Work Your Motility Mojo: Common Sense Tips for Boosting Sperm Count
In the old days, pregnancy was purely a woman's business, and an inability to conceive or carry children to term was automatically assumed to be "her problem." More enlightened contemporary men, however, are aware that, in the game of conception roulette, success is as much a factor of his health and reproductive vigor as hers. With this knowledge in mind, many would-be fathers are wondering just what they can do to boost the odds of reaching that coveted positive result more quickly. The answer is surprisingly simple.
A brief disclaimer: although the following suggestions are good practice for anyone, this article is intended for couples who have no medical obstacles to fertility and are just trying to get pregnant as soon as possible. If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for one full year without success, be sure to seek the assistance of a fertility expert in your area to investigate the possibility of a more serious medical problem.
You Are What You Eat
The reproductive system is like any other part of the body in that it functions best when you are eating a balanced diet and in good general health. Certain vitamins are necessary for sperm production, so some experts recommend taking a multivitamin. However, it is even more important to eat properly, by consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, and meats each day. Men who are under- or overweight are subject to hormonal imbalances and fluctuations that can adversely affect sperm production. That said, any deliberate weight loss or gain should occur at a steady, gradual pace, since drastic changes in diet and exercise can also have negative effects on sperm production.
Thank You for Not Smoking
If there was ever a time to quit smoking, this is it. Not only is tobacco use responsible for low sperm count, higher numbers of abnormal sperm, and decreased motility, but it can also increase the chances of erectile dysfunction, according to MayoClinic.com. Children of smokers are significantly more likely to suffer from a wide range of health problems and ultimately become smokers themselves. Consider doing whatever you have to do to kick the habit your first act as a responsible parent.
Keep off the Grass
Marijuana use has the same effect on sperm formation, production, and movement as cigarette smoking. The effects of other recreational drugs are even worse, ranging from erectile dysfunction and decreased sex drive to significant birth defects. If you use illicit substances and can't or don't want to give them up, you should seriously consider postponing parenthood until you’re ready to get clean.
Don't Go in the (Hot) Water
Technically, there is no hard scientific evidence to prove that hot tubs, saunas, laptops, or tight underwear are to blame for reduced sperm counts. However, it is known that ideal sperm production takes place at a temperature slightly cooler than 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. When the testes become significantly warmer than this, whether due to being pressed up against the body or submerged in a pool of hot water, sperm production may suffer. Most fertility experts agree that this advice falls into the "it can't hurt" category.
The bottom line in maximizing fertility is that, if it's bad for you, it's probably bad for your sperm, so do whatever you can to keep yourself as healthy as possible. Beyond that, it’s a simple matter of timing and luck.
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