"I wish people understood what an emotional roller-coaster ride infertility is. It hurts your relationship, and the best thing is to get proactive counseling."-Anonymous
Infertility, at least in India, still might be somewhat of a taboo-topic, but it's definitely not rare. Rather, infertility is a global problem. Approximately, 15-20 million Indian couples suffer from infertility issues every year, out of which male factors contribute as much as 51.2%, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
These statistics also bring us down to question and turn around yet another pivotal Indian misbelief-infertility is always due to the problems in women. C'mon, it's high time we raise our awareness level as more and more men are opening themselves up to being tested and understanding the repercussions of ignoring the same.
But before we get into how sperm count can be increased, let's delve into a basic discussion around infertility and sperm count.
First thing's first-low sperm count and infertility is not the same, although closely associated. Infertility refers to people's inability to reproduce by natural means, and sperm count is one of the many factors that can hold a man infertile. Other reasons that account to male fertility include:
1. Libido: Or sex drive, describes a person's desire to have sex.
2. Erectile Dysfunction: Or impotence, is when a man is unable to develop and/or maintain an erection.
3. Sperm Motility: The ability of sperm cells to swim. Measured as the percentage of moving sperm cells in a sample of semen, sperm motility makes up an essential function of healthy sperm cells.
4. Testosterone Levels: Or the male sex hormone, the lack of which may be responsible for infertility in some men.
5. And finally there is Sperm Count: An important aspect of semen quality, that depends on the number/concentration of sperm cells in a given amount of semen.
Now, since you know the factors that account up to your fertility, let us answer a few FAQs around fertility and sperm count.
Firstly, yes, a healthy sperm count is necessary for fertility. When you and your partner are looking forward to a new life by conceiving a baby, you're most likely to be looking out for increasing sperm count, so that the chances of getting pregnant also improve.
Next, since for pregnancy only one sperm and one egg are needed, why does sperm count matter so much? The answer is, it increases the odds for a successful pregnancy. If sperm count in the semen is more, the chances of that one sperm reaching and implanting itself into an egg increases, when a man ejaculates into a woman.
Normally, semen contains 40-300 million sperm cells per milliliter. A dearth in sperm count is considered to be anything between 10 and 20 million sperm cells per milliliter. Still, twenty million may be adequate for pregnancy, provided the sperm is of very healthy quality.
Despite the multiple causes behind infertility today, such as genetics, fitness, dietary contaminants, etc., researchers across the globe have unanimously identified a healthy lifestyle and diet as crucial for men fertility.
Pondering about how to increase your sperm count based on natural means coupled with a healthy diet plan? You're welcome, we're here to help you out. Here is a list of 5 natural ways that can definitely help you positively influence your sperm count.
Continue reading to find out:
1. Cut down stress, sleep well, and exercise
Even minimum stress can cause your body to take defensive actions and conserve energy. And reducing stress demands addressing the cause by exercising and following a healthful diet to lessen the effects of stress.
2. Stop drugs, alcohol & smoking. Now!
Some researchers, worldwide, have linked the usage of drugs such as cocaine, alcohol, etc., to decreased sperm production. Also, multiple studies have revealed that smoking consistently reduces the sperm count.
3. Feed yourself enough Vit-D & Calcium
Although we're yet to be sure why, but vitamin D and calcium appear to positively impact sperm health. Low dietary vitamin D intake seems to directly correspond to lowered sperm count.
4. Immediately stop unhealthy fat intake
As the consumption of trans fatty acids increases, sperm count decreases proportionately. On the contrary, polyunsaturated or healthy fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 are vital to healthy development of the sperm membrane. A lot of studies have highlighted that consumption of these two essential omega compounds in equal quantities leads to ideal sperm development and antioxidant benefits.
5. Stay safe in today's contaminated environment
It's no new topic that our environment is increasingly becoming polluted and congested. And factors, such as air quality and toxic chemical exposure have direct implications on reduced sperm health and total count. Avoiding environmental toxins, wherever possible, is important to regain and enrich your sperm's health.
On top of all these factors, the best (undoubtedly) way to increase sperm count naturally is to increase the consumption of foods which are high in sperm-friendly nutrients. And to help you out, we've listed it for you. Have a look:
1. Eggs: High in Vitamin E and protein that protect the sperm cells from the free radicals that can decrease your count.
2. Spinach: Contains folic acid, which is vital for the development of healthy sperms.
3. Bananas: Rich in vitamins A, B1 and C, which help to produce healthier sperms in the body.
4. Dark Chocolate: Contains amino acid which is known to increase semen volume and sperm count.
5. Broccoli: Contains folic acid, which is important in improving male fertility.
6. Pomegranates: Full of antioxidants, the juice of this delicious fruit has been used as a fertility booster since ages.
7. Walnuts: Full of omega-3 fatty acids that aid in boosting the sperm volume and increase blood flow to the testicles.
8. Garlic: Vitamin B6 and selenium, found in garlic, play a role in the healthy sperm production. Garlic also contains blood-cleansing abilities and it allows the blood to flow to your testicles.
9. Oysters: Contains high amount of zinc that is important for improving the production of healthy sperm and testosterone levels.
10. Ashwagandha: Improves the sperm motility, sperm volume and sperm count.
Bottom line, infertility affects many men around the world. If you are one of them, first consider coming out of the closet and focus on improving your general health. The diet mentioned in this article mostly are key components of a healthy lifestyle.
And to end it, let us, from Boldsky, send kind words of encouragement to all of you out there, who is en route to starting a new family.