The sperm count of a man is one of the many factors that determine if he is able to get a woman pregnant or not. A man is considered sterile if he has a low sperm count. It is however possible for a man with a low sperm count to get his partner pregnant, not all men are as lucky though.
What is a Sperm Count?
The sperm count is the concentration of sperm in a man’s semen. The sperm count could be low, high or normal. A man’s sperm count is considered normal if it’s over 15 million per ml, anything below or above is not normal, according to WHO (World Health Organization).
There are cases where there’s not a single sperm in a man’s semen. This condition is known as azoospermia. A low sperm count has little cure, but improving your lifestyle, taking supplements and eating healthy food could have some improved effect on the sperm count.
If you have noticed any of these symptoms, it could be that you have a low sperm count and should get checked :
• Inability to get a woman pregnant
• Low sex drive
• Erectile dysfunction
• Swelling and pains in the testicle area
• Little or no facial /body hair
• Hormonal imbalance
What Are The Causes of Low Sperm Count?
Low sperm count is usually the case when the sperm production and transportation process encounters a problem. It could also be the case if the shape, motility, function or morphology of the sperm cells have a problem. Generally, the causes of low sperm count include :
• Infections, majorly STDs like gonorrhoea, HIV, syphilis etc
• Ejaculation issues eg retrograde ejaculation which could be caused by diabetes, surgery etc
• Anti-sperm antibodies. These are antibodies that consider the sperm invaders and try to destroy them
• Hormonal Imbalance
• Hard drugs
• Depression and emotional stress
• Cancers and tumours
• Certain occupations that involve prolonged hours of sitting
• X-rays, radiation
• Being exposed to excessive heat
• Extended exposure to heavy metals and industrial chemicals, toluene, benzene, xylene, herbicides etc
• Undescended testicles
• Chromosomal defects
Foods That Can Boost Sperm Count
Garlic is one of the foods popularly eaten for its health benefits. It contains Selenium and Vitamin B6, both significant in the production of sperm, prevention of artery clogging and improvement of immunity. These abilities trigger its sperm production characteristic.
The benefits of dark chocolate have only recently begun to gain attention. Beyond its pleasure – dripping taste and use for romantic scenarios, it’s now been known to possess health and even skin benefits. Dark chocolate contains L – Arginine HCL, an amino acid which increases sperm count and semen volume. Infact, it’s also said to increase the intensity of an orgasm, yum! It is able to combat infertility because of its high antioxidant content. Infertility is usually caused by environmental pollution and toxins that cause the release of free radicals and molecules. The antioxidant content in dark chocolate is a strong rival against the free radicals and it gets rid of them. Take it easy when you consume dark chocolates though, you don’t want to gain unnecessary weight and end up causing a hormonal balance that still could affect your sperm count.
Eggs, with their high protein and vitamin D content, are also effective in increasing sperm count. Its nutrient content, especially proteins and vitamin D keeps the sperm cells protected from free radicals that could have the sperm decreased or damaged. They also contribute to the production of healthy and strong sperm.
Zinc Rich Foods
Zinc is one of the most important minerals in the production of sperm. During sperm production in the testicles, zinc is found in high concentrations, indicating its contribution to healthy sperm production. A deficiency of this mineral could lead to low sperm motility. Studies have also shown that people with a low sperm count have lower zinc concentrations compared with those who have normal sperm counts. Examples of foods rich in Zinc includes : Turkey, red meat, oysters, lobsters, beans, crab, pumpkin seeds, nuts, dairy, whole grains. Oysters are especially part of the best sources of zinc. 15mg of zinc daily is just the right amount to take, you don’t want to have too much zinc in your system.
Banana contains lots of vitamins that contribute highly to healthy sperm production. Vitamin A, B1 and C are some of the vitamins found in the fruit, they help increase the production of sperm while keeping the quality of the sperm intact. Its also known to turn up the libido of men and keep sex hormones balanced by reason of a rare enzyme it contains. This enzyme is known as bromelain, anti-inflammatory and boosts the motility and volume of the sperm.
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have the ability to boost the flow of blood to a man’s genitals and increase the production of sperm. It is by increase of blood flow to the genitals that it is able to boost sperm count, production and volume. Walnuts are also filled with arginine, which is known to increase the volume of semen. It’s also rich in antioxidants, twice as much as other nuts. The antioxidants contained in the nuts are instrumental to getting rid of free radicals and unhealthy toxins that could affect the sperm count.
Walnuts are not the only source of omega-3 fatty acids that improve sperm production. Others include : chicken, salmon, pumpkin seeds, crab.
These foods and more are guaranteed to up your sperm count and production However, you have also seen the causes of low sperm count, some of them could be self-inflicted. Smoking, drug abuse, alcohol and others are habits that should be done away with if you want your sperm intact. Also try to incorporate other lifestyle changes, like losing weight. This means working out and avoiding unhealthy foods – yes, there are foods that could negatively affect your sperm count, production and quality. You don’t want that, your partner doesn’t too. Find out what foods cause this and stay away from them.