What is an Average Sperm Count?
A normal sperm count is considered to be at least 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. A sperm count of less than 15 million sperm per milliliter is considered abnormally low, which is also known as oligospermia. A sperm count of zero is known as azoospermia.
Sperm count is just one factor that can affect a man’s fertility. Other factors that can impact fertility include the motility (movement) and morphology (shape) of the sperm, as well as the overall health and function of the reproductive system.
Sperm counts can vary from one man to another, and a man can still be fertile even if his sperm count is lower than the normal range. The same goes for semen volume. Some men with low sperm counts are able to father children without any difficulty, while others may need to use assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization, to become fathers.
If you are concerned about your fertility your doctor can provide some ideas for treatment options. They can evaluate your fertility with a number of tests, including a sperm count test.
What Can Lower Your Sperm Count?
Many different factors can kill sperm count, and lower it to the point of concern, including:
- Age: Sperm count tends to decrease as men get older.
- Lifestyle factors: Alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and illicit drug use can all lower sperm count. Being overweight or obese can also impact sperm production. Being dehydrated can also reduce sperm count and quality.
- Medications: Some medications, such as certain antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and anabolic steroids, can lower sperm count.
- Environmental factors: Exposure to certain toxins, such as pesticides and heavy metals, can affect sperm production.
- Health conditions: Certain health conditions, such as sexually transmitted infections, varicoceles (enlarged veins in the testicles), and hormonal imbalances, can impact sperm production.
- Genetic factors: Some men may have a genetic predisposition to low sperm count.
It’s important to again note that sperm counts can vary widely from one man to another, and a man can still be fertile even if his sperm count is lower than the normal range.
What Can Raise Your Sperm Count?
There are other factors that can affect sperm count, including age, lifestyle, and certain medical conditions. Some things that may help increase sperm count include:
Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can reduce sperm count.
Exercising regularly: Regular physical activity can improve overall health and may help increase sperm count.
Avoiding tobacco and marijuana use: Both tobacco and marijuana use can negatively impact sperm count.
Reducing alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can lower testosterone levels and reduce sperm count.
Getting enough sleep: Poor sleep quality can affect testosterone levels and sperm production.
Reducing stress: Stress can affect hormone levels and impact sperm production.
Eating a healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats can improve overall health and potentially increase sperm count.
Avoiding exposure to environmental toxins: Certain chemicals and toxins, such as pesticides and heavy metals, can affect sperm production. Note that these lifestyle changes may not necessarily increase sperm count in all individuals.
Healthy Diet for Sperm Count
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for overall health and well-being. Here are some examples of healthy foods:
Fruits and vegetables: These are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Examples include apples, berries, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes.
Whole grains: Whole grains such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice are rich in fiber and nutrients and can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Lean protein sources: Lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, beans, and tofu can help build and repair tissues and support healthy muscle mass.
Healthy fats: Healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil can help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and support brain health.
Hydrating beverages: Water, unsweetened tea, and coffee can help keep the body hydrated and support overall health.