sperm, in a semen analysis, are showing the forward movement.  The Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago has an interesting video that shows you how sperm count and motility determine during a semen analysis.

    Sperm Count and Molity

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  • Sperm Morphology  – This particular criteria is a bit odd because the percentage of normally formed sperm only has to be 3% in order to be considered “normal”.   Of course, the higher the percentage the better if your goal is fertilizing your partner’s eggs. If you have normal sperm count and motility, a 3% morphology result might not make that big of a difference in your fertility.

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 to undergo 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 either stop or start doing that will positively impact the quality of his sperm.

 

Improve Sperm Count, Sperm Motility and Sperm Morphology





 

4 Things That Can Hurt Sperm Health

 

  1. Hot Testicles – Tight pants and brief style underwear can contribute to lower sperm count. The testes need a cooler environment in order to create new sperm.  A Temperature 3 or 4 degrees below what the rest of the body is at is optimal.   This allows the testes to do what they are made for – healthy sperm production.
  2.  

  3. Smoking – Both cigarettes and marijuana have been studied where sperm health is concerned and the results are not promising. Cigarette smokers increase their chances of having lower sperm count and motility than non smokers.  Smoking can ultimately can damage your sperm on a genetic level as well. If you are a pot smoker, you risk having significantly lower seminal fluid, a decreased sperm count.  Marijuana  use can also cause sperm behave abnormally.   Moral of the story, stop smoking, of all types, before you attempt to get pregnant. Your sperm can return to normal health in about 3 months once you stop smoking.
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  5. Weighty Issues – Both being overweight and underweight can adversely affect your sperm health. Being underweight can contribute to a lower than normal sperm count.  Being overweight can also affect a man’s reproductive hormones, leading to lower sperm count.    It can also lead to higher percentages of abnormal sperm.  Losing a few pounds, if you are overweight, can improve your sperm quality.  Improved sperm quality can increase your chances of fertilizing that egg.
  6.  

  7. Unhealthy Eating Habits – This goes hand in had with the item listed above. Unhealthy eating can contribute to weight issues and adversely affect your sperm health at the same time. Processed meats like hot dogs, lunch meat and bacon have fewer normally formed sperm as compared to men who made healthier food choices. Milk does your body good, right? Well, sometimes. A 2013 study in Human Reproduction has shown that the intake of full fat dairy like cheeses and whole milk actually can lower sperm motility and morphology. Drinking low fat milk, on the other hand, was shown to have a positive effect on sperm health with higher sperm concentration and progressive motility.

 

4 Things That Can Improve Sperm Health

 

  1. Get Moving. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a week has a positive effect on, not only overall health, but also on reproductive health.  Men who exercise about 7 hours a week have a 48 percent higher sperm count than their sedentary, TV watching, counterparts.
  2.  

  3. Take Fertility Supplements. Let’s be honest here.  In an ideal world, we would all be eating exactly what we needed to be totally healthy.  In real life, this isn’t always possible.  Adding  supplements lets us get the nutrients we need. Fertilaid for Men is an awesome supplement that is formulated to improve overall male fertility issues. You can also add a boost of ingredients that are formulated to improve sperm count or targeted towards improving overall sperm motility.
  4.  

  5. Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Quality Sleep. A recent study has shown that people who don’t sleep well or have sleep apnea can have a decreased sperm count and motility. If you have difficulty sleeping,  it might be time to schedule a sleep study to find out what is going on.  Improving your quality of sleep may, in turn, increase your chances of getting pregnant.
  6.  

  7. Eat Your Veggies. Scientific research has discovered that beta-carotene, Lycopene and carotenoids (aka antioxidants) can help improve sperm morphology and motility.  The veggies that you should routinely  add to your meals include carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens and tomatoes.

Improve Sperm Count, Sperm Motility and Sperm Morphology

Improving Sperm Motility




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Often, difficulties with conception are related to issues with sperm. There are three main issues associated with sperm, including:

  • Sperm Motility – This means that the sperm struggle to navigate through the cervical mucus and female reproductive system.
  • Sperm Count – The likelihood of conception is lowered due to low sperm counts in the semen.
  • Sperm Morphology – Sperm are not formed properly, meaning that they might be unfit for fertilization.

Luckily, sperm motility can be improved in several different ways.

Improving Sperm Motility with Diet and Lifestyle Changes

If you’re experiencing issues with sperm motility, making changes in your diet and lifestyle can help.

Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are two of the main issues that can impact your sperm motility. These bad habits also affect the sperm count and overall sperm health in a negative manner.

Nutrition can also affect sperm motility, especially because diets low in carnitine are thought to cause issues with regard to sperm. L-Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnintine are two amino acids thought to improve sperm motility by providing sperm with energy via the transference of fatty acids to the proper location within the body. Red meats are especially rich in these amino acids.

Deficiencies in certain nutrients, especially vitamin A and C and zinc, can also impact sperm quality and motility. Healthy sperm production is also promoted through consumption of adequate amounts of folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. If you find it difficult to consume the right types of foods or nutrients required for healthy sperm health, high-quality supplements can help. There are some supplements specifically intended to promote sperm motility, making them ideal choices for men suffering from these issues.





Low Sperm Motility and Hormone Deficiencies

A deficiency in testosterone is another common culprit of low sperm motility. However, this issue is easily resolvable. In fact, there are many ways in which you can naturally increase testosterone levels, including:

  • Weight Loss – Being overweight can severely impact both your general health and testosterone levels. By taking efforts to lose weight, you can improve both simultaneously.
  • Intense Exercise Routines – While exercise is generally good for your health, rounds of short, intense workouts can help to build your testosterone levels. However, it is important to keep in mind that longer, more moderate workouts will not produce the same effects.
  • Increase Levels of Vitamin D – Healthy doses of sunshine or taking supplements for vitamin D are essential. This is because vitamin D has been proven to help increase testosterone levels.
  • Reduce Stress – Stress triggers the body to produce cortisol, a hormone that blocks the effects of testosterone. Taking the initiative to reduce stress through exercise and meditation can help.
  • Medication – Sometimes, modifying your lifestyle isn’t enough. Fortunately, there are medications that can help in these instances.

 

Low Sperm Motility and Physical and Genetic Issues

In some instances, improving low sperm motility is unfortunately impossible. If a genetic defect is the cause of low motility, there is no way to correct the issue through the use of supplements, medicines, or hormones.

In other cases, low motility is caused by physical defects such as variocele. While the physical problem can be corrected, sperm motility might not improve as a result.

It is important to seek a proper diagnosis for genetic and physical issues. If you find that neither a genetic or physical problem is the source of low sperm motility, you can turn to lifestyle modifications or other methods to effect positive changes.

Types of Male Infertility




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You might not realize it, but in close to have of the cases where a couple is having trouble conceiving there is at least one male fertility factor present. There are any number of causes of male infertility, and understanding exactly what can cause them can help you to know what kind of treatment to expect, and what kinds of changes you might make to increase your odds of trying to conceive.

Some of the most common causes of male infertility include:





  • Low sperm count. This is most often the cause of male infertility. The vast majority of male infertility issues stem from a low sperm count. A low sperm count happens when a man’s semen doesn’t’ have enough sperm. This can be caused by many different things. Hormonal changes, for example, can be responsible for a low sperm count. So can the use of certain medications, illicit drug use, alcohol use or abuse, excessive caffeine intake, smoking and more. Even testicular injury or testicular overheating can contribute to a low sperm count. Testicular overheating is most often caused by things like hot tub or sauna use, a heated waterbed or wearing tight underwear.
  • Low sperm motility. This is the next most common cause of male infertility. If a man’s sperm don’t move forward at a reasonable rate, you’re going to have a hard time conceiving. This can be caused by many of the same things that can cause a low sperm count, such as medications, drug use, alcohol use, excessive use of caffeine, smoking or testicular injury. It can also be caused by testicular overheating.
  • Abnormal sperm. When a man’s sperm aren’t developing correctly and have an abnormal shape, it will affect his fertility. Abnormal sperm can be caused by many of the same things that the other sperm problems can. In addition, exposure to heavy metals or to certain chemicals can also cause a man to have abnormal sperm.

If you’re having trouble trying to conceive, it’s important that the male partner provides an open and honest health history to your doctor. This will help to narrow down the possible causes of male infertility, and get you on track to have a better chance of conception.

Some Causes of Male Infertility




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You might not realize it, but in close to have of the cases where a couple is having trouble conceiving there is at least one male fertility factor present. There are any number of causes of male infertility, and understanding exactly what can cause them can help you to know what kind of treatment to expect, and what kinds of changes you might make to increase your odds of trying to conceive.

Some of the most common causes of male infertility include:





  • Low sperm count. This is most often the cause of male infertility. The vast majority of male infertility issues stem from a low sperm count. A low sperm count happens when a man’s semen doesn’t’ have enough sperm. This can be caused by many different things. Hormonal changes, for example, can be responsible for a low sperm count. So can the use of certain medications, illicit drug use, alcohol use or abuse, excessive caffeine intake, smoking and more. Even testicular injury or testicular overheating can contribute to a low sperm count. Testicular overheating is most often caused by things like hot tub or sauna use, a heated waterbed or wearing tight underwear.
  • Low sperm motility. This is the next most common cause of male infertility. If a man’s sperm don’t move forward at a reasonable rate, you’re going to have a hard time conceiving. This can be caused by many of the same things that can cause a low sperm count, such as medications, drug use, alcohol use, excessive use of caffeine, smoking or testicular injury. It can also be caused by testicular overheating.
  • Abnormal sperm. When a man’s sperm aren’t developing correctly and have an abnormal shape, it will affect his fertility. Abnormal sperm can be caused by many of the same things that the other sperm problems can. In addition, exposure to heavy metals or to certain chemicals can also cause a man to have abnormal sperm.

If you’re having trouble trying to conceive, it’s important that the male partner provides an open and honest health history to your doctor. This will help to narrow down the possible causes of male infertility, and get you on track to have a better chance of conception.

Can You Calculate Your Sperm Motility?




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There are three major problems that men can face when it comes to fertility: a low sperm count, low sperm motility and abnormal sperm. Of those, more than half of male fertility issues are caused by a low sperm count. A significant number of men, however, do experience trouble trying to conceive because of low sperm motility.

It’s important, first of all, to understand what sperm motility exactly is. Sperm motility is the way that your sperm move, in the right direction and at the right pace, through the female reproductive system after intercourse. How your sperm move will determine how successful you are at trying to conceive.

We measure sperm motility as a percentage. The percentage is the number of sperm that can be observed moving forward and a regular pace. Normal sperm motility is about 50 percent, meaning that about half of your sperm are moving at the right pace and in the right direction. If you have sperm motility below 50 percent, it can cause problems.





You really can’t calculate your own sperm motility at home. You need the assistance of a health care provider with specialized equipment. Any time you have your sperm analyzed by a fertility specialist, they will check all three of the major sperm issues, including sperm count, sperm motility and sperm abnormality. They will do so using a number of different techniques, but it really boils down to the process of watching your sperm do their thing under the lens of a high-powered microscope.

There are a few options for men with low sperm motility. IVF and ICSI are fertility procedures that may help. Some men have had luck improving their motility with dietary changes, or with certain herbal or nutritional supplements, as well. If you experience low sperm motility, your doctor will have some ideas for you about the types of things you might be able to do to increase your chances of conceiving.