Male Fertility: How to Improve Sperm Quality
by Physician Aileen Chua
22 August 2022
Conceiving involves both the father and the mother, so the father’s sperm quality is as important as the mother’s egg quality. If you have been trying to conceive naturally for 6 months but to no avail, it is advisable to have both parties checked. For men, you can do a seminal analysis to check out your sperms’ condition.
What is Seminal Analysis?
A general seminal analysis usually includes these main components: Seminal volume, Sperm Concentration, Sperm Count, Time for Liquefaction, pH, Motility (Progressive & Non-Progressive), Morphology. It costs around $120.
In this article, we will focus on how to improve the Sperm Count, Motility and Morphology.
It takes about 3 months for changes to the sperms to become noticeable, so do start making the necessary lifestyle or food changes as early as possible 😊
Sperm count is the total amount of sperms collected during the ejaculation. It is calculated by multiplying the sperm concentration with the volume of semen collected. A low sperm count is referred to as Oligospermia.
Normal range: Total Sperm Count >40 million, ideally >150 million, combined with >3ml of sperm volume to conceive naturally. To conceive naturally, although it only takes one sperm to successfully fertilize an egg, a large number of sperms will increase the chances of fertilization as millions of sperms may be lost along the way.
Sleep before 11pm
Take in more fluids and soup
Regular intercourse, ideally once every 4-7days to stimulate sperm production
Avoid excessive drinking, smoking, soy products, fried food, processed meat
OTC Chinese Herbs*:
五子衍宗丸 Wu Zi Yan Zhong Wan（菟丝子 Cuscuta Seed、覆盆子 Raspberry、枸杞子 Wolfberry、五味子 Chinese Magnoliavine Fruit 、车前子 Plantain Seed）
Sperm motility is the ability of the sperm to move and swim efficiently. This is important because the sperms need to move through the woman’s reproductive tract to reach and fertilize her egg. In the seminal analysis report, sperm motility is usually classified into 2 categories: Progressive Motility and Non-Progressive Motility. Progressive motility refers to sperms that are swimming mostly in a straight line or in large circles. Non-progressive motility refers to sperms that do not travel in straight lines or that swim in very tight circles. Only sperms with progressive motility can swim to reach and fertilize the egg. Poor sperm motility is referred to as Asthenozoospermia.
Normal range: Total Sperm Motility >40% (Includes Progressive and Non-Progressive Motility); Total Progressive Motility >32%
Exercise especially jogging and swimming
Breathe in fresh air rich in oxygen (Exercise in places with lots of trees in the day)
OTC Chinese Herbs*:
泡参 American Ginseng
田七 Panax Notoginseng
红景天 Rhodiola Rosea
Sperm morphology refers to the shape of the sperm (shape and size of the sperm head), the midpiece appearance and the structure of the tail. The head shape of a sperm is important because it can affect the sperm’s ability to penetrate and fertilize an egg. Sperm morphology is assessed by examining the sperms under a microscope. Having a large amount of abnormally shaped sperm is referred to as Teratozoospermia.
*The OTC Chinese herbs recommended are for reference only. It is advisable to consult a TCM Physician before consuming them as every individual is different, so not all herbs are suitable for everyone.
Food that Helps with Improving Sperm Quality
Food rich in Protein/L-Arginine, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Folate, Omega 3, Selenium.
Protein: Eggs, Beef
L-Arginine: Dark Chocolate, Almond Nuts
Zinc: Oyster, Beef
Vitamin C: Banana, Asparagus, Tomato
Vitamin D: Sardine, Tuna, Beef, Liver, Prawn, Egg Yolk
Folate: Spinach, Asparagus, Brussel Sprout, Avocado, Liver
Omega 3: Walnut, Pumpkin Seed, Salmon, Sardine
Selenium: Beef, Tuna, Oyster, Garlic, Prawn
Others: Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber
How can TCM Help to Improve Sperm Quality
In TCM, the reproductive system is governed by the kidneys, so improving the Kidney Qi and Kidney essence helps with sperm production.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help with circulation to the testes, which is important for sperm production.
Being too heaty can affect sperm morphology, so herbs that reduce heatiness and moisturize the body can help with sperm morphology.
Lastly, to conceive naturally, a good erection and ejaculation increases the chances of fertilizing the egg. Herbs and acupoints that improve the overall Qi and the Kidney Yang can help with improving the sexual performance.
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