Healthy sperm aren’t always a given. Understand how lifestyle factors can affect your sperm and what you can do to improve your fertility.
Fertility issues that involve the female reproductive system are often difficult to treat, but many of those linked to male infertility are receptive to changing health habits and lifestyle.
Sperm health depends on various factors, including quantity, movement and structure.
You can take simple steps to increase your chances of producing healthy sperm including:
- Maintain a healthy weight
Some research suggests that increasing body mass index is linked with decreasing sperm count and sperm movement.
- Eat a healthy diet
Choose plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants and might help improve sperm health.
- Manage stress
Stress can decrease sexual function and interfere with the hormones needed to produce sperm.
- Get moving
Moderate physical activity can increase levels of powerful antioxidant enzymes, which can help protect sperm.
How to protect your fertility
Sperm can be especially vulnerable to environmental factors, such as exposure to excessive heat or toxic chemicals. To protect your fertility:
- Don’t smoke
Men who smoke cigarettes are more likely to have low sperm counts. If you smoke, ask your doctor to help you quit.
- Limit alcohol
Heavy drinking can lead to reduced testosterone production, impotence and decreased sperm production. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
- Avoid lubricants during sex
While further research is needed on the effects of lubricants on fertility, consider avoiding lubricants during intercourse. If necessary, consider using baby oil, canola oil, egg white or a fertility-friendly lubricant, such as Pre-Seed.
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