The problem that is often ignored, especially in India, is male infertility. However, the fact is, most couples’ inability to have a child is due to what is called the ‘male factor’. Although there are several causes behind this, it still leads to one outcome, i.e., the inability of the male partner to produce enough viable sperm to fertilize his wife’s egg.
The sperm may be too small, inactive, or misshapen, or the blockages may prevent sperm delivery. The reason for this varies from varicocele (a swelling of veins), semen abnormalities, hormonal imbalance, blockages, certain diseases, and medications for lifestyle problems (stress and smoking).
Microsurgery can correct the situation of physical blockage. Other treatments include using a vibrator or electroejaculation to collect sperm for in vitro fertilization.
Male infertility can be caused by a low sperm count known as oligozoospermia. Moreover, a total absence of sperm indicates an extreme case, known as azoospermia, where a sperm count is effectively zero. However, both of these require specialized treatment.
Apart from the medical and surgical procedures to help you, there are ways in which you can work towards increasing your sperm count.
Foods and Habits That Can Help Improve Sperm Count
Don’t lose hope, as there is a possibility to improve sperm counts and its health. For this, remember, the human body typically takes 72 days to produce new sperms – so you will need to wait at least two months for any changes to occur.
If you smoke, get rid of it as soon as possible as tobacco is the main cause of poor sperm motility (asthenozoospermia), deformed or weak sperm, and genetic damage to chromosomes. Moreover, consumption of alcohol also in large proportion can affect sexual performance. An occasional drink will not harm your reproductive potential, but it will prevent binge drinking and binge eating.
Finally, wearing extremely tight underwear is also not recommended, as the testicles, responsible for producing sperm, need a cool and free environment.
Sperm Supported Foods
Along with the usual fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, there arises a need for certain specific types of nutrients and minerals for healthy sperm count. Some of the significant nutrients with their sources are discussed below:
Coenzyme Q10- Meat and liver, olives, grape seeds and soybean oil, many nuts including peanuts and vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and avocado.
Folate- Varieties of dal, beans, and peas.
L-Arginine- Meat and dairy products, many nuts.
L-Carnitine- Dairy products, meat, avocado, and asparagus.
Selenium- Brazil nuts, asparagus, mushrooms, fish, and meat.
Vitamin E- Nuts, green vegetables, and fish.
Vitamin C- Citrus fruit.
Zinc- Seafood, meat, oats, sesame, and yogurt.
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