The only way to know for sure how healthy your sperm are is to have a fertility test. However, there are also some lifestyle factors you can change to improve the health of your sperm.
Why is Healthy Sperm Important?
In order to fertilise an egg, sperm cells have to travel a long way and work hard. The sperm must pass all the way through the cervix and womb into the fallopian tubes, where the egg is waiting. One of the sperm cells must then burrow into the egg in order to fertilise it. Once it is inside the egg, the sperm must also have the correct genetic material to create a healthy baby. Any errors or abnormalities could prevent your sperm from doing its job.
However, that doesn’t mean that every single one of your sperm cells has to be perfect. In fact, men produce such large numbers of sperm that it is common for many of them to have motility problems or abnormal shapes. As long as there are also enough healthy sperm, your fertility will still be completely normal.
Sperm Health and Age
One factor that can affect sperm health is your age. As we grow older, we don’t produce as much sperm. More of the sperm cells will also have motility problems or other abnormalities. There is also some evidence that older men are more likely to produce sperm with genetic abnormalities, so if you’re having a baby in later life there is a higher risk of issues such as chromosomal abnormalities. If you want to have children then it’s important to consider the impact of age when planning your family.
Health and Lifestyle Factors
Many other factors can also affect the quantity and quality of sperm that you produce. You can improve the health of your sperm by:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Losing any excess weight
- Not smoking
- Giving up alcohol while you’re trying to have a baby
Getting a Male Fertility Check
If you’re considering having a baby or you’ve been trying for a while with no success, you might want to arrange a fertility test.
Fertility problems are just as likely to be due to men as to women, so it’s important for you both to get checked. Male fertility checks are very easy. You’ll simply talk about your health and lifestyle, have a physical exam, and provide a semen sample. The semen will be examined under the microscope to check how many sperm cells are present and how healthy they are.
The results of your fertility check may tell you that there’s nothing to worry about, but if you or your partner do have a fertility problem then you may need some extra help. Treatments such as IVF may enable you to conceive if it can’t happen naturally.