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How to get pregnant with low sperm count 

How To Get Pregnant With Low Sperm Count

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Are you keen to learn how to get pregnant with low sperm count? It’s a problem more and more guys are facing, so you aren’t alone – sperm counts have plummeted by 59% since 1973! 

Whilst finding out you have a low sperm count can be a stressful and disappointing thing to experience, don’t panic! There are lots of things you can do to improve your sperm count and many assisted fertility options available if your swimmers just won’t play ball. Here’s our handy guide on getting pregnant with low sperm count. 

Understanding Your Sperm Count 

Before we get stuck into our (great) advice on how to deal with a low sperm count, you firstly have to know if you have one. Many guys only get their sperm tested when they are already struggling to conceive – and this often means they have lost valuable time to make improvements or assess their options. 

At home sperm testing makes it easier than ever to get to know your swimmers proactively. The ExSeed test not only shows you your sperm count, but your total motile sperm count – aka how many sperm cells are moving the way they are supposed to. 

At home testing makes it easier than ever to be proactive about your fertility and our app gives you tailored advice on how to improve your sperm health if your results weren’t what you were hoping for. 

You can find out more about our test right here. 

How To Get Pregnant With Low Sperm Count – Lifestyle Factors 

If your sperm count is sub-optimal, don’t give up hope straight away. Sperm regenerates around every 3 months, which means that changing your lifestyle could potentially help you turn your sperm count around pretty quickly. Here are some of the key things you should address if you hope to get pregnant with low sperm count. 


It’s no surprise that a habit like smoking is bad news for sperm count – it’s bad for pretty much all areas of our health! Smoking not only impacts the number of sperm you have but can also have a negative impact on the quality. If you’re a smoker who is struggling with low sperm count, stubbing out the cigarettes should be your first port of call if you’re hoping to get pregnant. 


Research has indicated that poor sleep quality can play a role in reduced sperm count. Now, before you get excited thinking that lie ins = a high sperm count, the study seemed to show that men who slept too little or too much were both affected. 

You want to be aiming for around 8 hours of quality sleep a night. If you know that you are going to bed late, tossing and turning, or sleeping past noon – it might be time to address your sleep routine. Try to let your mind and body relax before bed (ditching screens and social media is a big one for this) and make sure you are going to bed at the same time every evening and setting your morning alarm for a similar time too. 


Now, we think guys look great whatever their size, but the science does show that a high BMI could correlate to a low sperm count. Studies have shown that overweight men are 11% more likely to have a low sperm count and obese men were 42% more likely to be in the same boat. 

If you want to get pregnant with a low sperm count and you know you may be tipping the scales in the wrong direction, it might be time to take a look at your lifestyle. Could you be moving your body more? Ordering takeaways less? This is not the time for a dramatic diet that’s going to make you miserable, but instead an opportunity to adopt a healthier lifestyle that will improve your fertility and your life! 


Even if you have a healthy BMI, if you are struggling with low sperm count, it might be time to take a look at your diet. Nutrition is an important part of any preconception plan. Some key changes can make a big difference. Swap sugary, processed foods for whole foods and dirty to top up on your fruits and vegetables as they contain the vitamins and nutrients needed for healthy sperm production. Check out some of the superfoods you should be adding to your plate right here. You might also want to consider adding supplements geared towards male fertility into your routine as they can help give your vitamin levels as much needed boost when tackling low sperm count. 

Talk to your doctor 

Whilst there are many lifestyle factors that could be keeping your sperm count low, a lot of the time there is an underlying medical issue that could be causing the problem, such as varicoceles, retrograde ejaculation. In some cases, these conditions can be simple to treat or deal with through surgery, but many men have know idea they are living with them until they are quite far down their fertility journey. If you are concerned that there could be medical conditions at play that are impacting your fertility, don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor. 

How to get pregnant with low sperm count – assisted fertility 

Whilst it’s often possible to improve your sperm count, there are times when it just doesn’t happen. This can be a hard pill to swallow, but it doesn’t mean you need to give up on your dreams of being a Dad. Advancements in technology mean that there are various ways to become a parent aside from conceiving naturally. If you are looking to get pregnant with a low sperm count that won’t improve, it’s a good idea to get your head around the assisted fertility options available to you.


In vitro fertilisation (IVF) may be an option if you have a slightly low sperm count – as it gives the swimmers you have a better chance of fertilising the egg! 

During IVF, an egg is removed from your partner’s ovaries and then paired up with your sperm sample in a lab. The fertilised egg is then returned to your partner’s womb to grow and develop -hopefully into a healthy pregnancy! 


ICSI – aka Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection – is a very similar process to IVF, but can be even more successful if you are trying to get pregnant with low sperm count. Again doctors will harvest eggs from the female partner and take a sample of sperm from the guy – however this time they will inject a single sperm cell directly into the egg. This can be very helpful with men with very low sperm count (you technically only need one good swimmer to make it work) and can also be great if you are struggling with poor sperm motility or DNA Fragmentation. 

Sperm Donor 

For some guys, their sperm count is so low – or potentially non existent – that it is not possible to conceive using their sperm. In these cases , you may want to consider using a sperm donor. This might be a difficult concept to get your head around at first, but donor sperm has helped many men become fathers and couples become families, so it is definitely worth looking into. There are some incredible examples of happy and healthy children conceived through donor sperm – like Emma Grønbæk – and some amazing communities and inspiring guys sharing their story that could help you too – definitely check out the Knackered Knackers community run by our mate Shaun! 

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Wearing tight pants and underwear

Studies show that men who wear looser underwear have higher sperm concentration and total sperm count compared to men who wear tighter underwear. So, lose the tight clothes and wear something loose to give your testicles some air.

CONCLUSION: learn more about how heat can affect sperm quality here.


Besides higher mortality rate and various diseases, stress is associated with low sperm quality. Stress is known to be associated with lower testosterone levels and oxidative stress with both playing an essential role in producing and maintaining healthy sperm cells.

CONCLUSION: If you feel stressed, we recommend you get some help so you can have a balanced mental health. For a stress management guide, download the ExSeed app for free and start your personalized action plan today.

Physical activity

Scientific studies show that men who are physically active have better semen parameters than men who are inactive. Fertility specialists also state that regular physical activity has beneficial impact on sperm fertility parameters and such a lifestyle can enhance the fertility status of men.

Prioritizing exercise can help improve your overall health and result in healthy, fast swimming sperm cells that have good chances of fertilizing an egg.

CONCLUSION: Try incorporating exercise in your weekly schedule to you ensure exercising at least twice weekly. We recommend a combination of cardio training and strength exercise. Read more about exercise and male fertility on our blog.


Fast Food
Processed foods damage the health of sperm-producing cells and cause oxidative stress, which lead to poorer sperm quality. Heavy consumption of junk food (every week) can increase the likelihood of infertility since men who consume vast amounts of unhealthy food are at risk of having poor sperm quality. Besides harming your fertility, junk food enlarges your waistline, harms your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and more.

Eating more fruit and vegetables can increase your sperm concentration and motility. It’s important that you consume a healthy diet filled with antioxidants and that you eat vegetables every day. Foods such as apricots and red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which improves male fertility by nurturing healthier sperm. Men who are deficient in this vitamin tend to have slow and sluggish sperm.

Sugary snacks/beverages: several times a week Excessive consumption of high sugar items can lead to oxidative stress, which negatively impacts testosterone levels and sperm motility. Sugary snacks and beverages are also highly associated with obesity and low fertility.
CONCLUSION: To boost sperm quality, stay away from fast food, processed food, and sugary snacks or beverages. You need to implement a healthy prudent diet filled with necessary superfoods needed for good sperm production. Check out our guide to Male Fertility Superfoods. For personalized guidance and support on how you can start improving your sperm health, check out the Bootcamp.


Direct heat can inhibit optimal sperm production and cause Sperm DNA damage. Sperm cells like environments that are a couple of degrees lower than body temperature. Avoid overheating from warm blankets, seat warmers, heat from your laptop, hot showers, and saunas.

Cigarette smoking

The exposure to tobacco smoke has significant negative effects on semen quality. The damage of cigarettes and nicotine of course depends on how many cigarettes you smoke per day and for how long, but even low usage (up to 10 cigarettes / day) can inhibit healthy sperm production.  

CONCLUSION: Stay as far away from cigarette smoking as possible if you care about your general health and your fertility. Read more here.

Cell phone

When you have your cell phone in your front pocket, your testicles are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, which studies have shown to damage the sperm cells. Put your phone in the back pocket of your pants or in your jacket pocket.


There is a clear association between obesity and reduced sperm quality. At least part of the reason for this is that obese men may have abnormal reproductive hormonal profiles, which can impair sperm production and lead to infertility. 

A BMI higher than 30 can lead to several processes in the body (overheating, increase in oxidative stress in the testes, sperm DNA damage, erectile dysfunction) that can have a negative impact on male fertility. This can result in problems when trying to conceive.  

CONCLUSION: BMI is one of the risk factors that influence semen quality and, for example, sperm motility.  


A beer or glass of wine now and then do not really harm sperm quality. But excess alcohol drinking (more than 20 units per week) can reduce the production of normally formed sperm needed for a successful pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: If you want to stay safe, stay under 14 units of alcohol per week. For more information on how alcohol can affect male fertility, take a look at our blog: “Alcohol and Sperm Quality”.


Studies show that women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance of getting pregnant. Men can produce sperm cells almost through their entire life, but the sperm cell DNA is more fragile and prone to damage after the age of 40.

As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer resulting in a decline in sperm quality and production. These changes are partly because of an age-related decrease in testosterone level, which plays a very important role in sperm

production. Higher male age (>40 years) is not only associated with a decline in sperm production but also with increased sperm DNA fragmentation and worsened morphology (shape) and motility (movement). These negative effects make the sperm cells less qualified for egg fertilization.

CONCLUSION: with an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry much about age as a factor in itself. However, studies have shown a slow decline after the age of 30-35 years

and if you are above 40 years of age, your sperm quality can be affected due to increased sperm DNA damage resulting in a decrease of sperm motility and concentration. Remember that you cannot evaluate the quality of a sperm sample by just looking at it – this requires a sperm analysis.