Whether future fatherhood is on the cards or not, it’s not unusual to show an interest in ways to increase sperm count and boost male fertility. Especially when you’re aware of the global drop in sperm production that’s occurred over the past few decades. Yep, it’s true. Following semen testing of 42,935 men, this study found that the sperm count of men in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America had decreased by 59.3% between 1973 and 2011.
Based on World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, experts consider a healthy sperm count to be 15 million per millilitre (ml) or a minimum of 39 million sperm cells per ejaculate. Anything lower and you could be at risk of fertility issues. So, let’s find out the ways to increase sperm count and boost male fertility.
(1) Quit smoking
Following the review of 5865 men, this 2016 meta-analysis found that moderate and heavy cigarette smokers had a poorer sperm quality in comparison to mild and non-smoking men. If there’s ever been a reason to give up smoking, maintaining a healthy sperm count is it.
(2) Consider ashwagandha
A powerful ancient herb used to boost brain function, lower blood sugar and cortisol levels, manage anxiety, and improve testosterone and fertility in men. In a study of 46 men with low sperm count, ashwagandha caused a 167% increase in sperm count, 53% increase in semen volume and 57% increase in sperm movement compared to the day zero of the study. That’s a pretty impressive track record.
(3) Limit consumption of soy products
If you’re hoping to maintain a healthy sperm count, you may want to avoid eating soy-based food products. Soy products contain oestrogen-like compounds called phytoestrogens that can send testosterone levels and sperm quality plummeting when consumed in excess.
(4) Avoid processed meats
We get it. You want to eat your hog dogs, burgers, salami and bacon, too. But, we’re sorry to say they’re a no-go when you want to improve your sperm quality and production line. Processed red meats are negatively linked a lower sperm count. The good news is that chicken and fish are fertility-friendly alternatives you’re more than welcome to have on your plate.
(5) Steer clear of BPAs
Bisphenol A, or BPA for short, is a toxic contaminant commonly used in the production of food packaging. The environmental presence of BPA is widespread and can easily be absorbed by the human body via dietary and transdermal routes. So much so that more than 90% of the population in western countries display detectable levels of BPA in their urine. When it comes to healthy sperm quality and production, BPA act as an oestrogen-mimicking chemical, causing havoc on sperm concentration and regeneration. When buying food, drinks, drink bottles or storage containers, always check the labels for products that are BPA-free.
(6) Take fenugreek supplements
Native to Europe, Asia and The Mediterranean, fenugreek is a herb with a flavour profile on par with the maple syrup you drizzle on your pancakes every Sunday. Long hailed as a natural remedy for poor sperm health, fenugreek could well be the answer to your healthy sperm dreams. In fact, Furosap, a testosterone boosting supplement derived from fenugreek seeds, was found to significantly improve sperm count and semen quality in this 2017 study. Worth a shot in our opinion.