Surprise! A third of fertility problems stem from the guy. While those are the facts, the good news is a few small changes can make a big difference for your partner and his sperm.
You and your partner have been trying to make a baby for a year—and still no positive pee stick. Turns out men could use a health boost when they’re in baby-making mode — about a third of infertility cases are a result of less than stellar sperm quality. Don’t get discouraged just yet though! We’ve got a few simple lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference in turning your guy’s sperm into champion swimmers.
1. Pop a few vitamins
While there’s no equivalent of a prenatal vitamin for guys, he should make a habit of taking a daily multi. A recent New Zealand study showed that men taking oral supplements with antioxidants helped boost their partner’s odds of getting pregnant. Folic acid (1 mg/day), vitamin C (500 mg/day), vitamin D (1000 IU/day) and vitamin E (400 IU/day) are especially great since they can reduce free radical production and aid in sperm-cell membrane stability and function.
2. Start cross-training
Not only is hitting the gym a few times a week great for overall health, it can also improve his sperm count. According to a Harvard School of Public Health study, men who participated in moderate-to-vigorous activity at least 15 hours a week had 73 percent higher sperm concentration than men who moved less than five hours a week. Plus, couch potatoes who watched more than 20 hours of TV per week had 44 percent lower sperm concentration than men who didn’t watch anything at all. While any exercise that breaks a sweat is great, adding resistance training is even better. Lifting weights can increase testosterone levels and, big bonus here, aid in higher sperm concentration.
3. Do a 90-day detox
Bet you didn’t know it takes somewhere between 75 and 90 days for sperm to form and mature before shooting out into the world. That means your guy needs to start taking care of his body at least three months before he starts thinking about making babies. “Have him look at his lifestyle habits,” says reproductive endocrinologist Carmelo Sgarlata, MD. “You want him to be free of anything that could hinder sperm production. The goal is to have a healthy environment from the start.” Translation: If he only cuts back on drinking, smoking or junk food when you’re ovulating it won’t make much difference, but having him embrace an anti-inflammatory diet and an exercise routine on a daily basis leading up to when you plan to get pregnant will.
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4. Go nuts—seriously
It turns out consuming healthy nuts leads to, well, healthy nuts! UCLA researchers studied more than 100 men to investigate the effect of eating walnuts. Three months later, the men’s semen quality was analyzed and showed that those who consumed 2.5 ounces each day had significantly increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids. That translated into better sperm vitality, mobility and fewer chromosomal abnormalities. “Eating any type of nut could reduce oxidative stress in your body,” adds Sgarlata. “And, in turn, potentially improve sperm production.”
If you or your partner have questions about sperm quality, don’t hesitate to call Coastal Fertility. We can do a quick and simple sperm analysis which will tell us if there are any issues to be concerned about. Please call 843-883-5800 to make an appointment.