The duration of each spermatogenetic cycle is about 2 months. Thus, the quality of a sperm sample may be improved in a relatively short time, adopting small, but effective changes in everyday life style. The following tips are basic practical recommendations for your routine, in order to improve the quality of your sperm, but your health situation in general.
What can I do to imrpove my sperm quality?
Good eating habits
A healthy and balanced diet is an important factor in producing healthy sperm. Like your organism, your sperm also needs many different nutrients in order to function properly. Your diet should include:• Lots of fruits and vegetables• Many starchy foods, such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta• Proteins such as meat, fish, eggs and beans• a balanced quantity of milk, yogurt and cheese• Limited fat, sugar or salt Reduce smoking and drinkingSmoking more than 20 cigarettes a day can reduce sperm count and motility, in addition to all the other negative effects on the overall health of your body.Tobacco contains over 4,000 ingredients, many of which are toxic to sperm. It also produces “free radicals” that can damage sperm DNA integrity and its overall survival.In addition, excessive alcohol consumption is not good for your sperm, as well. According to the UK guidelines, men trying to achieve a pregnancy with their partner should not drink more than 2 glasses of alcohol once or twice a week.
Excess weight can damage the sperm and lead to a longer period of time until a natural pregnancy is achieved, while it can also negatively affect the outcome of an infertility treatment.
Avoid substance use
Cannabis use damages sperm in many ways. It reduces sperm motility and affects its normal function. The most serious consequence of long-term regular cannabis use is the possibility of a permanent reduction in a man’s ability to produce sperm. In addition, special care should be taken in case of exercise supplements, as they may contain steroids that adversely affect sperm production.
The effects of aging on male fertility are not as dramatic as on women, but this does not mean that there is no decreasing trend in male sperm quality with age, as well.
Stress and weight
Both men and women suffer from the effects of obesity and stress. These factors are considered detrimental to your overall health and well-being and may have a negative impact on your fertility. Stress can even stop the desire for sexual activity and affect the proper function of your body in total.
Good news for men
Frequent sex is considered necessary to optimize sperm quality, which is a good news for men! In case of abstinence of ejaculation for a week or more, your sperm “ages” and loses its quality, reducing the chances of making your partner pregnant. The healthiest sperm is the one that is produced after abstinence of 2-5 days after your last ejaculation.
The other good news is that you can improve the health of your sperm in a short time, within 3-6 months, as the duration of each spermatogenesis cycle is about!
Evi Timotheou BcS, MSc,
Senior Clinical Embryologist, Lab Director
Tatiana Chartomatsidou BcS, MSc,
Jr. Clinical Embryologist