Healthy sperm aren’t always a given. If you are planning a family, you may be wondering about the health of your sperm.


How to produce healthy sperm?


The following steps will increase your chances of producing healthy sperm:


  • Take a multivitamin and mineral to improve fertility. A daily multivitamin can help provide zinc, vitamin E and vitamin C, are important for optimal sperm production and function.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables which are rich in antioxidants, and help sperm formation.
  • Get plenty of physical activity. Physical activity is good for reproductive health as well as overall health. But be careful not to overdo it. If you exercise to exhaustion, you may experience a temporary change in hormone levels and a drop in sperm quality.
  • Stay cool. Increased scrotal temperature can hurt sperm production. Hot work environments, tight underwear, prolonged sitting and use of laptop computers directly on your lap can all increase scrotal temperature. A fever also can affect sperm production and quality. 
  • Watch your weight. Too much body fat may reduce your sperm count and increase abnormal sperm. You’re most likely to produce high-quality sperm if you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid tobacco. If you use tobacco, ask your doctor to help you quit. Smoking can cause sperm to be misshapen and move slowly. In addition, smoking can damage your sperm’s DNA, possibly affecting a baby’s growth, development and risk of cancer. Chewing tobacco also may cause low sperm counts.
  • Limit alcohol. Heavy drinking can reduce the quality and quantity of sperm.
  • Avoid illegal drug use. Marijuana decreases sperm motility and increase the number of abnormal sperm. Cocaine and opiates can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
  • Spending more than 30 minutes in water that’s 40 C or above may lower your sperm count. So, avoid hot tubs, steamy baths and saunas.
  • Limit your time on a bicycle seat to less than 30 minutes at a time, especially if you also wear tight bicycle shorts as it may raise your scrotal temperature and affect sperm production. If you cycle, choose a seat that’s not too hard or narrow, and make sure it’s adjusted to keep weight on your “sit bones.” Stop for frequent rests.
  • Some personal lubricants, lotions and even saliva can interfere with sperm motility. Instead, use a lubricant which encourages fertility
  • Certain medicines can affect your fertility. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about this.
  • Some types of chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatment for cancer can cause permanent infertility. If you’re considering cancer treatment, ask your doctor about saving and freezing your sperm beforehand.
  • Beware of toxins such as industrial heavy metals, pesticides and chemicals in solvent, which may affect sperm quantity and quality. Use protective clothing, proper ventilation and face-masks as appropriate.


Does aging affect sperm health?


Beyond 50 years male fertility maybe reduced as sperm is less mobile and the amount of normal sperm produced reduces. Some research also suggests that women who become pregnant by older men are at higher risk of miscarriage and that children of older men have a slightly higher risk of certain birth defects.


When is it time to seek help?


Adopt healthy lifestyle practices to promote your fertility and avoiding things that can damage it may improve your chances of conceiving. If you and your partner have not got pregnant after a year of unprotected sex (6 months if over 35years), talk to your doctor or fertility specialist.