If you’re trying to conceive and have just found out your sperm health isn’t exactly where you want it to be – you might be asking the question – How can I improve my sperm health fast?
And the truth is – whilst sperm test results can fluctuate day to day – you can’t generally overhaul your true sperm quality overnight. However, you might be able to make improvements quicker than you think. In this blog, we’ll outline the general timeline of improving your sperm health and give some tips on the lifestyle factors that can have the biggest impact.
The life cycle of sperm
Like anything when it comes to our health, it’s hard/impossible for sperm parameters to dramatically improve overnight. But unlike female fertility issues and egg quality, which can take quite a long time to address – sperm health can often be boosted within 3 months. That’s because sperm generally regenerates every 72 days. So, roughly every 3 months you have another shot (so to speak) at having a better and stronger batch of sperm cells.
You can learn more about sperm production and the life cycle of sperm cells here.
A proactive approach
Because of this three-month window, we try to encourage guys to get proactive about their fertility and test their sperm before trying to conceive. If you want to start trying for a baby in April and test your sperm and take steps to improve it in January, when April comes around you should hopefully see a jump up in quality.
However, if you are already in the midst of your TC journey – that’s ok! There is always time and room for improvement. Now, there are always cases when sperm health cannot be improved by lifestyle changes alone – if you’re dealing with Klinefelter syndrome or Azoospermia for example – but if your swimmers are just looking a bit depleted and lethargic, a healthier lifestyle could help.
What changes will have the biggest impact on my sperm health?
Wherever you’re at in your fertility journey, it’s always worth looking to get your sperm operating at an optimal level. Here are some key lifestyle factors that you can focus on to get your sperm operating at its best.
We all know smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your overall health – but it also has a real effect on the quality of your sperm. If you are a smoker one of the best things you can do for your fertility is to quit. The toxins in cigarette smoke not only mess with your hormone production but they can also cause oxidative stress down in your testicles, so your sperm don’t develop or work as they should. Quitting smoking is no easy feat, especially if you have been a smoker for a long time. Speak to your doctor if you need some advice and support and we also have some great tips on quitting smoking here.
Reach a healthy weight
BMI is another factor closely linked to male fertility. Men who are obese or overweight are more likely to struggle to conceive and have suboptimal sperm parameters, so if you’re in these categories, working towards a healthier weight could have a big difference in your sperm health. Again, this is not an overnight fix and we certainly wouldn’t advise going on a crash diet or over-exercising, as both could actually have a negative effect on your swimmers. Instead look to make sustainable, healthy lifestyle changes that are kind to your body – and your sperm. If you’re not very active right now, take up regular exercise, and try to make your diet more balanced and nutritious, which brings us on to…
Even if you are at a ‘healthy’ weight, you might not be having the most nutritious, balanced diet (here’s looking at the guys that can still stay ripped whilst having a McDonald’s breakfast every day). Sperm thrive when you’re fueling your body with healthy, whole foods – especially ones that contain sperm-friendly vitamins. Think oily fish for omega-3, peppers for antioxidants and dark, leafy greens for folate. That doesn’t mean you can’t have the occasional cheat meal, but try to include as many sperm superfoods as you can in your meal plan – you can get a whole list of them right here.
Testicles (and sperm) love cool environments, and heat damage can be a real kicker to your sperm quality. If you are taking daily saunas at the gym or using a hot tub regularly – stop. It might not improve your sperm health overnight, but there’s a good chance you will see a boost in their count and activity quite quickly. Heat is also one of the main reasons people are advised to stop cycling if their sperm health is low. Generally, we encourage all forms of exercise when trying to conceive, but if you are doing daily endurance cycling (where your balls are very constricted and hot between your lycra shorts and saddle) you might want to ease off a bit and see if your sperm quality improves.
There is rarely a quick fix when it comes to our health, and the same goes for our sperm, but making sustainable lifestyle improvements will not only help better your fertility – but your overall quality of life! Our ExSeed at-home test comes with an app full of more tailored advice to help you improve your sperm parameters – learn more here.