Having children is a joyous and challenging experience in equal measure. Infertility is one of the biggest challenges that modern couples face today. Some people don’t realize they desire to start a family until later in life and then bemoan their infertility. According to a survey by NCBI, “male factor" infertility accounts for 40–50% of all cases of infertility. The quality of the sperm is quite essential, regardless of whether you have decided to attempt to conceive now or have been trying for a long time. “The majority of individuals worry about how to ensure optimal sperm quality, create stronger sperm, and boost the count to improve the likelihood of pregnancy. It takes a sperm around three months to mature. Incorporating healthy lifestyle modifications three months before starting a family can therefore improve your chances of a good conception,” says Dr. Jasneet Kaur, Clinic Director and Sr. Consultant (Dept. Of Reproductive Medicine) at Milann Fertility Centre, Chandigarh.
Underlying causes of male infertility
The inability of the testes to produce any or sufficient sperm to allow conception is the leading cause of infertility. The ability to fertilize eggs is affected by a low sperm count, sperm movement abnormalities, or unusually shaped sperm. According to expert research, there has been a major global reduction in sperm counts of more than 50% during the last 46 years, a drop that has intensified in the latest years.
“Low sperm quality can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic abnormalities, previous infections, and trauma to the testicles. Apart from that, male infertility can also be brought on by inappropriate sexual activity or other problems, such as erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction,” adds Dr Kaur. In addition, poor sperm quality can also be attributed to unhealthy lifestyle choices, exposure to an environment that is toxic, and chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.
Precautions to be taken
Dr. Sudeep Naganath Sambharam, MBBS, DNB, Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine, Senior Consultant- IVF & Infertility, Apollo Fertility Solapur shares few precautions men should follow to improve their sperm quality
- Avoid tight undergarments and pants: use of light-fitting undergarments help in maintaining a lower scrotal temperature
- Avoid high-temperature environments this will affect the sperm count.
- Stop smoking cigarettes and tobacco or gutka chewing. Tobacco causes a significant drop in sperm count.
- Limit alcohol intake: Alcohol causes a drop in testosterone levels which in turn causes a decrease in sperm production.
- Avoid exposure to pesticides and lead-containing chemicals: the use of proper protective gear and aprons while working with these toxins are mandatory.
- Avoid unprotected sex with multiple partners and unprotected sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases
Ways to improve sperm quality
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
The first and foremost step to ensure good quality sperm is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Say absolutely no to smoking and drinking, as it affects your sperm to a great extent. If you still choose to drink, make sure it is within limits because excessive drinking could result in can lower testosterone production, induce impotence, and decrease sperm production. “Apart from that, be certain to incorporate a healthy diet full of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables in your lifestyle, as it will aid in improving your sperm health. In addition, maintaining a healthy weight is undoubtedly crucial,” says Dr Kaur. An increased mass body index could result in decreased sperm count. Hence, in order to avoid such a situation, make sure to make healthy changes in your lifestyle.
There is no denying the fact that stress could have a bad impact on our bodies. It can affect your sexual functioning and influence the hormones required to create sperm. “To improve the quality of your sperm, you must therefore learn to effectively manage your stress. Getting involved in some kind of physical activity is a good way to deal with stress. It not only keeps you active but also raises the levels of potent antioxidant enzymes, which act as a shield of protection to the sperm,” feels Dr Kaur.
Nowadays, infertility has become a significant worry for couples. Especially if we talk about male infertility, it has came out to be a pressing concern. The main cause of infertility in men is the testes not being able to produce any or enough sperm. Apart from that, lifestyle choices play a great role in enhancing the quality of sperm. Hence, the best way to improve the quality of your sperm is to incorporate healthy eating habits and physical activities into your daily routine. Besides that, stress is the biggest enemy of humans as it impacts their mental and physical well-being to a great extent. In men, stress can affects the hormones required to create sperm. Hence, controlling stress effectively is essential since it both affects the quantity and quality of your sperm.
When to consult a fertility specialist?
Most couples conceive within 1 year of unprotected sex. “Hence one needs to consult a fertility specialist to undergo counseling and basic evaluation which helps in educating the couple as well as making the appropriate decision for further plan of management,” signs off Dr Sambharam.
Read all the Latest Lifestyle News here