1. Maintain A Healthy Weight. Whether you are overweight or underweight, it’s important to keep your weight within the healthy range to keep your hormone balanced. An upset in hormone balance can result in lower sperm count and decrease their motility(ability to swim), reducing you and your partner’s chances of conceiving. If you’re not sure whether your weight is in the healthy range or not, check your body mass index (BMI) here! In a study on men who are overweight, 15.62 percent of them had low sperm count, 10% more than those in the healthy range. Thus it’s important to keep your weight within the healthy range!
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Just as how it’s important for your wife to prep her body before trying to conceive, your health is equally important to ensure that the pregnancy is a healthy one. Here are 7 things you can do to ensure that your sperms are in tip-top shape!
2. Healthy Diet. You are what you eat! To increase your chances of conception, you should be eating healthily as well to increase the quality of your sperms. Eat a variety of healthy foods which are rich in antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables. This will help to reduce the number of DNA damaged sperms you produce. Some foods rich in antioxidants include:
- Zinc: Oysters, legumes, dairy products, eggs, meat, whole grains.
- Selenium: Fish, brazil nuts, pork, beef, turkey.
- Folic Acid: Spinach, chickpea, beans, lentils.
- Vitamin C: Oranges, grapefruit, lemon, cauliflower.
- Vitamin E: nuts, seeds. Spinach, broccoli, vegetable oils.
3. Exercise. Exercising regularly helps in reducing your stress levels and keep you healthy. But how does it affect male fertility? Recent studies show that although stress does not directly affect the quality of semen in men, stress has an impact on lowering the level of the hormone testosterone. Low testosterone can affect fertility and it decreases sperm production. However, do note that strenuous or intense workout can decrease your fertility rate instead of boosting it. Cycling is one of the more well-known exercises to avoid if you and your partner are trying for a baby.
4. Cool it. Yes, literally! The male reproductive organs are designed to be outside of the body so that they can be kept at a temperature lower than our body temperature. High temperature damage sperms, so avoid the doing of the following activities below!
- Placing your laptop on your lap. The heat generated from your laptop can, together with keeping your legs together to support your laptop can cause the temperature to rise above the ideal temperature for your reproductive organs.
- Boxers or briefs? This issue has been widely debated but there is no conclusive evidence to support any of them. Just remember to wear breathable fabric with some breathing space!
5. Male Fertility Supplements. We’ve heard females who are trying to conceive to consume supplements 3 months prior to trying to conceive. But did you know that you should be consuming fertility supplements as well? In fact, you should consume these supplements 6 months prior to conception so that your sperms have time to grow healthy and strong! Look out for these nutrients in supplements to improve your sperm counts and reduce the risk of any birth defects!
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
6. Quit Smoking. Smoking can cause low sperm counts and affect the motility of the sperm. If you do smoke, quit at least three months before trying for a baby. Sperm reproduction takes around three months, so to improve the quality of the sperm you need to quit smoking for at least three months!
7. Limit Alcohol Intake. Alcohol has been shown to not only reduce sperm production. But also cause sperm abnormalities! However, the good news is that you do not need to cut out alcohol entirely – just limit yourself to one or two glasses per day.
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