What is Sperm Count?
Sperm count is the most important indicator of male fertility. It is an easy and reliable indicator of how well a man will be able to produce a pregnancy. Male fertility is on the decline, and this is a worrying trend. The amount of sperm in a man’s ejaculate has declined by 50% in the last four decades. This can have a huge effect on male fertility.
What are the Causes of Low Sperm Count?
Low sperm count is a condition in which the number of sperm in a man’s semen is lower than it should be. It can affect men of any age and usually has no symptoms.
Causes of low sperm count may include:
- Genetic mutations
- Chemical exposure
- Excessive heat
- Radiation exposure
What Influences a Man’s Sperm Quality?
The quality of a man’s sperm is influenced by many factors, including lifestyle habits and medical conditions.
Men who drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or use illegal drugs have lower sperm counts and less-mobile sperm than men who do not.
Some sexually transmitted infections can also affect sperm quality.
Men with certain genetic conditions have abnormal development of their reproductive organs or other serious health problems that can make it difficult to father children.
Foods That Can Improve Sperm Quality
Some foods that can improve sperm quality include:
Oysters are not only a delicacy, they also have high levels of zinc. This is important because zinc is essential for healthy sperm.
Fruits like bananas, blueberries and strawberries contain antioxidants which help to fight free radicals which can damage the sperm cells.
A diet rich in vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and spinach will provide the body with folic acid which is necessary for the production of healthy sperm cells.
Supplements That Can Improve Sperm Quality
There are many supplements that can improve sperm quality. Some of the most popular and effective ones are zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, omega-3s, coenzyme Q10, lycopene and folic acid.
Zinc is an essential mineral for the production of testosterone and sperm. It’s also important for fertility in men as it helps with hormone production which is necessary for healthy sperm production. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which can help to protect sperm from oxidative damage. Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant which can help to protect sperm from oxidative damage as well as reduce inflammation in the reproductive system and promote healthy blood flow to the penis. Omega-3s have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on male reproductive organs making them useful for improving male fertility by reducing inflammation
How A Home Sperm Test Works
The kit has instructions on how to collect the sperm sample and what to do with it.
The results will typically take a few minutes, though they could take longer depending on the type of test that you have chosen.
There are two types of tests that are generally available to buy in the UK: those that only detect whether sperm is present and those that also detect the number and motility of your sperm.
Photo by Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Baby
This post first appeared in July 2018 and has been updated since