7 Ways to Strengthen Your Sperm

If you and your partner are planning to grow your family, the issue of fertility may come up. And while it's commonly looked at as a feminine issue, the U.S. National Library of Medicine reports that male infertility is the problem approximately one third of the time.

What You Can Do About It

Genetics and hormones certainly play a part in your ability to reproduce. However, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the large majority of male reproductive issues are caused by low sperm count or poor sperm quality.

So how can you ensure your sperm is the healthiest it can be before you begin procreating? There are a variety of lifestyle changes you can make to make sure everything is in working order.

1. Quit smoking. The rap sheet against smoking continues to grow. Not only is it bad for your heart and lungs, but smoking can damage your fertility. A study conducted at the University of Buffalo concluded that, for heavy tobacco smokers, there is a "significant drop in fertility." The fix? Quit.

2. Have more sex. Yes, that's right. Having more sexual intercourse will boost the quality of your sperm. In fact, one Australian study suggests that sex daily reduces the length of time the cells are exposed to potentially damaging molecules.

3. Get plenty of exercise.  Exercising packs a power punch when considering its benefits to your sperm. Overweight males are more likely to be infertile. What's more, exercise can help manage stress, which has been found to be a sperm killer.

4. Don't over-exercise. Exercising in moderation is helpful, but overdoing it can be detrimental. Men who are underweight or exercise to exhaustion can have abnormal hormone levels that affect fertility.

5. Eat your fruits and vegetables. These nutritional powerhouses are high in antioxidants, which have been found to improve sperm health.

6. Limit alcohol consumption. Drinking heavily has been found to reduce both the quality and quantity of sperm. However if you do drink, limit your consumption to one to two drinks per day.

7. Skip the bike rides. Bicycle shorts, as well as bike seats, have been found to raise scrotal temperature, which weakens sperm. Limit bike rides to 30 minutes at a time.

If you suspect you and your partner's inability to conceive is due to infertility or poor sperm quality, be sure to visit your doctor. He'll provide you with the proper steps or medication needed to address your particular issue.



American Society of Reproductive Medicine's annual meeting, Montreal, Oct. 15-19, 2005. News release, University of Buffalo. 

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). "Daily Sex Helps Reduce Sperm DNA Damage And Improve Fertility." ScienceDaily, 1 Jul. 2009. Web. 12 Jul. 2011. 

University of Maryland Medical Center
Infertility in Men - Causes