Your doctor may have told you that you have great sperm and that you don’t need to do a thing.  Great! That may be true, but consider this: 

 Average sperm count has dropped considerably in the last sixty or so years. Some studies have it as low as 20% of what it was in our parents youth.  Around 120 million sperm per mL was average in the 1950s and now 20 million/mL is considered “normal” by many accounts.  Some studies are less extreme, but all show a troubling and significant decline.  

While you may or may not have any diagnosable pathology with your sperm, it can only help if you do everything you can to recruit more swimmers for your team.  Luckily none of this stuff is painful or terrible expensive, and if it can get you to parenthood faster why not?  Here are some suggestions for a sperm quality boot camp:

  • Take a high quality daily multivitamin:
    • Ideally 2 months before trying to conceive
    • Make sure it contains a zinc, selenium vitamin C and E.
    • Take a CoQ10 supplement.  It is important to choose the Ubiquinol form as it is much better absorbed.  A typical dosage is between 100-200mg per day.  If you choose the cheaper form called ubiquinone, you will want to take about twice as much.
  • Eat vitamin and antioxidant rich diet and avoid sugar:
    • Emphasize non-starchy vegetables that grow above the ground as they contain less sugar.  Leafy greens, purple and green cabbages, organic bell peppers of all colors, cauliflower (bright white!), tomatoes, squashes, peas, beans, avocados, etc.
    • Also emphasize the less sweet fruits like organic strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.
    • Sugar (even natural forms) increase oxidative damage to the sperm.  Avoid desserts and sweet beverages even natural fruit and veggie juices. Look out for hidden sugars in packaged foods.  
  • Reduce your exposure to toxins:
    • Sperm damaging toxins might include…
      • Plastics – try not to eat, drink, store or prepare foods in them.  If you work with plastic like substances like PVC, wear gloves and a mask when possible.
      • Lead
      • Chemicals in commercial Lubricants
  • Reduce or preferably eliminate alcohol consumption:
    • It is a toxin
    • There is no amount of alcohol that is considered “healthy.”
    • Even the advice we were given in the 90s to have a daily glass of wine has been repeatedly disproved.  
    • According to a few studies moderate alcohol use by the male partner or sperm donor lowered sperm count, sperm motility, fertilization rate, and reduced the live birth rate in couples undergoing IVF.
    • Alcohol negatively affects blood sugar balance, increases oxidative stress.
  • Keep your cell phone out of your pants.
    • Cell phones emit sperm damaging radio-frequencies so get it out of your pockets when you can.
  • Keep it cool:
    • Sperm production is sensitive and even moderate heat can damage sperm in the early stages.  Avoid baths and hot showers, wear loose boxers, and get up for air when you have to sit for long periods.