Low sperm count , medically referred to as oligospermia, is a condition where men have less than 15 million sperms for every milliliter of semen. This concentration is considered low, bearing in mind that the normal concentration is higher than 20 million/ml of the semen.
This condition should not be confused with azoospermia which refers to the total absence of sperms in the semen. When there is a low concentration of sperms in semen, one of the main symptoms that manifests is the inability to conceive through the process of fertilization. Other symptoms of low sperm count include poor sexual function, swollen testicles and associated hormonal abnormalities.
There are different causes of low sperm count, all of which can be divided into 3 key categories: lifestyle choices, medical causes and environmental factors. Lifestyle choices such as excessive alcohol intake, tobacco smoking and obesity contribute to oligospermia. Some of the medical causes linked to low sperm count include chemotherapy (for cancer treatment), certain medication, hormonal imbalances as well as un-descended testicles. The latter refers to a condition where the testicles in a fetus do not descend into the testicular sac, thus affecting reproduction in later years. Environmental factors that contribute to low sperm count include exposure to industrial chemicals and heavy metals as well as increased temperatures in the testicular region. For this reason, the natural remedies recommended for low sperm count are divided into corresponding categories.
1. Root of the Maca Plant:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Tablespoon of Maca root powder, a glass of water (can be replaced with protein shake or smoothie).
Maca root has long been associated with improved fertility in both men and women. In men, it has the ability to enhance the production of healthy sperms with optimal mobility. In addition to this, men who take the herb are able to benefit from a balanced hormonal system. It is important for men with low sperm count to build on their intake of maca root gradually as it has a high concentration of fiber. The black variety of the maca root powder is recommended for treating oligospermia.
- Place the maca root powder in a glass and pour in the water/smoothie/protein shake.
- Stir the mixture and drink twice daily.
2. Indian Ginseng:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of Indian ginseng and a glass of warm milk.
Indian ginseng has been shown to be an effective option for the improvement of sperm count in men, thanks to its significant role in the production of healthy testosterone in the body. Other benefits of using Indian ginseng include greater volume of semen during ejaculation, improved sperm motility and overall lower levels of stress. you would need to take this remedy for about 3 months for you to notice significant changes.
- Place the Indian ginseng in a glass and add the warm milk.
- Stir to disperse the herb evenly and take this remedy twice everyday.
3. Garlic Cloves:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Garlic cloves (crushed).
Garlic cloves are recommended as a great remedy for the treatment of low sperm count because they help increase the production of sperms, thanks to one of the active ingredients known as allicin. In addition to a higher sperm count, allicin also improves the flow of blood to the male reproductive organs. Garlic is also beneficial for men suffering from oligospermia as it is rich in Selenium which ensures optimal motility of the sperms.
- Add the crushed garlic to your choice meals on a daily basis.
4. Green Tea:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Green teabag and a cup of hot water.
Green tea is included in the list of herbal remedies for low sperm count because it acts as a potent antioxidant, thus getting rid of free radicals in the body. These free radicals are known to damage sperms, in effect lowering the overall count and destroying their integrity. This tea, over a period of time, also boots one’s fertility.
- Place the teabag in a cup and pour the hot water over it.
- Let the teabag steep for 5 minutes and stir before drinking.
- Use this remedy at least twice daily for improved sperm count.
Other herbs available for the treatment of low sperm count include Saw palmetto, Damiana and Panax Ginseng (also referred to as Korean ginseng).
5. Zinc Supplements:
Time Required: Varies
What You Need: Zinc supplements in addition to the following foods: spinach, beef, pumpkin seeds, tofu and broccoli .
Zinc is a popular mineral for men who would like to improve their sperm count. This is because zinc enhances the production of sperms, while improving their motility. In addition to the supplements, make sure to add the aforementioned foods to your daily food intake.
- Use the supplements by following the directions indicated on the packaging as well as add to your diet the foods included in the list above.
6. Vitamin E and Selenium Supplements:
Time Required: Varies
What You Need: Vitamin E & Selenium supplements + the following foods: dark vegetables, olive oil, spinach, avocado and sunflower seeds
Both Vitamin E and Selenium supplements are great for the treatment of low sperm count because they work as potent antioxidants. The presence of these antioxidants help boost the immune system while strengthening sperm health and sperm motility. In addition to the supplements, make sure you eat the listed foods above.
- Follow the dosage indicated on the packaging as well as the foods listed.
7. Folic Acid (Folate):
Time Required: Varies
What You Need: Folic acid supplements and foods such as spinach, broccoli, collard greens, parsley and cauliflower.
Folic acid plays a critical role in the treatment of low sperm count and the improvement of reproductive health. Studies have shown that men with a low concentration of folate are predisposed to getting low sperm count and defective sperms with a skewed number of chromosomes. In the event that such a sperm fertilizes an egg, it creates the likelihood for miscarriage and defects at birth. By increasing the folic acid intake in your diet, you should be able to improve your sperm count.
- Take the foods indicated in the list above alongside the folic acid supplements.
1. Exercising to Manage Obesity:
Time Required: Varies depending on your selected exercise.
What You Need: Ideal gear for your choice exercise.
Difficulty: Moderate (Depending on one’s weight and the exercise routines)
Research shows that one of the leading causes of low sperm count is obesity. Obesity, which largely occurs as a result of sedentary lifestyles, impacts the quality of the semen, thus reducing the overall number of sperms in the ejaculate. Different studies have found that men who spend their time watching television and staying indoors are predisposed to the risk of low sperm count, compared to those who are active and engage in regular exercise. The key to benefiting from this remedy is to introduce exercise routines gradually and regularly over a period of time especially if you have not exercised before.
NOTE that aerobic exercises and weight training routines are recommended for those who would like to improve their sperm count. While at it, note that cycling is not recommended as a first choice for the simple reason that it has a tendency to increase the temperature in the scrotal region.
- Find ways to include exercise routines in your schedule no matter how busy you are. You will reap the rewards and be able to deal with the low sperm count over a period of time.
2. Changing Your Diet to Include Healthier Options:
Time Required: Varies from one individual to another.
What You Need: A conscious desire to eat healthier and the willpower to do it.
Unbalanced diets are one of the most significant causes of low sperm count in men. This is because poor dietary habits not only contribute to obesity, they also stuff the body with unhealthy foods that cause problems in the reproductive system. Some of the diets that you need to avoid include processed and refined foods, especially those that are rich in unhealthy fats.
These include, but are not limited to deep fried meats, fries and foods that have a high concentration of sugar. In addition to this, you also need to reduce your alcohol intake in you would like a higher sperm count. Smokers are also advised to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke, or even better quit the habit altogether for an improved reproductive system.
- Opt for foods that are low in saturated fats, but have greater satiating content. Such foods tend to have a higher fiber content and lower caloric value which helps keep your weight in check.
- Increase your fruit and vegetable intake too as these are packed with energy and have low calories.
- Take on healthy eating habits such as taking frequent small meals and snacking in between as opposed to large meals in one sitting. In addition, make sure that you take breakfast to avoid low energy levels which precede snacking and feeding on junk food later in the day.
3. Staying Hydrated:
Time Required: This water intake is staggered throughout the day.
What You Need: Adequate clean water and a portable bottle to take with you on the go. Lemon wedges (optional).
Water constitutes one of the most important requirements for the optimal functioning of living cells in the body. This is not any different in the reproductive system where adequate hydration helps manage one’s sperm count. It is recommended that men take at least 4 liters of fluid daily, and about half of that amount should be water.
This prevents dehydration and helps improve sperm count. It is important for those who are affected by this condition to steer clear of carbonated drinks and alcohol as the two are extremely dehydrating and only compound the problems in low sperm count. To make this remedy easy to implement, invest in a sturdy water bottle that you can carry with you and sip on every now and then. The lemon wedges are used to add a refreshing taste to the water for those who are perturbed by water’s ‘plain’ taste.
- Spread your water intake throughout the day, and make sure you add the lemon wedges for that refreshing taste.
4. Getting Rid of Stress Factors From Your Life:
Time Required: Varies from pone technique to another.
What You Need: Techniques to help you manage stress and a comfortable place where you can unwind.
Stress is one of the leading causes of low sperm count. Considering that the present world causes you to be prone to different stressful events, it becomes clear why there is a need to address stress and elucidate some of the techniques to manage stress. Below are some of the techniques that you can use to manage stress and therefore increase the sperm count and promote reproductive health.
Stress Management Techniques:
- Take some time to meditate. Meditation has been shown to alter the neural signal pathways in the brain, thus allowing you to deal with stress effectively. Meditating does not need to be a 30-minute long session; even 5 minutes will make a huge difference.
- Inhale deeply since deep breathing allows for the heart rate to slow and stabilizes blood pressure. The result of deep breathing is relaxing and therefore the ability to manage stress and boost sperm count.
- Enjoy the outdoors as this has been shown to calm the mind and help you decompress. In the outdoors, you can always enjoy light walking or go jogging which doubles up as a stress reliever and a form of exercise.
- Take a break and rest well, especially at night. Sleep deprivation robs the body of its ability to regenerate, and hampers your efforts to improve sperm count.
- Remedies that come from supplements and specific foods used to increase sperm count.
NOTE: That the supplements will typically take 5 minutes or less to use, but the time for food preparation varies depending in the specific choice.