Improving Sperm Quality
When you’re trying to get pregnant you want to do everything you can to make sure that it happens as soon as possible. The quality of your partner’s sperm is crucial when it comes to conceiving. If your partner is over the age of 40, his sperm may have decreased in both quality and quantity. Improving his sperm quality is going to increase your chances of getting pregnant. But is it possible to actually improve sperm quality? The answer is yes, by focusing on antioxidants.
Sperm Quality and the Older Man
These days more than ever before, men are waiting until their late 30s and into their 40s and 50s to become fathers. As men get older their sperm decrease in quality due to DNA fragmentation and damage. This can significantly decrease your chances of conceiving and may even mean that you have to turn to IVF (in vitro fertilization) or IUI (intrauterine insemination) in order to have a baby. Studies now show that an improvement in diet and increasing antioxidants is one way to repair and protect against DNA damage in sperm and thereby improve the quality. The best improvement to nutrition is made by including more antioxidants to his diet. Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, can decrease the amount of oxidative DNA damage that occurs to his sperm.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are natural compounds that protect the body’s tissues, cells, and sperm by keeping them safe from damaging free radicals. Antioxidants include Vitamins A, C, and E as well as selenium and zinc. If he’s not getting enough antioxidants from his diet, then adding a daily supplement is a good idea. This way you can be sure that he’s getting the recommended daily dose of antioxidants so that his sperm are optimum for getting pregnant.
Antioxidant – Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin that plays a big part in repairing damage from aging and the environment. It also stops damage to cells and his sperm that can be caused from oxidizing free radicals. Studies show that Vitamin A is good for both sperm quality and mobility.
Antioxidant – Vitamin C
Vitamin C can protect his sperm from oxidative stress and also from free radicals. It’s also good for preventing a decrease in sperm mobility which happens as men age.
Antioxidant –Vitamin E
Vitamin E is important as a chain breaking antioxidant in the membranes of the body. This not only increases sperm count it can also improve sperm quality by reducing DNA damage.
Antioxidant – Selenium
Selenium can reduce oxidative damage caused by free radicals. This helps to improve both sperm concentration and mobility.
Antioxidant – Zinc
Zinc is a mineral that functions as an antioxidant. This mineral is essential for sperm quality and quantity. It also helps to metabolize testosterone.
Foods That Are Rich in Antioxidants
As well as taking an antioxidant supplement each day, it’s important that your partner eats a healthy diet that includes foods that are rich in antioxidants. Foods that are high in Vitamin C include red peppers, strawberries, and citrus fruits. Vitamin E rich foods include eggs, whole grains, nuts, and wheat germ. For selenium add oats, brown rice, and garlic to his diet. And for zinc focus on meat, sunflower seeds, and beans. A healthy diet isn’t just essential for good sperm quality it’s also necessary for healthy male fertility at any age.
Studying Antioxidants and Sperm Quality
A recent study was done on the effects of antioxidants and sperm quality. 80 men between the ages of 22 and 80 took part in the study with the average age being 44. Their sperm was analyzed in a lab where DNA strands in the sperm nucleus were examined. Then their diet was analyzed to determine how many antioxidants they had each day. The results were the same during each test trial: those men who had a diet that was high in antioxidants had less sperm DNA damage. This result was more pronounced the older the man. With such a clear connection between antioxidants and sperm quality it’s no wonder that more men who want to have a child are starting to take a daily antioxidant supplement and pay closer attention to what they’re eating.
Link Between Antioxidants and Male Fertility
The link between antioxidants and male fertility is becoming more and more apparent each day. Oxidative stress affects not only the entire body but sperm as well. The older men are, the more sperm damage they have and the harder it’s going to be for them to father a child due to the low quality of their sperm. When you’re trying to get pregnant doing what you can to improve sperm quality is imperative if you want to conceive. It’s even more important if your partner is over the age of 40. Antioxidant supplementation can increase your chances of conception by up to 19 percent, so if it seems to be taking you a long time to get pregnant you might want to consider adding more antioxidants to his diet.