Looking After Men’s Reproductive Health
Hello everyone! I wanted to address an essential component of men’s overall health and mental well-being for this post. It is reproductive health!
It is estimated that 50% of infertility cases are down to male factor infertility, and studies suggest a significant decline in male reproductive health worldwide over the last 50 years. Scientists believe that much of the reason comes from a lack of nutrition and an unhealthy lifestyle.
Lifestyle intervention is usually recommended for an array of conditions, and such is the same to boost fertility.
For this post, I will talk about sperm count and how to improve its quality and quantity – naturally, within your control. So, this post is for you if you hope to increase your sperm count now or are looking ahead to the future. Spread the word!
What Is a Low Sperm Count?
Sperm count is the average number of sperm in one sample of semen. A healthy sperm count is considered to be 15 million per milliliter, which mounts to around 39 million per ejaculate.
A low sperm count is anything less than 15 million to relate to fertility issues, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be. It may just take a little longer! There are men with low sperm counts that go on to have no fertility issues.
But the arduous journey the sperm has to travel to get to the egg via the women’s cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes require sperm to bear the correct size, shape, and motility. Not all of them make it there! The more that you have, the better the chances.
What Can Cause Low Sperm Count?
There are several reasons why a low sperm count occurs, and your fertility specialist will aid you with the right medical advice. They have your medical history and will look for signs that may possibly cause low sperm count.
What is interesting to know is that chronic inflammation is linked to fertility issues for both men and women.
Chronic inflammation and low sperm concentration can be seen in the conditions of Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, hormonal imbalances, and depression. Still, as I have spoken about before, it can be hidden.
Your medication could be causing a low sperm count if you take anti-depressants, anabolic steroids, or anti-androgens, for instance.
Oxidative stress, mental and physical stress, smoking, being overweight, poor nutrition, high-fat diets, drugs, lack of sleep, exposure to toxins, and other environmental conditions…the list goes on. It could be genetic. It could be physiological.
What is also interesting to know is that your gut health could be causing a low sperm count. Dysbiosis (unbalanced gut) is the leading cause of many non-communicable diseases, including chronic inflammation.
Gut health is affected by your lifestyle and all of the above. Dysbiosis can occur in a less-than-optimum healthy state, of course.
There’s growing knowledge that gut dysbiosis is also linked to male infertility.
So addressing the dysbiosis and inflammation through our gut makes sense then that good gut microbiota and nutrition come into enhancing, as well as preventing, male fertility.
Treating microbiota with the correct nutrition, reducing harmful microbes, and increasing beneficial microbes in the gut are gaining increasing attention as sperm count treatment. Much of it is because of its lack of side effects.
Members of Eat Burn Sleep will vouch for the positive side effects of eating microbiota-balancing foods. Digesting essential nutrition to promote beneficial bacteria will create a balanced environment of good microorganisms that host an array of incredible side effects, as listed below (and throughout this platform).
Natural Ways to Increase Sperm Count:
Reducing Inflammation Helps Fertility
As mentioned above, chronic inflammation causes gut dysbiosis, which is linked to male infertility.
Lowering inflammation will boost fertility and promote good sperm quality, quantity and motility.
Chronic inflammation also increases oxidative stress, and by lowering inflammation with an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, oxidative stress will be reduced, further protecting reproductive health.
Foods That Affect Sperm Count
The foods that you should eat to promote good sperm concentration should naturally, as discussed above, be microbiota-balancing.
An environment in the gut of good microorganisms should be the focus and eliminate unhealthy bacteria while promoting healthy gut bacteria.
There’s solid evidence of nutritional interventions’ role in male fertility preservation and improvement.
Zinc, for instance, and other essential synergistic nutrients to combat oxidative stress and allow for sufficient activation and absorption is needed for men’s health and normal sperm function.
Be careful, though, because many substances in a range of ‘whole’ and ‘healthy’ foods inhibit zinc, iron, and other minerals.
A lot causes chronic inflammation, which is why there is a lot of confusion surrounding nutrition and why nutritionists and dieticians are the best people to help you when it comes down to determining what is good for increasing your sperm count and fertility chances.
You have to avoid certain foods that you may think are nutritious because they won’t be beneficial for fertility in particular.
Eliminating intakes of harmful components is imperative. What I have noticed is that there are some ‘fertility diets’ on the internet that advocate for foods that are typically known as healthy but cause digestive issues and inflammation.
Unhealthy fat intake is associated with lower total sperm count, and healthy fat is associated with higher sperm count.
Avoid extreme diets that are unbalanced and are not only depleted of essential health nutrients but can also be potential risk factors for men’s health.
Many trendy diets can lack specific amino acids, for instance, or include inhibitors of zinc absorption. There’s a delicate balance.
Also, what is considered is that if there is chronic inflammation in the body, then this causes further implications.
Many extreme diets cause chronic inflammation and put it into a vicious cycle that can cause hormonal imbalances, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. They open the body up to being susceptible to more diseases affecting fertility.
A good balance of the right compounds is needed for optimum health, and particular sperm-friendly nutrients are taken in combination that significantly improve sperm concentration, motility, and testosterone levels.
Optimum health through gut health is needed to reduce oxidative stress, increase sperm count, and improve fertility in general.
When optimum health is achieved, mental well-being also improves. This isn’t just because you are feeling fitter. The brain-gut connection is explained here: Why You Really Need to Know This if You Have Depression.
This also explains why there’s a link between depression and infertility.
Stress and Low Sperm Count
High levels of psychological stress, anxiety, and depression lower testosterone levels, reduce sex drive and erectile function, impair sperm concentration, motility, and sperm size and shape.
An increase in cortisol resulting from stress is one of the major causes of low sperm counts and lowering it is crucial.
It’s a vicious cycle since the depression, stress, and anxiety can go hand in hand when faced with infertility when you want to conceive.
These can all affect libido and erectile dysfunction, too, posing more challenges.
If you are taking anti-depressants, this further inhibits your goal of fertility. The common side effects of anti-depressants are chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, and some of them (SSRIs) are associated with harmed sperm quality and DNA damage.
Mental stress can manifest in the body and cause infertility, digestive issues, headaches, insomnia, and chronic inflammation. Stress left untreated can lead to chronic conditions.
Stress could be coming in many forms as a result of experiencing many things you cannot control, but there’s good news in that it also comes in forms as a result of what you can control (food, sleep, exercise, lifestyle choices).
In many cases, calming stress and lowering cortisol by focusing on what you can control will give you better tools to deal with many things outside your control.
The great news is that you will produce more ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters by reducing stress with nutrient-rich foods, neuroplasticity exercises, ‘unstressful’ movement, good sleep, meditation, and stress reduction guidance.
‘Feel good’ neurotransmitters like serotonin, produced in a healthy gut, will decrease depression.
Read more about neurotransmitters here.
Exercise and Sperm Count
Getting the proper exercise is vital for your sperm count.
Regular exercise relaxes your mind and body and promotes sperm count and motility. Plus, it will also aid in reducing stress by lowering cortisol and adrenaline.
You may enjoy intense workouts, but intense isn’t what you need right now. Endorphins are still experienced with the right exercise, with the bonus of improved body composition without raising inflammation.
If you are not used to exercising regularly, then the short exercises on Eat Burn Sleep, easily squeezed into your day at home, will be encouraging. Before you know it, you regularly exercise and feel amazing, boosting your sperm count.
Don’t forget that walking is always a great way to exercise. Members, check the walking guide.
Sleep Affects Sperm Count
Ensure that you get regular good quality sleep.
Studies show that late nights and sleep deprivation affect sperm count, survival, and motility. Also, too much sleep is associated with poor semen quality!
Getting the right amount of good, quality sleep is essential for healthy sperm.
If you are in sleep deprivation, have long-standing habits of short periods of sleep, or are programmed through your work to sleep lightly, you will benefit from sleep promotion through Eat Burn Sleep.
It works even on insomniacs and long-standing shift workers!
How Weight Affects Sperm
Obesity is associated with an altered reproductive hormonal profile and impaired semen quality and function.
Some studies (Palmer et al.) suggest that male obesity also impairs offspring’s metabolic and reproductive health, suggesting that paternal health is passed on to the next generation via the sperm. However, this can be altered with epigenetic modifiers, ie. Lifestyle intervention.
Weight loss happens as a side effect if you reduce inflammation with EBS lifestyle intervention, which will, needless to say, improve your overall health and sperm concentration and count.
Smoking Kills Sperm Count
There are so many studies that state that smoking has a detrimental effect on sperm health. Tobacco and nicotine both will reduce sperm count.
Smoking not only adds to oxidative stress but also causes zinc deficiency, which is essential for men’s health.
It’s incredible what embarking on a lifestyle intervention can do when it comes down to breaking habits, even hard habits like quitting an addiction.
Reprogramming your mind with a lifestyle intervention is about replacing unhelpful habits with better ones for optimum health.
Nutrition is potent for your brain, motivation, neurotransmitter production, and willpower. Of course, for keeping your body from getting inflamed and keeping it satiated.
Hard cravings eliminate, which could be down to the neurotransmitters produced in a body with optimum health through a healthy gut.
The neurotransmitters, reduction in inflammation, good sleep, and neuroplasticity exercises like the meditations we have on EBS can increase control networks within our bodies that regulate emotions and improve brain activity, for instance.
Many members have said they don’t get cravings for addictions anymore.
Certainly, neurotransmitters like serotonin are produced naturally in our lifestyle. Serotonin is increased with nicotine. The lack of this neurotransmitter causes the craving, mood, and appetite disturbances when people stop smoking.
When you have a nourished body and mind, triggers that activate mechanisms in your brain to reach out and seek an addiction, whatever it was, are closed down.
A nourished body, through a healthy gut, produces much serotonin and other neurotransmitters.
It’s that powerful!
Maybe also the commitment to better health and the production of other neurotransmitters that make you feel amazing naturally aids in the process.
Eat Burn Sleep could help you with your quest to stop smoking to enhance your fertility.
Pollutants and toxins are to be avoided as much as possible to increase sperm count.
Are Supplements Good For Sperm Count?
Certain supplements are good for sperm concentration and motility. Get advice on the right supplements to take alongside a nutritious eating plan. Supplements do not compare with foods’ bioavailability, but the right ones could enhance your chances of increasing your sperm count.
Members can access this information in the specialized advice section for Fertility for Men and Women.
You may be interested in reading: Ways to Improve Fertility & Have a Healthy Baby.
What Helps Increase Sperm Count?
Always obtain medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment from your healthcare professional.
Medical professionals worldwide recommend this nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory as a lifestyle intervention. You may want to run it by them. We have been BUPA-global approved!
There’s more to it, though. Your health relies on other vital factors.
Remember to ensure that you get a good balance of work and play. This is so important for optimum men’s health.
Spend time with people that make you feel good. Go for a walk with a good friend. Take a massage. Listen to music, and have a little dance! Promote an increase of dopamine – that feeling of pleasure washing over you while your brain feels perked up.
Increasing this hormone that you are in control of, along with promoting further ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters by eating gut-healthy foods and reducing inflammation, will all aid in achieving your fertility goals.
Ensuring that you are being kind to yourself; mind and body – will bring remarkable results.
It will raise your spirits, mood, and, hopefully, your sperm count!
I wish you a healthy, pleasurable day.