What is Oligospermia and how to increase your sperm count
OHMYGOSSIP — Many couples are not sure why it is difficult for them to conceive a child. There could be many reasons, but low sperm count is one of those reasons.
One possible reason of infertility is inadequate sperm count. If the sperm count is less than 15 million per ml, it is considered low. Oligoospermia or known as low sperm count can happen due to a number of variety of reasons and contributing factors like hormonal abnormalities, infected semen, infection in the prostate gland, varicoceles (enlargement of veins within the scrotum), damaged sperm ducts, use of anabolic steroids, cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, toxic chemicals, certain medications, heavy metal exposure and radiation. Even vaginal lubricants tend to be toxic to sperm.
So, we gathered helpful remedies that will increase the sperm count:
1. Maca Root
Maca root (black variety) is know to help improve sperm production and motility. It is a popular fertility herb that helps balance the hormones. Take 1 to 3 teaspoons of maca root in 2 divided doses for a few months daily. You can add it to a glass of water, a healthy smoothie or protein shake, or just sprinkle it on cereal. As maca root is high in fiber, start by taking ½ teaspoon and gradually increase the dosage over a few weeks.
A 2013 pilot study, found that ashwagandha root extract can significantly increase sperm count, semen volume and sperm motility. This herb also promotes healthy testosterone production. It also improves your overall health, increases vitality and reduces stress and anxiety. Mix ½ teaspoon of ashwagandha powder, also known as Indian ginseng, in a glass of warm milk. Drink it twice daily for a few months. Another option is to take ashwagandha root extract. Consult your doctor for proper dosage.
3. Panax Ginseng
Panax ginseng or better know as Korean ginseng, is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to help the body fight stress. But is also used to increase testosterone, and sperm count and motility to enhance male fertility and improve erectile performance. Take 1 to 3 capsules of 500 mg Panax ginseng daily for at least 3 months. Make sure to consult your doctor before starting this or any other supplement regimen.
Garlic acts as a natural aphrodisiac and increases sperm production. It contains a compound called allicin, which boosts the endurance of the sperm and also improves blood circulation. Plus, the mineral selenium in garlic helps improve sperm motility. Simply include 1 or 2 crushed garlic cloves in your daily diet.
Tribulus terrestris is an Ayurvedic remedy that increases sperm count, improves sperm quality as it can enhance hormonal levels. A 2012 study by Indian researchers also found this aphrodisiac herb to be helpful in treating oligozoospermia (low sperm count). Take 1 to 3 capsules of 500 mg Tribulus terrestris daily for a few months, but only after consulting your doctor.
6. Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto, commonly known and used for prostate health, is another useful herb to increase sperm count. It is also best for treating erectile dysfunction. Take 160 mg of saw palmetto extract twice daily for a few months, after consulting your doctor. The supplement should be standardized to contain 85 to 95% fatty acids and sterols.
7. Horny Goat Weed
Horny goat weed is a time-tested aphrodisiac commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. It helps increase sperm production and treat erectile dysfunction. Horny goat weed supplements, however, have not been tested for safety as yet. Take 250 to 500 mg of horny goat weed supplement daily for a few months, after consulting your doctor.
8. Green Tea
Research suggests that the high antioxidants in green tea have good fertility-boosting potential as they neutralize free radicals that can damage sperm cells. According to a 2012 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, low doses of a compound called epigallocatechin gallate found in green tea can improve sperm quality, including motility, thus improving its potential for fertilization. However, higher concentrations of EGCG can have an opposite effect. Thus, further studies are still required. Drink 1 or 2 cups of green tea daily to enjoy enhanced fertility as well as overall health.
Go organic in terms of food as well as other products, such as deodorants and other cosmetics, to avoid toxic chemicals. Eat foods rich in vitamin C, zinc, selenium, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, such as pumpkin seeds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, spinach, eggs, lentils, beans, broccoli, tomatoes and oranges. You can also take nutritional supplements after consulting your doctor. Avoid the use of plastic bottles, containers and other items made of plastic to reduce xenoestrogen (environmental estrogen) exposure. Do not wear tight briefs or boxers. Steer clear of hot baths and saunas to avoid heating the testicles, which is detrimental to normal sperm production. Manage stress as it can interfere with the hormones that help produce sperms. Keep your weight in check. Get proper sleep.
Oligozoospermia, refers to semen with a low concentration of sperm and is a common finding in male infertility. Often semen with a decreased sperm concentration may also show significant abnormalities in sperm morphology and motility (technically “oligoasthenoteratozoospermia”). There has been interest in replacing the descriptive terms used in semen analysis with more quantitative information.
The diagnosis of oligozoospermia is based on one low count in a semen analysis performed on two occasions. For many decades sperm concentrations of less than 20 million sperm/ml were considered low or oligospermic, recently, however, the WHO reassessed sperm criteria and established a lower reference point, less than 15 million sperm/ml, consistent with the 5th percentile for fertile men. Sperm concentrations fluctuate and oligospermia may be temporary or permanent.
Sources usually classify oligospermia in 3 classes:
Mild: concentrations 10 million – 20 million sperm/ml
Moderate: concentrations 5 million – 10 million sperm/ml
Severe: concentrations less than 5 million sperm/ml
The diagnosis of oligozoospermia requires a work-up via semen analysis.
Featured image: PantherMedia/Dmitriy Shironosov/Scanpix