Sexual dysfunction is a complex disorder that affects about 52% of men and is one of the first signs of a health abnormality.
Besides the emotions and impact that sexual dysfunction can have on a relationship, sperm health has historically been tied to the concept of male virility, or “manliness.” Even though this is seldom the case, it can make talking about it to a loved one, or to your doctor exceedingly difficult. However, the best advice is to be proactive about your sperm health.
A 2017 analysis of nearly 43,000 men found that sperm counts across the globe declined significantly from 1973 to 2011. Sex, fertility, and pregnancy is a tricky process, and it is dependent on many factors. Taking measures for healthy sperm is a positive step toward an active sex life and for growing your family.
One of our missions at The Y Factor is to provide the best urological and male fertility care to men while breaking down barriers and making it easy. We are the premium men’s sexual dysfunction specialists in the Greater Houston area.
The good news is that we can recommend some easy changes that you can implement right away to keep your sperm strong and your sex drive on full speed.
What causes male fertility problems?
There are a variety of medical issues that can contribute to male fertility problems. They can include:
Issues with the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland. These are parts of the brain that signal the testicles to produce testosterone and sperm.
Testicular diseases. These can include testicular trauma, testicular cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Sperm transport disorders. There are various factors that affect the flow and movement of sperm including diet, exercise, and low testosterone levels.
A persons age. The ability of sperm to move and the number of typical sperm tends to decrease with age, especially after the age of 50, and this affects fertility.
What is the best way to produce healthy sperm?
There are many lifestyle factors that can affect your sperm. The good news is that there are easy changes you can implement now to improve your fertility even without having to visit your physician right away. These changes can keep your sperm strong and your sex drive on full speed ahead.
Maintain a healthy weight. Some research suggests that increasing body mass index (BMI) is linked with decreasing sperm count and sperm movement.
Consume a healthy diet. Eat chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Lean meats and whole foods will also boost your sperm count. With meat, fish, and dairy you will naturally intake Vitamin B-12 which will protect your sperm from inflammation and rid your body of harmful free radicals.
Exercise regularly. Even light exercise can increase sperm quantity. Your body mass index (BMI) contributes to poor semen quality and being overweight affects testosterone levels, which lowers your sex drive.
Limit your intake of soft drinks. The caffeine in soda and soft drinks has been known to actually damage sperm DNA which will decrease the sperm count.
Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake. It has been proven that two cups of Joe a day has health benefits, however beyond that drinking coffee should be limited. Drinking too much alcohol lowers your sperm count and the motility (movement) of sperm. It is recommended that you should keep your intake to four drinks or less per week.
Take vitamin supplements. If you are trying to boost your sperm count, take in vitamins and minerals through the foods you eat. However, you can also take daily supplements of Vitamin C&D, Zinc, and root extract to increase your sperm count and semen quality.
Manage your stress. Some stress in inevitable in our fast-paced and complicated lives. You can manage your stress levels by getting plenty of sleep, taking some down time, and through relaxation. Also, regular exercise helps diminish stress levels.
How do you know your sperm is healthy?
These elements of healthy sperm will let you know that your sperm is healthy.
Quantity (volume). A healthy sperm count is about 15 million or more for every milliliter (mL) of semen.
Movement (motility). Not every sperm moves effectively or even at all, but pregnancy is possible with less than 40% of the sperm in an ejaculate is moving. The more the better.
Shape (morphology). Typical sperm have oval heads and long tails, which work together to propel them. This is not as important a factor as sperm quantity or movement.
When is it time to seek help?
Adopting a healthy lifestyle practice can promote fertility and avoiding things that can damage it can improve the chances of a healthy sexual life and that of conceiving children. If you have adjusted some of these practices and you have not found improvements, then you might consider being evaluated for infertility.
The Y Factor Can Help
At the Y Factor our reproductive urologists specialize in male infertility. Fifty percent of infertility issues are due to male urological problems, so do not wait to be evaluated.
Sexual dysfunction is multifactorial and while medications, such as Viagra, are effective, they are simply a band-aid to the problem. Our goal is to identify and address the underlying problems that can cause sexual dysfunction.
The Y Factor providers will perform a complete evaluation, which includes semen analysis, semen culture, and imaging, combined with a physical exam to determine the cause of the potential problem. Our providers will then form a specialized treatment plan to increase your natural fertility. The goal is to improve both your testosterone and the quality and number of sperm, which increases your chances of conceiving naturally through sex.
The Y Factor partners with various reproductive endocrinology clinics to increase the success rate of In Vitro Fertilization and artificial insemination. We perform specialized testing on the sperm to ensure optimum motility and quality of the sperm.
The Y Factor also performs sperm retrievals and cryopreservation (semen freezing). Patients choose this option if their ejaculated sample has a zero sperm count.
Need to get a semen analysis done? The Y Factor offers an at-home semen analysis kit where you can provide your sample in the privacy of your home and mail it back to us for review!
Why an At-Home Semen Analysis Kit?
Gone are the days of driving to an expensive onsite andrology lab where you have to take time off of work, pay for parking, and of course, the awkward feat of producing a semen analysis in a cold, strange room. You can now complete your semen analysis for fertility evaluation or post vasectomy analysis in the comfort and privacy of your home. The best part? Your results are available in just 3-5 days after you ship the sample back in the prepaid shipping package.