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Improving Sperm Health

  • Minimize contact with reproductive toxins. This includes tobacco, recreational drugs, pesticides, organic solvents, and phthalates.
  • There are many prescription drugs that interfere with sperm development such as many calcium channel blockers (high blood pressure), sulfasalazine or mercaptopurine (Crohn’s disease), cimetidine (peptic ulcers), keoconazale (fungal infections), steroids and some antidepressants. Check with your pharmacist if you are currently taking any drugs.
  • Minimize alcohol intake. In a 2014 study of 1.221 men it was found that the more men drank, the more they produced irregularly shaped sperm.
  • Wear loose fitting underwear and clothing in order to avoid excessive heat to the scrotal area as sperm are very sensitive to temperatures above 98.6. This includes hot tubs and jacuzzi, wearing tight pants, synthetic biking shorts, and setting laptop computers on the lap.
  • Eat well, including lots of fruits and vegetables, especially organic when possible. For fertility, this means eating foods high in antioxidants. Foods high in the antioxidant lycopene has been shown to increase sperm count and viability, besides preventing skin cancer helping maintain good blood pressure and reducing cancer risk. Lycopene is found in high amounts in red and pink fruits and veggies such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya, red bell peppers and guava.
  • Anthocyanins are another powerful antioxidant. This nutrient is found in red and purple fruits like berries, purple potatoes, red cherries, red grapes, purple carrots, beets and red cabbage (red cabbage has 4.5 times the antioxidants than white cabbage). A good general rule is to “eat the rainbow”.
  • Consider acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and supplements to increase reproductive health and vitality.
  • Don’t use oil based lubricants that are toxic to sperm when trying to conceive such as K-Y jelly, Surgilube, or Lubrifax. Instead, use a natural lubricant like Replens or Preseed.
  • Stay well hydrated with clean, filtered water, ideally 6-8 glasses per day.
  • Get moderate exercise on a regular basis and normalize body weight. Researchers in one 2014 study analyzed 433 semen samples from 231 participants. They found that men who did outdoor activities or lifted weights for about 3.2 hours a week had sperm counts up to 42% higher than men who didn’t exercise at all.