Causes OF Low Sperm Count and Natural Solution for Male Fertility

Causes OF Low Sperm Count and Solution for Male Fertility

sperm-chart

Male fertility problems usually are blamed upon unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking. While some fertility issues are not easy to recover from, there are ways of improving fertility.

When we discuss fertility, we focus on improving female fertility. Female fertility seems to be the only aspect of conception, which is not true; male fertility is equally important. It is equally important to come up with ways of boosting male fertility. And with problems like poor sperm quality, low sperm count and other motility issues on the rise, male infertility needs to be addressed more seriously. Male fertility problems usually are blamed upon unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking. While some fertility issues are not easy to recover from, there are ways of improving fertility. Even the tiniest improvement in your sexual health can make a significant contribution to your chances of conception. And when we say ways of improving male fertility, we point towards the natural options. This includes a healthy diet and workout schedule, but more than that, it includes some natural herbs. In this article, we shall acquaint you with the herbs.

The production of sperm is a complex process and requires normal functioning of the testicles (testes) as well as the hypothalamus and pituitary glands (organs in your brain that produce hormones that trigger sperm production). Once sperm are produced in the testicles, delicate tubes transport them until they mix with semen and are ejaculated out of the penis. Problems with any of these systems can affect sperm production. Also, there may be problems of abnormal sperm shape (morphology), movement (motility) or function. Often the cause of low sperm count isn’t ever identified.

Sperm count or total sperm count refers to the average total number of sperm present in one sample of semen. Sperm count is one of the several qualities that are assessed during routine semen analysis and is considered an important factor for fertility.

Based on the most current World Health Organization guidelinesTrusted Source, a healthy sperm count is 15 million per milliliter (ml) or at least 39 million per sample. A sperm count lower than 10 million per ml is considered abnormal and commonly associated with male infertility.

Anything that impacts the hormones that control the production of sperm or acts as an anti-oxidant may aid the healthy development of sperm and help improve sperm count. Overall, factors that influence testosterone levels are thought to have the most significant impact on sperm number and quality.

Fast facts on how to increase sperm count:

  • Exercise and sleep have been shown to improve sperm count.
  • The first recommended line of treatment is to try non-pharmacologic remedies.
  • Smoking has long been known to reduce overall health, sperm production, and quality.
  • Men with very low sperm counts may be prescribed medication.

Low Sperm Count – Medical Causesmedical-causes-for-low-sperm-count

Low sperm count can be caused by a number of health issues and medical treatments. Some of which include:

  • Hormone imbalances. The hypothalamus, pituitary and testicles produce hormones that are necessary to create sperm. Alterations in these hormones, as well as from other systems such as the thyroid and adrenal, may impair sperm production.
  • Sperm duct defects The tubes that carry sperm can be damaged by illness or injury. Some men are born with a blockage in the part of the testicle that stores sperm (epididymis) or a blockage of one of the tubes that carry sperm out of the testicles (vas deferens). Men with cystic fibrosis and some other inherited conditions may be born without sperm ducts altogether.
  • Varicocele – A varicocele is a swelling of the veins that drain the testicle. It’s a common cause of male infertility. This may prevent normal cooling of the testicle, leading to reduced sperm count and fewer moving sperm. The treatment of a varicocele often improves sperm quality and overall male fertility.
  • Infection Some infections can interfere with sperm production and sperm health or can cause scarring that blocks the passage of sperm. These include some sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea; inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis); inflamed testicles; and other infections of the urinary tract or reproductive organs.
  • Ejaculation problemsRetrograde ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder during orgasm instead of emerging out of the tip of the penis. Various health conditions can cause retrograde ejaculation, including diabetes, spinal injuries, and surgery of the bladder, prostate or urethra. Certain medications also may result in retrograde ejaculation, such as blood pressure medications known as alpha blockers. Some men with spinal cord injuries or certain diseases can’t ejaculate semen at all, though they still can produce sperm.
  • Antibodies that attack sperm Anti-sperm antibodies are immune system cells that mistakenly identify sperm as harmful invaders and attempt to destroy them.
  • Tumors Cancers and nonmalignant tumors can affect the male reproductive organs directly, or can affect the glands that release hormones related to reproduction (such as the pituitary gland). Surgery, radiation or chemotherapy to treat tumors can also affect male fertility.
  • Undescended testicles During fetal development, one or both testicles sometimes fail to descend from the abdomen into the sac that normally contains the testicles (scrotum). Decreased fertility is more likely in men with this condition.
  • Certain medications Testosterone replacement therapy, long-term anabolic steroid use, cancer medications (chemotherapy), certain antifungal and antibiotic medications, some ulcer medications and some other medications can impair sperm production and decrease male fertility.
  • Chromosome defects Inherited disorders such as Klinefelter’s syndrome — in which a male is born with two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome instead of one X and one Y — cause abnormal development of the male reproductive organs. Other genetic syndromes associated with male infertility include cystic fibrosis, Kallmann’s syndrome and Kartagener syndrome.
  • Celiac disease A digestive disorder caused by sensitivity to gluten, celiac disease can cause male infertility. Fertility may improve after adopting a gluten-free diet.

Low Sperm Count – Environmental causes

car-makers-vow-to-cut-emissions-29019_1Overexposure to certain environmental elements can affect sperm production or function. Specific causes include:

  • Industrial chemicals Extended exposure to benzenes, toluene, xylene, herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, painting materials and lead may contribute to low sperm counts.
  • Heavy metal exposure Exposure to lead or other heavy metals also may cause infertility.
  • Radiation or X-rays Exposure to radiation can reduce sperm production. It can take several years for sperm production to return to normal. With high doses of radiation, sperm production can be permanently reduced.
  • Prolonged bicyclingProlonged bicycling is another possible cause of reduced fertility due to overheating the testicles.
  • Overheating the testicles Frequent use of saunas or hot tubs may temporarily lower your sperm count. Sitting for long periods, wearing tight clothing or using a laptop on your lap for long periods of time also may increase the temperature in your scrotum and reduce sperm production. The type of underwear you choose to wear is unlikely to significantly impact your sperm count.

Health, Lifestyle And Other Causes Of Low Sperm Count

Other causes of low sperm count include:

  • Sperm testing issues Lower than normal sperm counts can result from testing a sperm sample that was taken too soon after your last ejaculation; was taken too soon after an illness or stressful event; or didn’t contain all of the semen you ejaculated because some was spilled during collection. For this reason, results are generally based on several samples taken over a period of time.
  • Alcohol use Drinking alcohol can lower testosterone levels and cause decreased sperm production.
  • Illegal drug use Anabolic steroids taken to stimulate muscle strength and growth can cause the testicles to shrink and sperm production to decrease. Use of cocaine or marijuana may temporarily reduce the number and quality of your sperm as well.
  • Tobacco smokingMen who smoke may have a lower sperm count than do those who don’t smoke.
  • OccupationCertain occupations may increase your risk of infertility, including those associated with extended use of computers or video display monitors, shift work and work-related stress.
  • Emotional stress Severe or prolonged emotional stress, including stress about fertility itself, may interfere with certain hormones needed to produce sperm.
  • Weight Obesity can cause hormone changes that reduce male fertility.

If you suffer from low sperm count or any form of male infertility, you might want to read on how to Increasing Low Sperm Count and Improving Male Fertility – for a natural solution to low sperm count and male infertility in general.

If you have gained anything from reading this, don’t hesitate to share it with others too. Put your comments and questions or topics you will like us to write about in the comment box below.

Ways to increase sperm count naturally

Sperm counts are decreasing in most western nations but non-pharmacologic remedies may help.
For several decades, researchers have known that sperm quality and fertility rates have been in decline in most Western nations. According to a 2017 study, between 1973 and 2011 the average sperm count in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand dropped by 59.3 percent.

Despite studies identifying the problem, the reasons for this decline and ways to reliably reverse it are still unknown.

Several non-pharmacologic remedies have been used by ancient, herbal, and traditional medicines to increase sperm count and overall sperm health for thousands of years.

Researchers have shown that most of these remedies influence sperm count in some way.

Natural ways to increase sperm count include:1. Exercise and sleep

Several studies have shown that weight loss and exercise in obese and overweight individuals can lead to improved or increased sperm counts. However, the science linking a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) to a healthy sperm count is still weak.

2017 study found that performing a 16-week aerobic exercise program of at least 50 minutes of moderate exercise at 50 to 65 percent peak heart rate 3 times weekly, increased sperm volume and concentration in 45 sedentary, obese men.

2. Reduce stress

A healthful diet and exercise may help to reduce stress.

Any form of stress can cause the body to take defensive actions and conserve energy. In times of distress, it makes biological sense for the body to become less concerned with reproduction and more focused on surviving.

Reducing stress requires addressing the cause, though factors such as exercise and a healthful diet are thought to lessen the effects of stress.

For men who are experiencing severe stress, a doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications.

3. Stop smoking

A 2016 study reviewing the results of over 20 different studies with a total of nearly 6,000 participants found smoking consistently reduced sperm count.

4. Avoid excessive alcohol use and drugs

The number of studies exploring the link between sperm health and drugs is limited given ethical considerations. However, some researchers have linked the worldwide use of drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine to decreased sperm production.

5. Avoid several prescription medications

Some prescription medications can potentially decrease the healthy production of sperm. Once a person stops taking the drug, his sperm count should return to normal or increase.

Medications that temporarily reduce the production and development of sperm include:

  • some antibiotics
  • anti-androgens
  • anti-inflammatories
  • antipsychotics
  • corticosteroids
  • anabolic steroids (up to 1 year recovery time)
  • exogenous (outside) testosterone
  • methadone

6. Get enough vitamin D and calcium

Researchers are not entirely sure why, but vitamin D and calcium serum appear to impact sperm health. Some studies have shown that low dietary vitamin D intake seems to correspond with lowered sperm count.

Vitamin D and calcium supplements are available to purchase in health food stores and online.

7. Increase intake of antioxidant-rich foods

Antioxidants are molecules that help remove and deactivate free radicals and other compounds that damage cells. Several vitamins and minerals have shown to act as antioxidants, and several studies have linked antioxidant consumption with increased sperm count.

Antioxidants that may contribute to a healthy sperm count include:

  • selenium
  • vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
  • vitamin E
  • glutathione
  • coenzyme Q10
  • I-carnitine

8. Increase healthy fat intake

Polyunsaturated fats or so-called healthy fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6, are crucial to the healthy development of the sperm membrane.

Some studies have shown that individuals should consume these two essential omega compounds in equal quantities for ideal sperm development and antioxidant benefits.

Omega-3 supplements are available to purchase online from various brands.

9. Reduce unhealthy fat intake

A 2014 study that surveyed 209 healthy Spanish men between the ages of 18 to 23 years of age found that as they increased their consumption of trans fatty acids, their sperm count decreased proportionately.

Several studies have also shown that trans fatty acids may impair the ability of long-chain polyunsaturated fats to incorporate into sperm membranes, a critical step in sperm development.

10. Avoid or limit exposure to environmental or occupational toxins and contaminants

As the environment and atmosphere become increasingly polluted and congested, environmental factors, such as air quality and toxic chemical exposure, have frequently been linked to reduced sperm health and total count. Avoiding environmental toxins wherever possible also contributes to overall health.

It is important to point out that while some studies have shown a link between low sperm count and environmental contaminants, most of them do not support it Trusted Source.

11. Avoid too much soy or foods with non-human estrogen

Some foods, especially soy products, contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogen), compounds shown to reduce testosterone bonding and sperm production. Many canned and plastic products are also high in synthetic forms of estrogen.

12. Get Enough Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral found in high amounts in animal foods, such as meat, fish, eggs and shellfish. Adequate zinc intake appears to be one of the cornerstones of male fertility. Observational studies show that low zinc status or deficiency is associated with low testosterone levels, poor sperm quality and an increased risk of male infertility. Also, taking zinc supplements increases testosterone levels and sperm count in those who are low in zinc,

Foods to improve sperm count

Though supplements are considered a safe way to get the recommended daily intake of most vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, the body does not always easily absorb them.

Most studies suggest that eating foods rich in specific compounds and chemicals allows the body to use them more efficiently. So the best way to increase sperm count naturally may be to increase the consumption of foods high in sperm-friendly nutrients.

Foods high in sperm count-boosting nutrients include:

Foods high in sperm count-boosting nutrients include bananas, dark chocolate, ginseng, and walnuts.
  • walnuts
  • citrus fruits
  • whole wheat and grains
  • most fish, especially wild salmon, cod, and haddock
  • most shellfish, especially oysters
  • vitamin D enhanced milk and milk products
  • dark chocolate
  • garlic
  • bananas
  • broccoli
  • ginseng
  • turmeric
  • asparagus
  • most leafy greens, especially spinach and kale
  • fermented nuts and seeds

1. Ginseng

The two most common causes of male infertility are low sperm motility (inability of the sperm to reach the egg) and low sperm count. Ginseng addresses both issues. If we discuss its abilities to boost sexual health, ginseng can do the following:

  • Increase sex drive
  • Improve performance
  • Aiding erectile dysfunction
  • Increasing sperm count
  • Improve sperm quality
  • Preserving ejaculated sperms

Of the two varieties of ginseng, American ginseng is recommended. You can either include ginseng supplements in your diet or drink ginseng tea regularly.

2. Maca

Maca has the ability to boost female fertility which is why it gets a great deal of attention. It balances female hormones to improve fertility. However, this herb has the ability to boost male fertility as well. This herb effectively improves the quality of sperm (poor sperm quality being a reason of male infertility). According to a study, men who consumed maca regularly had a more motile sperm, more semen and more sperm per ejaculation.

4. Saw palmetto

This herb has been used traditionally for boosting sexual health in men. It has also been recognized for treating impotence and other physical disabilities associated with poor sexual health in men. It nourishes every aspect of the male reproductive system. Besides this, it is also beneficial for prostate health, libido and testicular atrophy.

5. L-carnitine.

For male infertility, studies didn’t show increased sperm production and motility in men who took a combination of acetyl-L-carnitine and L-carnitine. – Vitamin E.

One study found an association between taking  E and improved sperm motility in men who had low sperm counts or poor sperm motility. Other studies found no improvement in male fertility when vitamin E is combined with vitamin C or selenium.

6. Coenzyme Q10.

A few studies have suggested that coenzyme Q10 may improve sperm counts or motility, but this was not shown to improve the chances of getting pregnant. Another study suggests that coenzyme Q10 may improve egg quality in mice, but study results haven’t been confirmed in humans. More research is needed to determine whether such findings lead to improved fertility.

7. Folic acid.

Although some research suggests that  taken with zinc may improve sperm counts, more research is needed to determine if this will have an impact on conception.

8. Vitamin C.

Some preliminary research indicates that vitamin C might help with certain types of female infertility. 

While herbal supplements are often marketed as “natural,” this doesn’t mean these products are safe. Consider these important issues about herbal supplements:

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Fortify Your Sperm to Increase the Chances of Getting Pregnant

Getting pregnant won’t happen unless a well-shaped sperm makes it to egg. These key ingredients can boost count and increase quality of sperm:

  • Zinc helps with sperm formation and motility, and testosterone metabolism.
  • Maca Root improve sperm production and motility.
  • Lots of Antioxidants – C, E, Beta Carotene, and Selenium PLUS Absorbent C

These key antioxidants help with sperm integrity:

  • Vitamins C, E, Beta Carotene help repair damage caused by the environment and aging plus prevent cellular damage from free radicals.
  • Selenium and Grapeseed Extract remove free-radicals before they can harm your sperm.
  • CoQ10 is important for energy production in the mitochondria.

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Stay Healthy And Never Give Up!

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