Either or both partners may have a fertility challenge so it is important that both have fertility tests at the same time. A low sperm count is common but sperm are renewed on a regular basis so life-style advice might be sufficient to boost your natural fertility.
Eating healthily and taking regular exercise is recommended for both men and women who are trying to conceive, but can diet really boost your sperm count?
We asked Mr Oliver Wiseman, Consultant Urologist and Specialist in Male Fertility at Bourn Hall Clinic, if there is any evidence.
Boost your sperm count
I see a lot of patients with a zero or low sperm count, and many ask me if there is anything they can do to try and improve the situation themselves.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight is essential for keeping your sperm in good condition. Your diet should include at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day; carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread and pasta; and lean meat, fish and pulses for protein.
When it comes to improving sperm quality, there is little good evidence to help guide patients, but a study which compared two different diets does provide some insight.
In this study of 188 men, dietary patterns were identified and classified into either a “Prudent Diet” or “Western Diet”. As you might expect, the prudent diet was generally a healthier diet with high intake of fish, chicken, fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. The “Western Diet” was characterized by high intake of red and processed meat, refined grains, pizza, snacks, high-energy drinks and sweets.
Will it boost your sperm count?
Although there was no change in sperm count or in the numbers of sperm which looked normal (morphology), those men with a Prudent Diet had better motility (movement) in their sperm.
So, eat healthily and your sperm may swim better!
In addition to this, other studies have associated the Prudent Diet with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer; so there really is no excuse not to stick to that New Year’s resolution!!