Growing Healthy Sperm

When it comes to making babies, it really does take two to tango. Conception occurs when there is a successful joining of an egg and sperm. No matter how that happens, naturally or with a helping hand from science, healthy sperm is a key ingredient.

We take a look at why healthy sperm is important and ways that sperm health can be supported.

The importance of sperm health

Sperm's amazing race

After ejaculation, sperm undertake an amazing race through the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the egg, so healthy sperm is ideal for this epic journey. Generally, every millilitre of ejaculation contains around 15 million sperm. However, while this number seems an unfeasibly large number, it is considered that at least 40% of the 15 million need to be able to move (motility). A healthy sperm has an oval head and a long tail to propel it forward to its final goal. 1

So what can you do to help the health and motility of sperm?

Eating well

A healthy diet is important for both partners. Studies show that semen quality is optimised by eating a diet that favours seafood, poultry, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and avoids foods that are high in saturated or trans fats.2 Oysters, green vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and fruit are a sperm’s friend, while processed food is not.

Weigh it up

Weight can have an impact on sperm count and motility, so keep an eye on your weight or chat with a doctor if you think this might be impacting your sperm health.

Sexual health

Sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) can cause major problems with sperm so if there is a chance of an undiagnosed STI, have a chat with a doctor or a sexual health person and get checked.

Be a quitter

It’s a fact that smokers are more likely to have low sperm counts while heavy drinking can lead to lower production of testosterone, impotence and decreased sperm production. Anabolic steroids and other illicit drugs and excessive caffeine consumption can also contribute to fertility issues.3 Being a quitter is a good thing!

Medications and toxins

Some medications can contribute to fertility issues so checking current medications with a doctor is a good idea. Safety from toxins is as always important – ensure that protective equipment is used.

Chill out

There is a reason that testicles are external – excessive heat can cause sperm damage, and testicles should be one or two degrees cooler than the rest of the body. Help them out with loose underwear and generally keeping the area from overheating.

Stress and exercise

Moderate exercise can boost sperm count and quality in just weeks while also increasing sex drive.4 Exercise also has a knock-on effect of helping to reduce stress which can affect fertility.

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