Lifestyle factors definitely make a difference in your sperm count and health. But it’s important to note that the sperm life cycle is 46 to 76 days. So whatever lifestyle changes you make will take two to three months to show in a semen analysis.
Below are some tips on how to increase your sperm count and quality for those considering being a donor. But first, let’s look at the semen test itself.
- This is the number, or concentration, of overall sperm. Forty million to 300 million sperm per milliliter is considered normal. Counts below 10 million per milliliter are considered poor.
- Motility (ability of sperm to swim): We test for two things: the number of healthy, active cells as a percentage of the total sperm cells, and the quality of the sperm movement.
- Morphology (size and shape of sperm): A minimum of 30% of the sperm cells must be normal size and shape. Normal sperm have oval heads and long tails that work to propel semen forward in search of an egg to fertilize.
- Total semen volume: A normal ejaculation includes about 2.0 milliliters. Low volume may indicate that the seminal vesicles are not creating enough fluid or that the ducts are blocked. A problem with the prostate gland can also cause low sperm volume.
How to increase sperm count
Healthy sperm is closely tied to your overall health. So the good news is that maintaining a healthy lifestyle also promotes healthy sperm. To increase your sperm count do the following:
Maintain a healthy body weight for your height.
Obesity has been linked to lower sperm count and poor sperm motility.
Eat a healthy diet
including getting the recommended daily allowance of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains.