Research into UK sperm counts has shown a decline in the average sperm count and quality of sperm compared to 50 years ago.
A recent study conducted by geneticists at Washington State University, suggests the decrease in sperm counts could be caused by traces of the contraceptive pill in drinking water. The sperm cells are effected by oestradiol, the birth control hormone that passes through untreated sewage plants.
This alone is not the only cause of the decline in the average sperm count, our modern lifestyle has a big part to play, but the good news is that there are a number of things that men can do to improve their sperm count.
A heavy social drinking session will temporarily reduce your sperm count, but regular heavy drinking will damage the tubes that carry semen, reduce motility and increase the number of abnormal sperm cells. If you drink heavily and have been doing so for some time, giving up alcohol completely for three to six months can be sufficient to restore male fertility.
Stress at work or home leads to high levels of adrenalin and the release of other hormones which can restrict blood flow to the testes and inhibit sperm production. Stress can also lead to the release of chemical by-products called free radicals which damage sperm.
Smoking isn’t healthy under any circumstances and tobacco smoke contains chemicals that weaken sperm function and deplete the anti-oxidants, especially vitamin C, that neutralises the damaging free radicals. The advice is to stop smoking straight away.
Drugs such as cannabis lead to a lowered sperm count and an increase in abnormal sperm; cocaine negatively affects sperm motility and inhibits fertilisation. Avoid muscle-building drugs too. Anabolic steroids can cause a significant drop in sperm count.
Stay cool: Tight underwear, hot baths and high central heating may all affect sperm production. Keeping cool is important at all times so try and avoid those tight pants!
Reduce your caffeine intake: A few cups of coffee is fine but too much has a negative effect.
Improve your diet: Folic acid is a natural substance that helps to keep your sperm count high, so maximise your intake and eat plenty of fresh dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli. A high consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids is believed to contribute to sperm quality too. Try to maintain a balanced diet, avoid fatty foods and keep your weight down.
If you are concerned about yours or your partner’s sperm count, please contact us to arrange a semen analysis or consultation with one of our specialists.
You can find out more about the recent US study here
For many women who face problems conceiving, the joy of motherhood is a distant dream away. So if you’re…
Copyright © 2011 - The Bridge Clinic
Call us today 020 3819 3282