Are you and your partner planning to start a family soon? Are you excited but worried about your fertility? What do you do to ensure that your sperms are healthy?
Having a low sperm count is a common sexual health problem that a lot of men experience around the world. It is a condition in which the semen that is ejaculated during sexual intercourse contains not enough sperm for reproduction.
For good odds of pregnancy happening, a man should have no fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of his semen. With this amount, one of your sperm is highly likely to fertilize your partner’s egg and result in pregnancy.
What are the symptoms of a low sperm count?
There are a number of symptoms linked to having a low sperm count. The following are examples:
The inability to conceive a child
This is the primary symptom of a low sperm count. If you and your partner have been trying for so long but you still cannot get her pregnant, you should go see your doctor and get your sperm checked.
A decrease in sex drive or libido
Losing interest in sex is another sign that you may have a low sperm count. This may also be linked to low testosterone levels in the body or some other sexual dysfunction.
If you have difficulty getting an erection or sustaining an erection firm and long enough for sex, you have a medical condition known as erectile dysfunction. This is common in older men, but can also affect those who are in their 20s and 30s.
Swelling or pain in the testicles
Pain or discomfort in your testicles or a lump in the area may negatively impact your body’s ability to produce sperm. You should go to a doctor right away before it progresses to something more severe.
What are the common causes of a low sperm count?
There are many variables involved in the sperm production process. Your brain, particularly your pituitary glands and hypothalamus, should be in good condition so that they can produce enough hormones to facilitate sperm production in your testicles. Then, your sperms are transported through tubes to be mixed with your semen, and they are released out of your body through ejaculation when you orgasm during sex.
If you have a low sperm count, there may be something wrong with your sexual and reproductive parts, or there may be an underlying health issue that impairs your sperm production. The following are some causes of low sperm count:
Sexually transmitted infections
Caused by viruses or bacteria, sexually transmitted infections can negatively impact your body’s ability to produce sperm. They can cause inflammation in your testicles or epididymis, making the production of enough sperm difficult. If not diagnosed and treated at the earliest opportunity, they can inflict long-term damage to your testicles and cause not only a low sperm count but also infertility, weakened immune system, and other serious health problems. Thus, if you are sexually active, you have to regularly get screened for gonorrhea, HIV, and other common sexually transmitted infections.
The growth of tumors in and around the organs that facilitate sperm production can mess up various male reproductive functions. Whether nonmalignant or cancerous, these tumors can impede or block the production and release of hormones necessary for reproduction. Also, if you undergo surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation to remove these tumors, your sperm count and infertility are also very likely to be reduced.
There are certain drugs and medicines that can cause negative side effects on sperm count. Examples are some ulcer medications, antibiotics, and antifungal medications. Taking testosterone replacement therapy and anabolic steroids can also endanger your sperm production.
What can you do to boost your sperm count and fertility?
Your habits and lifestyle play a major role in your sexual health. In order to produce more sperm, you should commit to quitting bad habits and make healthy lifestyle choices moving forward. The following are the steps that you need for optimal sperm health:
Eat healthy foods
There is a long list of healthy foods that are good for sperm health. One good example is spinach, which is loaded with folic acid, a nutrient that is essential in the production and development of healthy sperm. Other highly recommended sperm-friendly foods are eggs, which are rich in protein and vitamin E; bananas, which are overflowing with vitamins A, B1, and C; broccoli, which also contains folic acid; and pomegranates, which have high concentrations of antioxidants.
Be more physically active
Strive to become more active every day. Even for just half an hour a day, three times a week, you can walk, run, swim, or play sports to be able to enjoy the many health benefits of exercising. If you can commit to a regular routine, you can strengthen your heart and lungs, improve your sexual functions, boost your mood and energy levels, build stronger bones and muscles, and promote stamina and endurance.
Limit your alcohol intake
If you are a heavy drinker, you should seriously consider cutting down your consumption now. Alcohol not only can reduce your testosterone levels and sperm count, and also decrease your libido, muscle and bone mass, and memory and brain functions. It can also increase your odds of obesity, heart disease, liver disease, and other health problems.
Take good care of your mental health
Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can interfere with your body’s hormone production and cause not only a decrease in your sperm count but also in your testosterone levels and other important sexual and reproductive functions. It is vital to find a mental health professional as soon as possible to help you work through your problems.
Protect your testicles
Getting hit in the testicles or exposing your testicles to extreme heat, radiation, x-rays, and harmful chemicals can affect sperm production and function. Therefore, you should make sure that that part of your body is secure and protected at all times. Avoid wearing tight clothing or sitting for extended periods of time.