17 Natural Ways To Increase Sperm Count And Boost Male Fertility

how to increase sperm count and volume

Planning to start a family soon? Then you’ve probably been curious about how to increase sperm count and volume. After all, the higher the sperm count, the better your chances of a successful pregnancy. But how do you know if you’re fertile and have a healthy sperm count? And what can you do to increase it? Ahead, we explain what constitutes healthy sperm, the causes of low sperm count, and the best ways (and foods) that’ll help increase sperm count and volume. 

What Causes Low Sperm Count?

For starters, a healthy and normal sperm count ranges from 40 to 300 million sperm per millilitre of semen. And a healthy semen volume ranges between 2ml and 5ml per ejaculation. Meanwhile, anything below 10 to 20 million sperm per ml is considered to be a low sperm count. A number of factors can cause low sperm count, such as: 

  • Poor lifestyle choices including smoking, drinking alcohol, and drug abuse, among others.
  • Long-term illnesses and infections (such as organ failure or mumps).
  • Damage or obstruction in the reproductive system.
  • Hormone or chromosome issues like low testosterone levels.
  • Deficiency in certain nutrients that are imperative to male fertility. 

Other indicators of good sperm health are motility and morphology. Motility refers to the sperm cell’s ability to swim/move forward, whereas morphology refers to the sperm’s normal shape. At least 60% of the sperm cells should show normal shape and forward movement to be considered healthy. 

How To Increase Sperm Count & Volume: Lifestyle Tips 

Get Enough Sleep 

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Sleep is not for the weak. In fact, having a good night’s rest (at least six to eight hours daily) has been linked to healthy sperm production, as you’re allowing your body to repair itself. Meanwhile, having too little or too much sleep can impair semen quality

Stay Active And Exercise Regularly 

Leading a healthy lifestyle is important to boost male fertility and your overall health. If you’re wondering how to increase sperm count and volume with a specific fitness routine, this study suggests weightlifting and outdoor exercises. Can’t work out outside at the moment? Consider building your own home gym with these essentials

Lose The Extra Kilos

Did you know that having excessive fat can lower testosterone levels? Hence, if you’re overweight or obese, here’s how to significantly increase sperm count and volume: by losing weight. What’s more, the improvement is even greater for those with higher BMIs, and the weight loss also simultaneously boosts the percentage morphology and motility. Need help getting started? Try one of these beginner-friendly jump rope exercises or fitness apps

Quit Smoking And Vaping

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If you’re a smoker, it’s time to call it quits. Besides posing health risks like lung cancer, smoking cigarettes has been found to reduce sperm count and lower sperm quality. And before you think vaping is a safe alternative, it’s not. Vaping can also negatively impact sperm health due to the chemicals that are inhaled into the body. 

Reduce Alcohol Intake And Avoid Drugs

Other vices related to decreased sperm count? Alcohol and drugs. Binge drinking—or having over five drinks in two hours—can lower testosterone levels and libido, as well as affect semen quality. Whereas illicit drugs like cocaine and marijuana have been linked to low sperm count and motility. 

Don’t Stress

Hectic work schedules and busy lifestyles can lead to prolonged stress. But if you’re trying to conceive, it’s imperative to minimise and manage stress well. When your body is stressed, cortisol levels are raised and testosterone is lowered, thus negatively affecting semen quality. To stay relaxed, try picking up meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, or going for a massage

Wear Loose Clothing And Underwear 

how to increase sperm count and volume, loose boxer
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When it comes to clothing, here’s how to increase sperm count and volume: by wearing loose apparel and innerwear. Why? Because the likes of tight briefs and skinny jeans don’t exactly provide an ideal environment for healthy sperm production. Opt for loose boxers and trunks instead, which allow better airflow while keeping sperm at the right temperature. If you can’t ditch your briefs, go for cotton instead of synthetic fabrics. 

Take Fenugreek Supplements And Vitamins C & D

Many studies have found fenugreek supplements and extracts to be beneficial to increase sperm count. How it works is that it helps improve testosterone levels, sex drive, and also fat loss when taken daily. On the other hand, vitamins C and D, as well as CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10) have been proven to improve sperm concentration and motility, thus increasing the chances of pregnancy. 

Eat Well-Balanced Meals 

Aim for a well-balanced and nutritious diet comprising lean meat as well as lots of fruits and vegetables. There are certain nutrients that will greatly improve sperm health and quality too, which we will go into detail below.

How To Increase Sperm Count & Volume: Foods To Eat And Avoid

Consume Antioxidant-Rich Foods Like Walnuts 

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The best foods that boost sperm count are those that are rich in antioxidants. For example, walnuts—they’ve been found to positively impact semen quality. Other antioxidant-rich nuts and snacks to eat are pecan nuts, dark chocolate, blueberries, kale, artichoke, and more. 

Increase Intake Of Healthy Fats 

Healthy fats in the form of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids contribute to healthy sperm motility and concentration, as proven by this 2019 study. Your best food sources for this include salmon, sardine, mackerel, herring, and anchovies, among others.

Load Up On Zinc From Oysters And Shellfish

Zinc deficiency has been linked to poor sperm quality and low testosterone levels. Therefore, those who want to know how to increase sperm count, volume, and concentration are advised to consume zinc-rich foods—like oysters and other shellfish—to boost male fertility, balance hormone levels, and protect against cigarette toxins and heavy metals. 

Eat More Citrus Fruits And Folate-Rich Vegetables 

kiwi orange lemon
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For your five a day, specifically go for citrusy fruits that are high in vitamin C such as oranges, lemons, kiwis, and tomatoes. Besides boosting your immune system, they increase sperm count, motility, and morphology. Also, load up on leafy greens like spinach, asparagus, lettuce, and Brussel sprouts. They’re high in folate, which is crucial for producing strong, healthy sperm. 

Try Medicinal Herbs Like Maca Root And Ashwagandha

Maca root is a nutty-tasting Peruvian herb that’s said to improve libido and sperm quality. Similarly, ashwagandha root extract (aka Indian ginseng) is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat sexual dysfunction and infertility in men, with studies showing an increase of up to 165% in sperm count, 53% in semen volume, and 57% in sperm motility. Tip: You can blend these powders in your smoothies or sprinkle them on oats

Avoid Soy And Estrogen-Rich Foods

When learning how to increase sperm count, it’s equally important to know what foods to avoid. One example? Soy products like soy sauce, soy milk, and tofu as they contain plant estrogens. When taken in excess, they hinder testosterone bonding and cause low sperm quality.

Limit Processed Meat And Fried Foods

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As tasty as they are, you should cut back on fried foods as well as processed meat like sausages, bacon, ham, and canned meat. They’re high in trans fat, and have been found to impact testicular function, thus decreasing both the quality and quantity of sperm. 

Minimise Caffeine

Sorry coffee lovers, but your caffeine intake may have to take a back seat too (until you’ve successfully conceived at least). Excessive caffeine consumption has been linked to higher risks of miscarriage and also having a negative effect on the male reproductive function. Two cups a day should be your limit; having over four cups could cause abnormal morphology. 

Learn More About How To Increase Sperm Count By Consulting Your Doctor

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Fun fact: It takes up to three months for sperm to mature. Hence, it’s wise to begin adopting a healthier lifestyle and nutrient-dense diet at least three months ahead of your conception date. By doing so, you’ll ensure that the factors you can control won’t get in the way of your chances of getting pregnant. If you’re still suffering from low sperm count, consult your doctor to find out more ways on how to increase sperm count and volume

Already given birth and currently breastfeeding your newborn? Then consider these best methods to increase breast milk supply, from nursing practices to recommended foods to eat!

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