6 Ways to Strengthen His Sperm
When you first start trying for a baby, you’re probably pretty optimistic. However, after a few times of trying and no baby, you realize that it’s going to be a bit more difficult than you originally planned. You Google ways to increase your fertility. You start eating healthier, taking supplements and restricting your alcohol intake. But what about your partner? He’s the other half of the equation.
One-third of couples who have difficulty conceiving can attribute their trouble to male reproductive issues. One-third is from female reproductive issues and the last third is from both male and female reproductive issues, according to the National Institutes of Health. It’s safe to say that men should try to strengthen their sperm as much as women try to increase their fertility. Your partner plays an equal role in your chances of getting pregnant.
Here are 6 ways that your partner can increase his sperm quality, count and motility:
Studies have shown that lycopene can increase sperm count up to 70%. Lycopene is a red pigment and nutrient that has antioxidant properties. The antioxidant is found in some red fruits and vegetables:
- Pink grapefruit
- Red carrots
However, lycopene is mostly found in tomatoes, which can make up about 85% of your intake. Watermelon is another great source.
But don’t worry; you don’t have to consume a whole bunch of raw tomatoes. In fact, it’s actually better if the tomatoes are cooked. A quick way to get all the lycopene you need is to whip up a batch of tomato sauce.
An even quicker solution to getting your daily dose of lycopene may be on the way. An over-the-counter lycopene supplement is undergoing trials to see if it can help couples conceive.
Turn Off the TV & Get Active
For many of us, there’s no better way to end the day than to sit down and watch our favourite TV show or sport. However, for men trying to conceive, it’s not recommended.
A 2013 Harvard study found that healthy men who watched TV had lower sperm counts than those who were more physically active. Researchers studied 189 men between the ages of 18 and 22. They found that those who exercised 15 or more hours a week had a 73% higher sperm count than those who exercised less than 5 hours weekly. We know, exercising 15 hours a week means over two hours of exercise every day! But your partner can start small and increase the amount of time he exercises over a few weeks. He doesn’t have to train for a marathon, but any exercise is better than no exercise.
Exercise is particularly important if your partner is overweight. Obese men tend to have lower testosterone levels, which increases their chances of erectile dysfunction. In addition, obese men have a worse sperm quality than men who are a healthy weight.
So, what type of exercise will help the most? Men who exercised outdoors and those who participated in weight training had the highest sperm counts, according to the Harvard study. Whether your partner wants to go running outside or hit the gym for some intense lifting, his sperm count will benefit.
However, cycling will not increase sperm count. In fact, it actually lowers sperm levels, according to studies. Men who spent about 90 minutes on a bike weekly had a 34% lower sperm count. Biking decreases hormone production because it reduces the blood flow to the testes. To play safe, if your partner loves biking, encourage him to keep it to a minimum and try walking or jogging instead.
Kick the Bad Habits
This tip certainly isn’t fun, but it’s definitely necessary. If you smoke cigarettes or marijuana or drink — it’s time to cut that out.
If your partner drinks regularly, it could lower his testosterone levels and his sperm count. Some studies say only excessive amounts of alcohol can affect a man’s sperm count, while other research finds that just five drinks a week could reduce the quality. While a beer every now and then should be okay, it’s wise to stay away from the after work beers or weekend drinking binges.
Smoking cigarettes has similar effects. A review of research found that the habit could lower sperm count, reduce sperm motility, sperm’s fertilizing ability and create DNA damage.
While we don’t necessarily consider consuming caffeine a bad habit, it’s certainly a substance for your partner to cut down on. A Danish study found that men who had a high intake of caffeine had a lower sperm count and sperm concentration. It’s safe for your partner to consume under 300 mg per day. That means one coffee or soda a day shouldn’t hurt his swimmers.
All of these bad habits reduce female fertility as well. You should be stopping or limiting all of these habits to conceive — and completely quitting them once you get pregnant. The good news is that both you and your partner are working towards a common goal and can quit together!
Stick to Boxers
Over the years, people have been debating whether boxers or briefs can help or hurt a man’s sperm.
Here’s the scoop: The temperature of the testes affects sperm quality and quantity. When a man wears briefs, his testes could get too warm to produce quality sperm. Wearing boxers will give your partner more “breathing room” and will allow his testes to reach a temperature lower than his core body temperature, which is necessary for successful sperm.
Keeping this temperature rule in mind, your man should also stay away from tight pants and hot tubs. Lounging around at home wearing boxers instead of pants will also be beneficial.
Stress is harmful to the body in many ways, including sperm. Researchers found that stress affects sperm quality, its concentration and its ability to fertilize an egg.
A little stress at home or an upcoming deadline at work is not likely to affect his sperm. However, periods of prolonged stress can mess with your partner’s hormones and reduce his fertility. Severe stress can include constant work pressure or dysfunctional family issues.
Stress may also reduce your partner’s libido and deter him from precious baby making time.
If your partner is very stressed, he should consider therapy or seeing a doctor to determine if he has anxiety issues. Everyday stresses can be tackled in a few ways:
- Eating & sleeping well
- Watching a funny movie
- Walking in nature
- Having sex (not only will it help reduce stress, but maybe you’ll even make a baby!)
More Fish, Less Processed Meat
We can’t finish this list without mentioning the important role your diet plays in the quality of your partner’s sperm.
According to a Harvard study, men who ate between one and three servings of processed meats per day had a lower sperm quality. To ensure your partner has a higher sperm quality, he should stick to natural meat that is cooked without preservatives. He should avoid packaged lunch meats, hot dogs, sausages, salami and bacon.
The same study found that men who ate the most fatty fish had a 34% higher sperm count. That means to increase his sperm count, your partner should be eating salmon, tuna or bluefish.
After asking men to incorporate 75 grams of walnuts into their diet, researchers found that there was an improvement in their sperm. After three months, the men’s sperm saw an improvement in movement and vitality.
Of course, a traditional healthy diet will also improve your partner’s sperm quality. This means getting his vitamins and minerals every day. Taking dietary supplements that contain folic acid with zinc has also been shown to increase sperm count in some studies. A healthy diet of whole grains, fruits and leafy green vegetables is best.
Most men produce millions of new sperm every day. However, those sperm take about 74 days to fully form. That means implementing these tips won’t automatically strengthen his sperm. For example, your partner can exercise and eat right for one week, but it won’t have a lasting effect on his sperm. To truly see if any of these tips help you conceive, your partner will need to keep these good habits for at least two and a half to three months.
These are 6 ways that your partner can strengthen his sperm, but what can you do to improve your fertility? Check out our 11 tips to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Once your partner has strengthened his sperm, you can use fertility planning to find out the best time for him to unleash his swimmers.
Has your partner made lifestyle changes to make conceiving easier? If he has, comment below and share your experiences. If you found this article helpful, share it to help other men.