It’s easy to think that self-care is all about face masks and bubble baths. But the truth is, self-care is anything that supports your physical and mental wellbeing. In many cases, the very things that qualify as ‘self-care’ can have a positive impact on your sperm health too!
Here are 5 top tips for self-care for sperm health – and if you want to throw a face mask or two in for good measure, there’ll be no judgement from us. (Although maybe go easy on the bubble baths – sperm aren’t huge fans of hanging out in hot water for extended periods of time…)
5 ways to improve your sperm health through self care
Find your zen
Relaxation is the cornerstone of self-care – and making time to chill out has never been more important. Whilst the pandemic has brought a whole new level of stress to our daily lives, if you’re embarking on a fertility journey, that too can be its own emotional rollercoaster.
Learning – and practising – healthy coping mechanisms for times you feel your cortisol rising will have a positive impact on your relationship, general wellbeing – and potentially your sperm. A lot of research is being done into the link between stress and male fertility, and a study from Columbia University found that men who are stressed are more likely to have a lower concentration of sperm. The research indicates that high levels of stress can lower testosterone levels and also oxidative stress – which can damage sperm quality.
Yoga, meditation and breathing exercises are all great ways to de-stress, but it’s really about finding out what works for you. Whether it’s reading a book, chatting to a friend or just making a mindful cup of tea, it doesn’t matter. Discover effective methods that help you relax and ensure you make time for them each week – your brain (and your balls) will thank you for it.
Catch those Zzs
A good night’s sleep should be a part of everyone’s routine and not an indulgent act of self-care. However, with 1 in 3 adults saying they struggle with their sleep, it’s clearly a luxury not all of us are enjoying.
A lack of sleep has been linked to an extensive list of conditions – including heart disease and diabetes – and can also have a huge impact on our mental health. We all need to make sure we’re getting enough quality sleep each evening – but it’s especially important if you’re hoping to become a father someday soon.
Men produce testosterone whilst they sleep, so if you aren’t well-rested, this production could slow up – which could have a knock-on effect on your fertility. Last year a Danish study indicated that men who get 8 hours of shut-eye a night were almost 3 times more likely to have healthy sperm compared to men who got less than 7.
The key to quality sleep is a calming evening routine – making it the perfect opportunity for some self-care. Turn your phone off, try some sleepy Yin yoga and get acquainted with lavender oil – we guarantee you’ll sleep like a baby (and potentially improve your chances of making one!)
A walk around the block might not sound as exciting as a spa day, but getting outside each day is an important part of self-care. You’re moving your body, stepping away from screens and getting fresh air in your lungs – it’s the easiest self-care trifecta going. Time in the great outdoors is obviously great for our physical and mental health – but it could also improve your sperm quality too.
Vitamin D is a key vitamin for fertility. Studies have found that men with vitamin D deficiency had significantly lower sperm quality and count than men with good levels. Whilst you can top up your Vitamin D, through food, one of the best natural sources is sunshine. Granted, we may not always have enough sun during the winter months, but even an hour outside on a cloudy day is going to do more for your Vitamin D levels than spending another lunchtime hunched over your laptop.
If you feel like your Vitamin D levels need an extra boost, you can also think about supplementation. Vitamin D supplements are available from most good health shops and you can even find it in our ExSeed Multi-Vitamins!
If you’re rolling your eyes at the concept of self-care – what if we told you that sex qualifies as a bonafide self-care activity? Sex is exercise, a stress reliever and creates a great bond between you and your partner – it’s ticking all the boxes and, let’s face it, is more fun than a yoga class. When we climax, our mind is flooded with feel-good hormones like endorphins and oxytocin – which are brilliant for mental wellbeing.
If that wasn’t a reason enough to chill out by getting it on, regular ejaculations can do wonders for your swimmers. If your sperm hangs out in your balls for too long, the motility can take a bit of a dip. We recommend aiming for 2-3 orgasms a week to keep your sperm healthy – so make sure to schedule some sex into your self-care routine.
If your partner isn’t available/into it when the mood strikes you, the good news is that self-love also doubles as self-care. Studies have shown that masturbation can be an effective way to destress and improve our mood and even encourage a good night’s sleep – so there are a bunch of benefits for both you and your sperm – even if you’re flying solo.
Are you ashamed each time you get your weekly screen time report? You’re not alone. 62% of adults say they hate how much time they spend on their phones – and yet our digital addiction is increasing year on year. Whilst we’re not suggesting you go totally off-grid, making sure you get some quality screen-free time each week is great for your mental health – and could be good news for your swimmers too.
Millennials have grown up with our phones, tablets and laptops rarely out of reach – which could potentially be contributing to the decline in sperm health. When our phones aren’t in our hands, they’re usually found in our trouser pockets – aka right next to our balls. Research indicates that prolonged exposure to the radiation our phones give off could significantly decrease sperm motility and even lead to DNA fragmentation. Our phone isn’t the only digital destroyer of sperm. If you spend a lot of time with your laptop on your lap, the heat the battery kicks out could kill your swimmers, as they tend to thrive in cooler conditions.
Give your mind – and balls – a break from constant scrolling and commit to some screen-free time each day. Your self-care routine can be anything you want it to be – but it should definitely be phone free.