Q/ How can I boost my sperm count?
Male infertility contributes about 30-35 per cent among the causes of infertility. One of the most common causes of male infertility is low sperm count which can be categorised as mild, moderate and severe.
Q/ What is low sperm count?
A “normal” sperm count is at least 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen. Less than that is considered ‘low’ sperm (oligospermia). When you do not have enough sperm, chances are low they will reach and fertilise the egg.
It is possible to have normal sperm count, but with poor quality. These sperm may fail to travel from your partner’s vagina to the cervix and the uterus to the fallopian tubes.
Sperm quality is majorly gauged on three parameters: Quantity (number of sperm in ejaculate which should be at least 15 million sperm per milliliter).
Movement/motility (how fast or well sperm move to their final destination, at least 50 per cent or more should be motile). Structure (the shape of sperm). Normal sperm have egg-shaped heads and long tails. Majority of sperm should be of normal structure for a woman to conceive.
Q/ How to boost sperm count
1) Exercise: moderate exercise can boost one’s mood which can turn out to boost sperm count. Researchers found that men who exercise at least three times per week for an hour showed increases in their sperm count and the number of moving sperm. 2) Stop stressing: In a study of 950 men, researchers found that males who had more than two
stressful events before starting treatment for infertility were more likely to have low sperm count and motility.
3) Quit smoking: Men who smoke are more likely to have lower sperm count, density and motility. They also produce less semen than men who do not smoke.
4) Foodstuffs: Eating foods rich in Zinc and anti-oxidant vitamins such as carrots, pumpkin seeds, green leafy vegetables, and fruits can improve sperm count and quality.
5) Alternative medicine: Supplements, with studies showing potential benefits on improving sperm count or quality, include Coenzyme Q10, Folic acid, L-carnitine, Black seed (Nigella Sativa), Panax Ginseng, and Zinc.
Compiled by Dr Joseph Kafuuma Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Centre, Bukoto-Kampala. Send questions to the Dr via firstname.lastname@example.org