It takes two
to become a Dad.

  • Male infertility affects many couples struggling to conceive.
  • A semen analysis is a quick and simple way to assess a man’s fertility.
  • There are many options available to improve male fertility.

If you and your partner are experiencing a delay in getting pregnant, it's important to assess all the potential contributing factors. Having your semen analysed is the simplest way to understand if your sperm could be a reason for the delay.

The good news is that getting tested can be as discreet as you'd like. Not only that, there is plenty you can do yourself to improve the quality of your sperm.

5 DIY tips to improve the quality of your sperm

The life cycle of sperm is only 90 days, so with a few simple changes many men can improve their sperm health within just a few months.

1. Keep your boys cool

Too many saunas, working in high temperature environments (e.g. welder, boiler-maker), or sitting in cramped conditions for hours on end (e.g. truck drivers) can affect your sperm count. There is no evidence, however, that boxers are better for your sperm count than briefs.

2. Aim to have a healthy BMI (body mass index)

Being overweight can be associated with a low sperm count and impotence, possibly because of higher temperatures caused by excess fat near the testes. Try to maintain (or achieve) your ideal weight. Use the Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator to in our Male Fertility Check to ensure you have an appropriate body weight.

3. Eat the ‘right’ foods

Maintaining a healthy diet can help boost fertility. Try to include more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes into your diet. Eat lots of foods high in antioxidants (carotenes, vitamins A, C, E and selenium) such as green leafy vegetables, kale, carrots, citrus, broccoli, cauliflower and yams. It is suggested that you limit refined carbohydrates, alcohol and foods with artificial additives.

4. Exercise tips

Regular exercise can be a great way of relieving stress and anxiety, which can affect the quality of your sperm. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight, especially when combined with a nutritious diet. However, excessive amounts of exercise (marathon running and associated training) can lead to lowered sperm count in men. We suggest you aim for a minimum of 3 work-out sessions per week for around 45 minutes each time.

Using steroids to build muscle for strength or sheer sex appeal may have an adverse effect on sperm production, the quality of your sperm, and your general health. You should stop taking steroids if you plan to be a father in the future.

5. Just say no

For your general health, as well as your fertility, all men are encouraged to quit smoking.

In addition, if you frequently smoke marijuana it can negatively affect your fertility. Marijuana contains several chemicals known to have an impact on human physiology, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Studies have found that regular smokers have significantly less seminal fluid, and a lower sperm count. It is also believed that THC may disrupt the way sperm swim, or it may block mechanisms designed to reduce malfunctioning sperm.

Other recreational drugs have also been proven to affect male fertility.

It's easy to get tested

Every week in Queensland over 100 men play their part and have their sperm tested.

Below you'll see a comprehensive list of the steps involved in getting a semen analysis. But you should know upfront that it's as simple as this:

  1. Masturbate into a container – you can even do it at home
  2. You or your partner drops the sample off at our clinic.

What could be easier? Below is the step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Test request form

If you are a patient with us, your fertility specialist will provide a request form – or you can ask your GP to refer you for a semen analysis.

Step 2: Produce a semen sample

You will be required to produce a semen sample by masturbation, after at least three days abstinence from sexual activity. You should collect the entire ejaculated amount in a clean, dry container (provided by your Fertility Specialist or GP) and you or your partner needs to bring it to us within one hour.

If you prefer, you can produce the sample in a private room at one of our clinics.

Step 3: Semen analysis in a laboratory

Our Andrology scientists then assess the semen. They analyse and measure the number of sperm, their ability to move, their size and shape, and the volume and consistency of the ejaculated sample.

A normal sperm count is at least 15 million sperm per ml, with at least half showing good forward motility. If they find abnormalities, they usually do more tests to identify the nature and degree of any problems.

Step 4: Explanation of your results

Your Specialist or GP will then explain your test results to you. The good news is that sperm have a lifecycle of 72 days, so even if your results indicate that there may be problems with your sperm, you may be able to improve this with diet and lifestyle changes.

Most common causes of male infertility are easily diagnosed and can be treated or overcome to help a couple conceive.

What medical conditions can affect male infertility?

Some men may have a condition that has been inherited that affects their fertility (like Cystic Fibrosis), while others may have hormonal imbalances or an obstructed pathway. Men's reproductive health is also affected by age. After the age of 40, a greater number of DNA abnormalities occur in sperm. The good news is that there are treatments available to use whatever sperm may be available to conceive a baby successfully.

Your sperm count

Unlike women, who are born with all the eggs they'll ever have, the lifecycle of sperm is about 3 months. So there are many lifestyle factors that can affect the quality of your sperm, but there are also longer-term medical factors that can have an impact too.

Understand the lifestyle and medical factors that could be affecting your fertility by trying our quick Male Fertility Predictor.

Did you know that:

  • Testicles function best at 35 degrees which is why they sit just outside the human body
  • A typical man produces 50 million sperm per ejaculation, but with the help of Advanced Reproductive Technologies such as ICSI, you need only one to fertilise the egg
  • The journey the sperm takes to the egg, once it's arrived in the womb, is the equivalent of a man swimming 6km

Questions?

Or to Book an Appointment:

If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for more than 12 months (or 6 months if you are over 35) it’s time to seek help. Male fertility is only half the equation so it’s important that you both get checked out by a fertility specialist.

To learn more, or book a semen analysis, or consultation for you and your partner with a fertility specialists call 1800 111 483 or complete the form below: