How to Increase Sperm Count
Are there ways to improve sperm quality? In this article, you will learn how to increase sperm count.
If you are overweight, then a new study suggests that weight loss could help.
How do you determine if you are overweight?
Fertility doctors don’t look at weight by itself, we look at weight in relation to height. This is called BMI or body mass index.
The reason is that taller people are going to weigh more because they are taller and aren’t necessarily overweight. If you aren’t sure what your BMI is, and you know your height and weight, go to this website to calculate it.
Based on your BMI, we separate people into categories. These numbers might be a little different based on your ethnic background.
If your BMI is less than 18.5, you are considered underweight. A BMI between 18.5 to <25, is considered normal. If your BMI is 25.0 to <30, it falls within the overweight range. If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range.
There are different categories for obese also, but in this article, we are going to group those all together and just call them obese.
Relationship between sperm count and BMI
There is a lot of evidence that correlates sperm numbers with BMI. On average, higher BMI levels are associated with decreased sperm concentration, total sperm count, progressive sperm movement and sperm morphology. More importantly, the risk of having low or very low sperm counts is more common in obesity compared to normal weight. Compared to a normal BMI, the odds for having a low sperm count is 28% higher if your BMI is between 30.0 and 39. The risk is double if your BMI is 40.0 or more.
In the United States, about 45% of people have a BMI over 30 and about 1 in 10 have a BMI over 40. That likely makes weight problems as the most common cause for having an abnormal semen analysis.
Given everything, we know about weight and sperm production, we have been missing some important pieces of information: such as Does weight loss improve sperm quality? If it does, does it matter how the weight is lost?
Recently, a small study attempted to answer this question. This study was a separate analysis that was done as part of a larger weight loss study. Participants had a starting BMI between 32 and 43.
To begin, they were placed on a very low calorie diet for 8 weeks. Then, they were randomly split into four groups: An exercise only group, a group who took a weight loss medication, a group that exercised and took a weight loss medication and finally a group that exercised but took a placebo or phony medication.
After the 8 week diet, the average BMI dropped from 37 to 32. During the same time, sperm concentration increased from 79 million per milliliter to 92 million. There was no real difference detected in the percentage of moving sperm.
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After 1 year. They found that some people maintained their weight loss and some people didn’t. In those that maintained their weight loss, the concentration of sperm was significantly improved. In those that did not maintain weight loss, there was no improvement in sperm concentration by the end of the year.
It did not seem to matter how these people maintained their weight loss. Medication or exercise or both didn’t matter. A few points of caution here: When the researchers analyzed only men who began with low sperm concentration, less than 15 million per milliliter, they were unable to show a benefit of weight loss. This might be because weight loss is ineffective or it could be that with lower numbers of sperm, they needed to analyze a larger number of subjects than they did.
Although there is a correlation with sperm concentration and fertility, it is not absolute. Simply increasing sperm concentration alone does not necessarily prove that more pregnancies will occur.
Virtual Doctors bottom line is this: Being overweight or obese causes a number of health problems including the lowering of sperm production.
Weight loss can improve many of these conditions. It may also help increase sperm numbers. If you are overweight and trying to conceive, attempting weight loss is a reasonable thing to do.