Inadequate sperm production and quality is one of the most common reasons for male infertility as it decreases the odds of one of the sperms fertilizing the egg for conception.
According to the World Health Organization, the normal concentration of sperm is at least 20 million per ml of semen. Fewer than 15 million sperm per ml is considered a low sperm count, also called oligozoospermia. Conception problems are associated with fewer than 40 million moving sperm in the ejaculate.
Oligoospermia can happen due to a wide variety of reasons and contributing factors like hormonal abnormalities, infected semen, infection in the prostate gland, varicoceles (enlargement of veins within the scrotum), damaged sperm ducts, use of anabolic steroids, cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, toxic chemicals, certain medications, heavy metal exposure and radiation. Even vaginal lubricants tend to be toxic to sperm.
Recent studies indicate that heating of the testicles due to electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) may also contribute to low sperm count. Thus, habits like keeping a laptop on your lap and a cell phone in your pants pocket are often discouraged.
Various natural remedies and other tips can help increase your sperm count and also improve sperm quality.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to increase sperm count.
1. Maca Root
Maca root of the black variety can help improve sperm production and motility. It is a popular fertility herb that helps balance the hormones.
Take 1 to 3 teaspoons of maca root in 2 divided doses for a few months daily. You can add it to a glass of water, a healthy smoothie or protein shake, or just sprinkle it on cereal. As maca root is high in fiber, start by taking ½ teaspoon and gradually increase the dosage over a few weeks.
A 2013 pilot study by Indian researchers, published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that ashwagandha root extract can significantly increase sperm count, semen volume and sperm motility. The study participants were given 675 mg of ashwagandha root extract in 3 divided doses, daily for 90 days.
Plus, this herb promotes healthy testosterone production. It also improves your overall health, increases vitality and reduces stress and anxiety.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of ashwagandha powder, also known as Indian ginseng, in a glass of warm milk. Drink it twice daily for a few months.
- Another option is to take ashwagandha root extract. Consult your doctor for proper dosage.
3. Panax Ginseng
Panax ginseng, also known as Korean ginseng, is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to help the body adapt to stress. It also can be used to increase testosterone, and sperm count and motility to enhance male fertility. Panax ginseng can help improve erectile performance as well.
Take 1 to 3 capsules of 500 mg Panax ginseng daily for at least 3 months. Consult your doctor before starting this or any other supplement regimen.
Garlic acts as a natural aphrodisiac and increases sperm production. It contains a compound called allicin, which boosts the endurance of the sperm and also improves blood circulation. Plus, the mineral selenium in garlic helps improve sperm motility.
Simply include 1 or 2 crushed garlic cloves in your daily diet.
Tribulus terrestris, also known as gokshura, is an Ayurvedic remedy to increase sperm count and improve sperm quality as it can enhance hormone levels. A 2012 study by Indian researchers also found this aphrodisiac herb to be helpful in treating oligozoospermia (low sperm count).
Take 1 to 3 capsules of 500 mg Tribulus terrestris daily for a few months, but only after consulting your doctor.
6. Moderate Exercise
Studies have found that moderate exercise can help boost healthy sperm production. In fact, a 2013 study published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that the increase in sedentary lifestyle among young men has lead to a decline in the overall quality of semen.
The study found that young men who lived a sedentary lifestyle and watched more than 20 hours of television a week had a 50% lower sperm count compared to those who did not watch much TV.
On the other hand, those who engaged in at least 15 hours of moderate exercise a week had better sperm quality and 73% higher sperm count than those who engaged in little or no exercise.
To increase your sperm count, do some type of physical exercise for at least 1 hour a day on a regular basis. Outdoor physical activities (except cycling) as well as weight training are also beneficial.
Note: Avoid overexertion as it can lead to a decrease in sperm count. Cycling, too, is not recommended as it can place pressure against the scrotum and increase scrotum temperature.