Reviewed by Dr Andre Budihardjo, MM and Physician Peh Wei Jie
5 Ways to Improve Sperm Health
Published | 5 min read
Sperm health plays a big role if you and your partner are hoping to conceive. Here’s what to look for if you want a Rabbit or Dragon baby.
Did you know that the average male sperm count can range from 15 million to
It also doesn’t help the situation that there is a decrease in the fertility rate of Malaysian women. The average number of babies per woman is 1.8, below the replacement level of 2.1 babies.
If you and your partner are trying for a Rabbit baby this year, or for a Dragon baby in 2024, ensuring good sperm health is important to increase your chances. Find out the reasons behind poor sperm health and ways to improve your chances of conceiving.
What are the Causes of Low Sperm Health?
Sperm quality is affected by various lifestyle factors, including:
- Being overweight
- Smoking cigarettes
- Experiencing a hormonal imbalance
- Using anabolic steroids
- Using certain types of medication
- A high alcohol intake
- Being exposed to toxic chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, paints, and solvents
Long-distance cycling, tight-fitting pants and underwear, and spending too much time in a hot environment may also affect fertility, but only in exceptional cases. To add to the list, low sperm health can be caused by the following:
- Obstruction: Blockages within the male reproductive tract
- Varicoceles: Swollen veins in the scrotum
- Immunologic infertility: Production of antibodies that attack a man’s sperm
- Retrograde ejaculation: Semen that moves back into the bladder instead of out of the penis
- Sperm disorders: Unusual sperm growth, abnormally-shaped sperm, poor sperm mobility, a low sperm count, or absence of sperm
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), poor sperm health links to imbalances in the Kidney system, which control jing (essence) and affect a man’s ability to reproduce.
“Kidney Qi (vital life force) or Yang (active energy) Deficiencies are linked to poor semen quality, fatigue, impotence, and pain in the lower back and legs. Kidney
Eu Yan Sang Physician Peh Wei Jie
Holistic Ways to Address Sperm Health
Infertility is more common than you think. These lifestyle strategies and alternative remedies may help boost your chances of conceiving.
Eat folate-rich foods
You may have heard that folate is necessary for pregnant women, but it’s also vital for men. A University of California study showed that men with low folate levels had more abnormal chromosomes in their sperm. If abnormal sperm fertilises an egg, it may result in a miscarriage, or a child born with birth defects.
Ensure you’re getting enough folate daily by eating more of these foods:
- Citrus fruits
- Folate-enriched cereals
- Whole grains
- Pasta and bread
- Leafy green vegetables
Get enough sleep
A lack of sleep can affect sperm quality. A recent study revealed that men who slept early had better sperm quality than those who didn’t. The men who slept before 10.30pm had up to 2.75 times more healthy sperm than those who stayed awake past 11.30pm.
Stop smoking and limit alcohol use
Here are more reasons to quit smoking cigarettes; it’ll result in chronic, life-threatening conditions and it’s also known to affect fertility and decrease sperm count and mobility. Cut it out if you want healthy sperm.
Similarly, excessive alcohol use can reduce sperm production and cause sperm abnormalities. Ideally, you should limit yourself to one or two alcoholic drinks daily.
Use herbal medication
Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan (五子衍宗丸) is a herbal formula that helps increase sperm quality by regulating Kidney qi and yang. It contains ingredients like goji berries (gou qi zi, 枸杞子), dodder seeds (tu si zi, 菟丝子), and plantain seeds (che qian zi, 车前子).
A licensed TCM practitioner would prescribe certain herbs to correct internal imbalances and improve sperm health. Examples of these are:
- Lung and Spleen Qi Stagnation: Dried tangerine peel (chen pi, 陈皮)
- Liver Dampness-Heat: Plantain seeds and Glabrous Greenbrier Rhizome (tu fu ling, 土茯苓)
- Spleen Blood and Qi Deficiencies: Largehead Atractylodes Rhizome (bai zhu, 白术) and Poria (fu ling, 茯苓)
Other herbs can be taken too
An acupuncturist will needle points in the lower abdomen – CV4 (guan yuan, 关元) and CV6 (qi hai, 气海) to stimulate sperm production and movement. These acupoints are connected directly to the testes through nerves and arteries. You can also perform acupressure on these points with a thumb or index finger, which is also effective, but to a lesser degree.
Acupuncture on points like BL23 (shen shu, 肾俞) and ST36 (zu san li, 足三里) can also help with sperm health. They reduce stress levels and improve digestion and sleep quality, which promotes the production of fertile sperm.
Sperm health is an important factor if you’re trying to conceive a Rabbit or Dragon baby. Fortunately, herbs and lifestyle changes can increase your chances of getting pregnant this year. Keep in mind that the use of herbal medication and acupuncture should only be considered after speaking to a TCM practitioner.
Let us know if this article was helpful and leave us your thoughts in the comments below.
- Vinmec International Hospital. How many sperms can a man produce each time he ejaculates? [online] [Accessed 17 January 2023]
- New Straits Times. 2019. Fertility rate continues to drop. [online] [Accessed 17 January 2023]
- Texas Fertility Center. CAUSES OF LOW SPERM COUNT. [online] [Accessed 17 January 2023]
- Urology Care Foundation. What is Male Infertility? [online] [Accessed 17 January 2023]
- Parents. 2022. 12 Ways to Increase Male Fertility. [online] [Accessed 17 January 2023]
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