As doctors, we're often asked about lifestyle factors that impact male fertility. Believe it or not, it's a common topic of conversation that takes place in the privacy of our office more than at your partner’s book club. So we compiled a list of lifestyle contributors you can easily incorporate into your routine to improve male fertility.
First, the age-old boxers v briefs debate? It's a common question, but did you know that wearing boxers instead of briefs can actually help improve male fertility? Boxers allow for better airflow and temperature regulation in the groin area, which can promote healthy sperm production. If you're a briefs person, maybe save them for special occasions like the weekend and rock the boxers for the boring stuff.
Temperature also matters, men need to keep their cool in the area down under. This means avoiding things like hot tubs and saunas and not sitting with a laptop or cell phone on your lap for extended periods. Keeping things cool down there can help improve sperm count and quality.
As if we need another pre-summer bod reason to exercise, here's another. Regular exercise is good for your overall health and improves male fertility. Studies have shown that men who exercise regularly have higher sperm counts and better-quality sperm than those who are sedentary. So go for that run, pick up those weights, and start an exercise routine that suits your schedule.
Eating a balanced diet is always a good idea. We're adding to your list of reasons for improving your sperm production as well. A healthy diet promotes good overall health, but certain nutrients are essential for male fertility. Foods high in antioxidants, such as berries and leafy greens, can help protect sperm from damage. Foods rich in zinc, such as oysters and pumpkin seeds, can also help boost sperm production.
Sleep is essential. And often overlooked as a factor of good health. So, try to stick to a routine bed and rise time. Lack of sleep can increase stress levels, negatively impacting sperm count and quality. Make sure you're getting enough restful sleep each night. Your body, your brain and your swimmers will thank you for it.
Supplements can promote healthy sperm. We know certain ingredients like L-Arginine and Zinc have been studied in the promotion of healthier sperm. L-arginine is a precursor for spermin, an amine that boosts sperm production. Also, L-arginine is required for all new cell formation, and thus for sperm development. It is a trigger for protein production, which is necessary for sperm formation. Zinc is essential in spermatogenesis as a component of steroid receptors and metalloenzymes involved in DNA transcription. Furthermore, zinc's high concentration in seminal fluid (approximately 30 times higher than in blood7) suggests a link to semen quality, potentially through its antioxidant functions
These are just a few factors that can improve your sperm quality and motility. By following these lifestyle tips, men can take steps to improve their fertility and increase their chances of starting a family, if that's what you're going for. And remember, if you're experiencing difficulty with fertility or sperm production, it's always a good idea to talk to a doctor or fertility specialist for personalized advice and treatment options.