There is a very famous saying which says €it takes two€¦€ This is true in the case of babies as well as both the partners need to be in optimal health.
Technically only one cell is required to effectively collaborate with a woman's egg and leading to pregnancy. However various studies have been conducted which show that if a man has poor health, smokes, drinks too much or has a bad diet, in that case it is very likely that his sperm is also very unhealthy and not up to the desired quality for pregnancy.
Factors for a healthy Sperm
Sperms play a very vital role in reproduction. The way the sperm moves in its task to fertilise the egg is quite similar to a human being who is trying to swim in a journey of several thousand kilometres. Hence when they meet the egg, the sperms have to be very healthy to ensure a healthy baby is formed.
Three basic principles of a healthy sperm are as follows:
Quantity: We have all heard of the saying €survival of the fittest€. This is true in the case of sperms as well when millions are released in search of a receptive egg. The egg is waiting for fertilisation and to meet the egg, the semen has to move to the fallopian tubes from the vagina. This is quite a strenuous journey and in the process only some sperm will survive.
Quality: Only 4% of the sperms will have a normal shape and structure which is an oval head and a long tail. This structure helps in better movement. Sperms with large, small, tapered or crooked heads face a lot of difficulty in fertilising an egg. The same problems also happen with curled, kinky or double tailed ones.
Motility: The sperm needs to move on their own to reach the egg. They would wriggle and swim towards the egg. In a normal healthy sample, around 40% would be moving.
Tips for a healthy Sperm
The Health of the sperm is dependent on one's lifestyle as well as diet. There are some tips which can help in improving the quality as well as quantity of the sperm.
€ Quit Smoking: Studies have established the fact that smoking hampers sperm quality. Men who smoke heavily have a chance of having fertility issues which arise from drop in protein levels which is critical for sperm development. Smoking also damages the DNA of the sperm.
€ Reduce the intake of alcohol: Consumption of alcohol influences the quality of the sperm. Fertility experts advise men to cut back on alcohol consumption when they are planning to have a baby.
€ Lose Weight: Another vital factor for men is weight and obese men need to lose weight. Research says that men with a higher BMI (body mass index) had lower volumes of seminal fluid and higher volumes of abnormal sperm. There are studies which have shown a co-relation between male obesity and DNA damage in the sperm which reduces fertility.
€ Over Exercise: Moderate exercise is recommended by fertility experts when one is trying to conceive. Over exercising can increase the temperature of a man's testicles. Sperms can get overheated and die. Some studies have also shown that excess of bike riding may have a negative impact on sperms. Men who over exercise tend to become underweight and hence may experience lower sperm mortality as well as poor sperm morphology.
€ Sperm boosting food: A healthy and balanced diet also plays an important role. There are some foods which help in having a healthy and high quality sperm. The following are important:
Zinc: Food like oysters, whole grains as well as lean red meat
Vitamin C: Food like strawberries, kiwi and broccoli.
Lycopene: Food like water melon, tomatoes and grape fruit.
Vitamin A: Daily foods like chicken, fish oil, liver as well as eggs
€ Drinking Water: Lack of water leads to dehydration and impacts the entire body including the testicles. Hence having a minimum of two litres of water everyday is a must for a man to maintain good sperm health.
€ Keep it cool: Research says that more than 1 degrees of C for the scrotum damages the sperm. Hence during the time of baby making men need to avoid spas, hot baths, over exercising, tight under wears and using laptops on their laps.
€ Daily ejaculation: Daily sex improves sperm quality. Studies show that daily ejaculations leads to reduction in DNA damage from 34- 26%
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