10 Ways to Naturally Increase Sperm Count

Last reviewed: 24 Jun 2019

Man sat at his desk at home looking on his phone tips on combating infertility
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Low sperm count is a common problem. 1 in 3 couples find that low sperm count is making it harder for them to conceive.

There can be medical reasons for low sperm count, like some medications or a hormone imbalance. It’s a good idea to talk to a doctor about any possible problems that might be causing the condition.

There are also lifestyle changes that can help raise your sperm count, and make it easier to conceive. Here are 10 simple ways to give your sperm a boost.

1. Keeping your testicles cool

If your testicles become overheated it can affect how well they can make sperm.

You can keep your testicles cool by:

  • choosing showers over baths, and avoiding hot tubs
  • choosing cotton boxers over briefs
  • not using your laptop on your lap. Laptops can increase the temperature of your testicles. It’s best to use one at a desk, or position it next to you

2. Watch what you eat

Sperm count is affected by what you eat and drink. Food that contains vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E, calcium, zinc, and healthy fats are all thought to be helpful in raising your sperm count. Eating a diet made up of more white meat, cereals, nuts, fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products can help.

Diets that contain a lot of processed meat, red meat, soy, potatoes, and full-fat dairy products are also thought to lower sperm counts.

3. Take supplements

Some studies have shown that it might be helpful to take supplements alongside a healthy diet. These include:

vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E

  • calcium
  • zinc
  • D-aspartic acid
  • selenium

It’s also believed that some herbal supplements can be helpful in raising sperm count, including:

  • fenugreek
  • tribulus terrestris
  • ashwagandha
  • maca root

4. Exercise (but in moderation)

Moderate exercise boosts fertility by keeping body weight at normal levels and relieving stress and anxiety. But too much can lower your testosterone levels and sperm count.

You should aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like gardening or walking, 5 times a week.

5. Lose weight

If you’re overweight, studies have shown that losing some pounds can help raise your sperm count. Combining moderate exercise with a diet that’s rich in vitamins and healthy fats will have added benefits.

6. Have sex

Some recent studies have shown that sperm quality may get better the more sex you have. Having daily sex is thought to help to clear damaged sperm from the testes, so that they can be replaced by healthier, active sperm.

7. Avoid stress

Stress can affect the hormones that make sperm. It can also stop you wanting to have sex and stop you enjoying it. Light exercise, relaxing, and spending time doing the activities you enjoy can all help to avoid stress.

Having problems trying to conceive can be a cause of stress in itself. It can help to talk things through with a friend or family member, or with a doctor.

8. Sleep well

Not getting a good night’s sleep has been linked to low sperm counts. Sleeping well also helps to avoid stress, and makes it easier to exercise and keep to a healthy diet.

9. Stop smoking

Smokers are 30% more likely to have problems conceiving. The harmful ingredients in tobacco can kill sperm cells. It will help to cut back on the amount of cigarettes you smoke, or ideally stop completely.

10. Don’t take drugs

Smoking cannabis regularly can lower sperm count and the amount of fluid that carries sperm (seminal fluid). Taking cocaine and heroin can make you want to have sex less, and stop your sperm moving as much. These drugs can also create mis-shaped sperm that raise the possibility of miscarriage.

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Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with Zava. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Last reviewed: 24 Jun 2019

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