Are you planning a pregnancy with your partner? The following tips will help you improve your sperm quality and therefore increase your success rates.
Smoking can cause a 13-17% decrease in sperm concentration and a corresponding decrease in their motility. The negative effect may be more pronounced and clinically significant than the coexistence of other factors harmful to spermatogenesis, such as varicose veins. Several studies have also blamed secondhand smoke for reduced fertility in both men and women. However, it seems that smoking cessation reverses within a few months any negative effects in the majority of cases.
Many of the most widely used vaginal lubricants and contact facilitators, such as K-Y gel, Vaseline, or even saliva, adversely affect sperm motility and it is recommended to avoid their use when trying to conceive. In case of significant dryness and painful contact, a small amount of vegetable oils may be applied, which have not been shown to have a negative effect on sperm.
Avoid exposing yourself to heat
Frequent use of a sauna or hot tub can reduce sperm motility by up to 10% and should be avoided, especially in men with problematic and especially borderline spermatograms. Occupational exposure to high temperatures has also been linked to sperm quality disorders.
Avoid tight clothing and underwear
So far, at least, there is no broad scientific evidence for the possible effect of the type of clothing and underwear on sperm quality. However, avoiding too tight underwear and pants is considered by most to be reasonable. In fact, in a recent study, tight underwear emerged as the most important modifiable factor in sperm degradation.
Limit caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine, like alcohol, in large doses and for long periods of time, has been shown to have a negative effect on both sperm production and quality.
Avoid certain medications
Some medications can adversely affect sperm production processes and therefore the quality. Among others, it is worth mentioning cimetidine, calcium antagonists, nitrofurantoin, α-blockers, etc.
Do not use anabolic steroids
The use of androgens and anabolics causes among many other serious side effects testicular atrophy, inhibition of sperm production (often complete inhibition) and gynecomastia. Usually the damage is only partially reversible after stopping the anabolic steroids.
Beware of febrile diseases
Fever with prolonged episodes of significantly elevated temperature causes a temporary and reversible burden on all parameters of the sperm diagram, which is restored after 3 months.
Check your weight
Some studies has been found between increased body weight and low sperm count or decreased sperm volume during ejaculation. An increased rate of DNA fragmentation has also been found in people with a body mass index greater than 25-30 Kg / m2. It also seems that obesity can reduce fertility through additional mechanisms (regardless of sperm quality), such as disruption in the production and secretion of sex hormones. It should be noted that some studies have shown reduced fertility not only in obese but also in men with very low body mass index.
Deal with stress and depression
These psychological conditions can lead to disturbances in the secretion of LHRH hormone, deregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis, and eventually to disorders, usually mild and transient, of sperm production.
Beware of contact with toxic substances
Exposure to pesticides, lead and other toxic substances can affect the quantity and quality of sperm. If you have to work in an environment with toxic substances, do it safely: wear protective clothing and equipment and avoid inhalation and skin contact with chemicals.
Enhance your diet with specific foods
Based on some epidemiological data, it is possible that increased consumption of vitamins A, C, lycopene, β-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids can improve sperm quality and consequently fertility.
*The doctor’s opinion: If, despite adopting healthy practices in your lifestyle, your partner has not become pregnant after a year of unprotected sex, you should contact your doctor for a semen analysis. At Medimall IVF Clinic, our fertility doctors will suggest the right tests to determine the cause of the problem and provide you with the individual treatments that will fulfill your desire to have a healthy child.