As of 2018, about 27.5 million Indian couples have been actively trying to conceive, without positive outcomes. Pregnancy depends on several factors, such as maternal age, existing medical conditions and basic lifestyle. However, the issue is not gender specific. It is now widely accepted in India that males too contribute to childlessness. Apart from erectile dysfunction and penile impairment, the health of the sperms plays a vital role in infertility.
The good news, however, is that there are several proven ways to improve the structure, motility and overall health of sperms. This could be especially important if you are trying assistive techniques, like ICSI fertility treatment. Only superior quality sperms are injected into the egg cytoplasm. Without high quality sperms, you might need to resort to donor sperm. However, well before you start assistive treatments, here are some things you can do to improve sperm health.
1. Take Your Supplements
Research indicates that pills containing zinc, folic acid, maca and fenugreek can improve male reproductive health. These are natural supplements to take care of sperm count, sperm quality and free testosterone levels. In fact, they can help improve sex drive as well, which further ensures powerful orgasms and sperm release. Additionally, consider including ashwagandha and Vitamin C for overall improvement of sperm quality.
2. Combat Mental Health Issues
The ongoing coronavirus crisis has been stressful. However, to ensure high quality sperms, it is crucial to minimize anxiety, depression and stress. The stress hormone, cortisol, has an extremely negative impact on testosterone levels and sperm quality. Therefore, de-clutter your mind, meditate and exercise, and ensure enough fresh air and sunlight for a healthy mind.
3. Consider Sperm Superfoods
Start consuming walnuts, garlic, dark chocolates, eggs, ginger, pomegranates, bananas, broccoli and pumpkin seeds at least 30 days prior to the infertility treatment. Green leafy vegetables, like kale and spinach, dairy products and seafood can also be of great help. If you have soy included in your diet, consider cutting down for a positive impact on sperm quality.
4. Reconsider Your Underwear
You’d be surprised to know that men who wear boxers have 17% higher sperm count than those who wear briefs. In a cross-sectional study of 656 males by Oxford Academic, it was found that those who wore boxers had 25% higher sperm concentration. Given these figures, it would be a good idea to switch to boxers or other loose underwear.
5. Give Up Smoking
It is a well-known fact that smoking tends to affect sperm quality. A clinical study of 1,786 men revealed that smoking can reduce sperm count and motile sperm cells by 17.5% and 16.6%, respectively, as compared to non-smokers. This is because reproductive hormones, like FSH, are highly distorted due to smoking.
Hormonal imbalance, which is beyond our control, can often lead to impotence. However, certain factors like stress, diet and sleep are quite manageable. Therefore, if you are wondering how to better prepare yourself for ICSI fertility treatment, consider making some healthy lifestyle changes.