People often assume infertility causes are mostly female related, but statistically it is equally a male issue (eg blockages or sperm issues). When having sperm tests doctors measure areas such as motility (speed), morphology (number of abnormalities), count and concentration. The good news for guys with poor sperm quality is that it can often be dramatically improved with lifestyle changes, but the full effect can take up to 90 days – the life cycle of a sperm.
Along with my irregular cycles and hormone levels, sperm morphology has been an issue for us. During the initial semen analysis all other levels were normal (motility, count etc) but morphology would come between 1-3% meaning there was a higher number of abnormalities in the size and shape of sperm. Doctors decided this was significant enough to prescribe us IVF with ICSI (injecting the sperm into the egg).
It was a total shock at the time because he didn’t drink much, ate mostly healthy food and was very active doing yoga or running most days. However, upon hearing this news he went on a mission to improve the quality and has seen great results.
RESULTS AFTER 3 MONTHS:
- The count was initially high at 110 million but this increased to 130 million.
- Motility was 55% but this shot up to 77%
- Morphology improved from 3% to 15%! This was rare as morphology is known to be one of the hardest to improve.
So how did he improve sperm quality? These are the top factors that really made a difference in the fastest time – and as they say the proof is in his pudding.
SUPER SPERM DIET
1) Avoid alcohol and caffeine. He cut this out completely and firmly believes this is one of the quickest and most powerful reasons the quality improved.
2) Eat a balance nutritious diet. By increasing protein and cutting out all sugar (apart from natural sugars from whole fruits) we saw a big leap in quality after these diet changes.
3) Take supplements. Our doctor advised us to take this diet to help improve embryo quality. This is what he took each day:
– Omega-3’s (krill fish oil) 2,000 mg daily (krill is often better quality than cod liver oil).
– 1,000 mg vitamin C
– Pycnogenol, 50 mg twice daily
– Folic acid, 400 micrograms
– Zinc, 15-30 mg per day
– Co-enzyme Q-10, 200 mg twice daily
– We also added selenium 200 mcg
4) Herbal tablets. Herbal remedies specific for male fertility like Baby Capsule for men can be very effective in stimulating healthy sperm production, maintaining hormonal balance and supporting stronger erections to enhance male fertility and ensure conception.
5) Avoid heat. We used to do hot yoga 4/5 times a week but heat from baths, saunas, hot yoga slows sperm production. I believe this was bad for my hormone levels too so we both quit the yoga oven.
6) Avoid toxins. Like my own IVF prep diet, he started to eat only organic meat/ dairy and mostly organic fruit and veg and cut out processed nasty food. We also changed most of our cleaning products, detergents & body products to toxic/ chemical free.
7) Avoid stress. We believe this is a big problem for sperm quality but it’s often impossible to avoid. However, committing to daily meditation has made a big difference to combating this.
8) Regular exercise. This wasn’t new on the menu but exercise helps reduce stress and is an important factor for health of sperm.
9) Avoid cigarettes, drugs and medication – another obvious but important one. What may be fine for one man may be poison to another. The only real way of knowing is to eliminate them.