Infertility can arise from a number of reasons for both men and women, and a poor sperm motility can be one of those reasons. There may well be enough sperm being produced, but they are just not moving as much as they should and therefore are not getting to the desired destination.
There are many different reasons that may be causing this problem, and this article discusses some of the main ones and what can be done to help improve the situation.
Environmental toxins, over-the-counter and recreational drugs, a large alcohol intake, smoking, pollution, radiation and a heavy metal exposure are just a few that come to mind.
Hormones found in dairy and meat are also contributing to fertility problems and that is why it is recommended that these are either avoided or cut back whilst trying to conceive.
Environmental toxins may come from something as simple as the tap water we drink as this has added chlorine and fluoride in, which can build up in our systems. Using filtered or distilled water can help to eliminate this. Also, try to avoid the use of plastic containers and bottles to put food and drink in as chemicals can leach into the food – especially if it is being heated up in the container within a microwave, for example.
Glass bottles, jars and containers are generally better if you need to take your lunch or snacks out and about with you.
We are all exposed to many chemicals throughout the day through household cleaning items, shampoos, shower gels, deodorants and aftershaves and perfumes. Reducing the use of these items, or buying organic or natural alternatives would be a good idea whilst trying to increase sperm quality and motility.
If you need to clean with chemicals then make sure that you protect yourself by wearing gloves and reducing your overall exposure. Coconut oil is great for skin and hair care and spraying aftershave or perfumes onto your clothing instead of directly onto your skin can help to cut down on chemical exposure.
Getting lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and fibres within your diet can also help to increase fertility. Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates, processed foods, fizzy drinks and caffeine.
Look to buy organic where possible to reduce your herbicide and pesticide intake, as these are sprayed on crops to reduce spoilage. If you can not afford to buy organic, make sure that you wash your fruit and vegetables in a vinegar solution as this will help to take off some of these chemicals.
Caffeine is believed to reduce sperm motility and sperm count, even just one cup a day can reduce your chances of conception. As well as coffee, don’t forget that caffeine is also found in tea, coke, energy drinks and some foods such as chocolate.
Alcohol can reduce the body’s absorption of vital nutrients and so keeping alcohol to an absolute minimum whilst trying to conceive is very important.
Foods that are high in antioxidants should be eaten to help improve sperm motility. If there is a lot of cellular damage then the sperm may not have enough energy to complete their journey. Antioxidants help to reduce the damage caused to sperm from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause cellular damage all over our bodies, and ultimately cause ageing.
When sperm cells have cellular damage they may lack the necessary energy to travel. Foods that are high in antioxidants are: broccoli, carrots, kale, cauliflower, peppers and other green leafy vegetables.
L-carnitine is an amino acid which can also help sperm motility and it can be found in: nuts, seeds, Brussel sprouts, oats, rye, bananas and okra. Supplementation is also a good idea whilst trying to conceive and around 500mg/day is usually recommended.
CoQ10 works in conjunction with L-carnitine to improve the motility process and can be found in green leafy vegetables, nuts and seafood. A supplementation of around 100mg/day can also be taken. CoQ10 decreases with age and so this is especially important for men who are a little bit older and trying to conceive.
In the concluding Part 2 Lisa Lowery-Jones completes a fascinating and vital list of issues affecting men’s fertility and the best know food and supplementation sources to combat this.
Connect with WatchFit Expert Lisa J Lowery-Jones