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Today I wanted to talk abut my top tips to improve sperm.
I don’t want to let these guys off the hook. My husband was a fairly reluctant participant in trying to improve his sperm, but he did, and he worked really hard so props to him. He even went to visit my naturopath and took a bunch of supplements at one point and brought his sperm right up into the normal range. So today I’m going to talk about a number of things that will improve sperm and things that can damage sperm.
The first of my tips to improve sperm is to look at the temperature they’re living in. I did a course on reproduction with Northwestern University and one of the things that I felt was so interesting is that men’s scrotum hang away from the body is because the temperature at which our bodies operate is not suitable for developing sperm. So, in the scrotum that’s where they sort of develop. They go through this radical process of division and sperm is the smallest little container in our body for DNA to exist, so it’s really important that, that gets packed in really well and properly. And that’s where, when it doesn’t, it’s called DNA fragmentation. But it’s really important for that to happen. That can’t happen in a very hot environment.
One of things that we need to do is allow them to stay cool or at a cooler temperature than our body temperature. Some of the ways that, that may not happen is if our partners go in saunas or go in spas. Or have really hot baths. That might not happen if they wear jocks instead of boxers and especially if they’re going to the gym and wearing jocks and things like that. So that’s why often we encourage men to wear boxer shorts when they are going about their business and trying to conceive. It’s because we really want to allow them to stay cool and at the right temperature.
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keep the sperm loose
We also don’t want to squish them too much. For men who sit at a computer all day, we want to make sure that men have the chance to get up and walk around. We don’t want them to be bike riding every day. Bike riding can be one of the most detrimental things to sperm. If we think about it, they’re going bashed about. They’re held really close to the body, which can affect temperature. They’re being constricted and squashed. So bike riding can be a really detrimental thing to sperm as well.
eat a healthy diet
One of my biggest tips to improve sperm is to eat a healthy diet. When we look at diet, just in the way that women’s diet can be one of the most powerful ways for us to improve our fertility as can men’s diets. It is so important for both men and women to just eat real food. Stop eating processed food. Stop eating junk food, It’s really important for us to eat a wide range of foods and men should especially eat foods that are high in Omega-3’s, high in zinc, high in all of the vitamins and minerals. We really can’t do that if they are eating a lot of junk food. So, we really want to go back to eating a whole foods diet.
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avoid alcohol and drugs
No tips to improve sperm would be complete without discussing drugs and alcohol. Alcohol and drugs, especially marijuana can also have a really detrimental effect on sperm. Lots of studies have been done on this and particularly marijuana can have a really devastating effect. Cutting alcohol is probably one of the key changes that Ross, my husband, made when we were on our fertility journey. He was used to having a couple of beers with the guys every day after work. While we were trying to conceive he would only have one or two drinks on the weekend as opposed to a couple of drinks every night. And I really credit his drastic reduction in alcohol to making a big difference on our fertility journey.
Caffeine is a drug too. Likewise, with coffee and it’s the same for women as well. The research out there is really murky when it comes to coffee, and they’ve never really been able to establish a clear link as to how much coffee might be detrimental. Some of the research out there when it comes to miscarriage rates is kind of incidental. But there seems to be a consensus that more than 200 milligrams a day can be detrimental. So, 200 milligrams, I probably say if you have two instant coffees a day that would be your 200 milligrams or one normal size so none of this Starbucks Venti stuff. That would be a ridiculous number of shots. One shot of a proper coffee would be your maximum.
If you can give it up that would be great because as I said the research out there is a bit murky, but you really want to not be drinking coffee all throughout the day and especially stop drinking coffee once you get to mid-day because that can start to affect your sleep.
Sleep is one of the most important things that we can do for our overall health and that is not exclusive to women. That applies to men as well. And once you start to have to caffeinate later in the day that can start to impact our sleep quality. That can start to impact our adrenal glands. It can give us a rise in cortisol. We really want to have our coffee before 10AM if possible and definitely before mid-day. And really be conscious of how much caffeine we’re consuming keeping in mind that caffeine is also in so many other products too.
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look into supplements
I try to steer away from recommending supplements for men and for their fertility however that are some that are fairly standard so like zinc and Omega-3 are fairly standard for men. What I highly recommend in this circumstance though is to visit somebody who can test for what supplements your partner may need because there may be more supplements, or they may have perfectly adequate zinc levels and things like that. But visit someone like a naturopath or a nutritionist, who can check these and give you some recommendations that are based on your individual circumstances, your diet, and your lifestyle.
Another place if you do not want to go and visit someone, highly recommend many of you have heard about it but there’s a book, It Starts With The Egg, where Rebecca Fett breaks down essentially all of the different supplements and all of the different studies most importantly that have been conducted and shares with you the supplements she recommends based on the rock solid research that is out there. She recommends supplements for women as well.
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limit exposure to toxins
They very last of my tips to improve sperm is to look at household toxins. There is a really simple but key changes that men can make that can have a big impact on their fertility. So the number one thing is processed foods, which can contain a lot of toxins such as BPA, Bisphenol A. When we look at plastics in general a lot of they are advertised as BPA free, but the plastic material that they’ve substituted with is pretty much just as bad. So we want to aim for glass and stainless steel where possible instead of plastic.
So, if your husband is taking his lunch to work every day and reheating that in a plastic container in the microwave that can be leaching some pretty heavy toxins, and they can have a big impact on his sperm. Where possible we want to steer away from plastics. When we put our plastics in the dishwasher that can also really encourage the leaching of these chemicals into our bloodstream.
When we look at our beauty regime, and we look at shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, all of the things in our house that have a really big fragrance you might have air fresheners in your house. You might have, when you go to the toilet, I know that men are just terrible at doing this, after they go to the toilet they spray so much of that nasty air freshener around. If you can start to really tone down all of the use of fragrance in your house. What aftershave, all of the perfumes and things like that, that we have for women, perfumes, they’re nasty guys you got to stop using them.
When we look in our laundry and we look at fabric softener that can also be a really key area for toxins that leach onto our skin. The skin is the largest organ that we have in our body and fabric softener can be dangerous because of its fragrance. In my house I just use white vinegar instead. There is many different things you can do. You could get a wool dryer ball that you can put in to the wash as well as that can also help.
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Those are my top tips to improve sperm. Sperm is so incredibly easy to change. Changing the fertility of women can be much harder. But changing the fertility of men can be so much easier if we just look at changing some of the key elements in their lives. Keeping the scrotum at a nice temperature and away from our body. Diet, alcohol and drugs, household toxins, you just need to change a few key areas to improve sperm. Sperm basically regenerates in 90 days so you have such an opportunity to make a big difference.
Let’s maximize the quality of what we have even if you still need to undergo IVF to conceive which is the same as us, you can still maximize and improve the quality of what you have. And that carries through into implantation rates, fertilization rates, miscarriage rates. Lots of studies or studies have come out recently showing a big link between sperm and miscarriage rates and often that comes down to chromosomal abnormalities and certainly when our DNA in the sperm is not packed correctly that can start to have a big impact on things like DNA fragmentation that can then result in chromosomal abnormalities.
When you’re looking at the success rates of things like IVF less cycles is obviously a better things so if you can take these tips to improve sperm no matter what your current sperm situation is like then I guarantee this will only help you in the future. And these are some really easy things to implement.
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