Healthy sperm is essential not only for conception but also for the ongoing health of the baby. But what determines healthy sperm, and what can be done to make sure your swimmers stay in tip-top shape?
What is healthy sperm?
A male is considered fertile if his sperm is healthy in each of these categories and is determined by the following factors:
• There are over 15 million sperm per millilitre
• 40% of sperm are strong swimmers
• Sperm have oval heads and long tails for propulsion
Tip #1: Keep cool
Increased scrotal temperature can have an inverse effect on sperm production. Reduce heat by wearing loose-fitting underwear, reducing time seated, avoiding warm baths and saunas and using your laptop on a table can go a long way to boost sperm production.
Tip #2: Maintain a healthy, balanced diet
Like most aspects of life, diet plays a big role in sperm health. Here are some key nutrients that you should be eating for healthy sperm:
• Vitamin B-12 protects sperm from inflammation, oxidative stress from free radicals. This vitamin is found in meat, fish and dairy.
• Vitamin C helps to keep your sperm count high, so be sure to be stocked up in oranges, berries tomatoes and spinach.
• Lycopene is responsible for the red pigmentation in foods such as watermelon and tomatoes and can reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can damage DNA and hurt sperm.
• Folic acid is important for the development of healthy sperm, and links have been found that those who have lower levels of the nutrient have higher rates of abnormal chromosome development.
• Zinc and Selenium are important for sperm quality and mobility. Zinc-rich foods include dark chicken meat, baked beans, oysters and lean beef. Foods rich in selenium are eggs, meat, fish, bread and nuts.
Tip #3: Exercise regularly
Exercise not only keeps you fit but also helps to keep hormones and endorphins flowing, which can improve your mood as well as your sperm production and quality. Links have been found between a high body mass index (BMI) and poor semen quality, and it is widely known that being overweight can affect testosterone production.
Tip #4: Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption
It’s recommended that men limit consumption to 5 standard units a week to give their sperm the best chance of forming. Furthermore, links between high caffeine consumption and reduced sperm count have been found in those who drink more than two cups of coffee a day.
Tip #5: Quit smoking
Smoking cigarettes is detrimental to just about all parts of the body, and sperm health is no exception. Cigarettes can create slow-moving sperm and can cause sperm count to drop. It’s recommended that men quit smoking three months before they plan to conceive to give their sperm the best chance possible.
Contact us today!
Dr Arianayagam is an expert in the field of urology and is widely considered one of the top urological oncologists in Australia. If you have any questions about how to maintaining healthy sperm or would like to book an appointment, please feel free to contact or call Dr Arianayagam’s office on 1300 307 990 and his staff will be able to assist.
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Dr Arianayagam is a highly regarded urologist and skilled oncologist. If you have any further questions about any urology procedure or would like to book an appointment, please feel free to call today.
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