Patient Resources

How to Get and Keep a Healthy Sperm Count

When a couple is struggling to get pregnant, most people automatically assume that the infertility can be attributed to the woman. However, up to 40-50% of infertility is liked to the male. One of the most common issues contributing to male infertility is low sperm count. A low sperm count can be defined as anything less than 20 million per milliliter. If you are a male with a low sperm count and physical and medical issues have been ruled out, ask your doctor about lifestyle changes that can help positively impact your sperm count. Here are a few tips:

Eat Well

Diets high in saturated fats and sugar can negatively impact fertility. Eat more lean meats, whole grains, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Avocado, garlic, olive oil, leafy greens, and nuts are also beneficial for fertility. 

Ditch Bad Habits

The use of alcohol, tobacco products, and illicit drugs can reduce the likelihood of conceiving, whether used by the man or the woman. Smoking has also been linked to low sperm count.

Avoid Toxins

Toxins such as industrial metals, certain pesticides, and some household cleaners have been linked to decreased sperm quality and lower sperm count. If you are unable to avoid exposure, use a face mask and ventilate the area. 

Healthy Weight

Having too much body fat can disrupt the function of reproductive hormones, so it is important to maintain a healthy weight when trying to conceive. If you are carrying excess weight, do your best to lose weight and keep off the pounds in order to boost your sperm count. 

Avoid Overheating

Overheating the scrotum negatively affects sperm production. Avoid using saunas and hot tubs, wear boxers instead of briefs, and walk around during the day if you have a job that requires sitting for long periods of time. Men are more fertile in cold weather than in hot. 

Get Sperm Checks

Sperm count can vary from month to month, so get tested at regular intervals when you are trying to conceive. It is recommended to get tested every two to three months. Sperm count can vary due to lifestyle choices, stress levels, and even weather.


The North Carolina Center for Reproductive Medicine/Talbert Fertility Institute is the premiere center for reproductive health in North Carolina and the East Coast. Our team specializes in fertility testing, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility conditions. We’re experts in IVF, Tubal Ligation Reversal, Male Infertility, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Gestation Surrogacy, Family Balancing, and more. Contact us today.

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