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Stacking the Deck: 11 Easy Ways to Support Men’s Fertility

Real talk—men are half of the baby-making equation, and if conception is the goal, taking steps to stack the deck can be a game changer. The bad news is that environmental stressors, diet, and our modern lifestyles are a triple threat to men’s fertility, wreaking havoc on sperm DNA. The good news is that there are simple things you can do to combat those threats and actually increase testosterone levels, sperm count, and sperm motility, which can mean a greater chance of conception. Here are 11 easy ways to support men’s fertility.

Men’s Fertility 101

Let’s first establish what we mean by supporting fertility. In men, this refers to:

  • Promoting sperm count
  • Supporting sperm motility
  • Supporting sperm morphology
  • Promoting natural hormones, including testosterone

Male fertility is surprisingly affected by a mix of lifestyle and environmental factors. Some of the most common culprits behind poor fertility health include:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Lifestyle choices such as smoking and drugs
  • Obesity
  • Environmental concerns such as pesticides, chemicals, and heavy metal exposure
  • Alcohol use
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Certain medications
  • Stress

Research into men's fertility and sperm health has shed light on the crucial role of nutrients in optimizing reproductive outcomes. These studies have revealed that specific nutrients play a pivotal role in enhancing sperm quality, motility, and overall reproductive health. Nutrients such as zinc, selenium, vitamin C, CoQ10, vitamin d, folate, and others have been identified as essential components of a diet that supports healthy sperm production.

One of the key findings of this research is that dietary deficiencies in these nutrients can lead to a decline in sperm quality and fertility. Moreover, lifestyle factors such as poor nutrition, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and exposure to environmental toxins can negatively impact sperm health. As such, understanding the role of nutrients in male fertility has not only raised awareness but also provided practical guidance for men seeking to improve their reproductive health.

11 Ways To Increase Sperm Count Naturally

Men produce millions of sperm each day, so it’s easy to understand why simple lifestyle changes can have an impact on the health of those sperm. Men can benefit from a few easy swaps to improve their overall health and fertility. If you’re thinking starting a family, be clear that your health during conception can impact the health of your baby. In fact, one study found that dads who were in poor health were more likely to have preterm and low-birth weight babies who stayed in the NICU.

Another thing to keep in mind—sperm are produced every day, but it still takes two to three months for any lifestyle change to have an affect. In other words, this is less of a sprint and more of a marathon, so get started with these tips for supporting male fertility.

1. Take Beli Vitality for Men 

Just like women, men’s bodies need different vitamins to help ensure optimal preconception health. Beli’s proprietary formula provides men with bioavailable forms of nutrients you need for reproductive and sperm health to support sperm development and quality. And it’s as simple as swapping out your regular multivitamin.

2. Get More Sleep—But Not Too Much

Did you know men produce the majority of their testosterone while they’re sleeping? That’s why lack of sleep can have huge consequences on pregnancy outcomes. Specifically, lack of sleep or disrupted sleep cycles can affect sperm production. The Boston University Pregnancy Online Study Society showed that men who sleep too much or too little are the least likely to conceive with their partners.

3. Eat More Healthy Fats

Increased intake of healthy fats, like walnuts and avocados, have been shown to have a positive impact on male fertility.

What should a man eat to increase his sperm count? The fertility diet that has been shown to improve female fertility outcomes is also perfect for men. The Keto diet is also thought to help to increase sperm count because of the high fat content.

4. Avoid Soy Products

A Spanish study showed that higher amounts of soy-related food products was related to increased percentages of chromosomal abnormalities in sperm as well as a lower sperm motility count. That’s because soy products contain phytates, which can interfere with the zinc absorption that’s essential for sperm production. Soy also contains isoflavones, which can mimic estrogen in the body.

  • Soybean sprouts
  • Soy milk
  • Miso
  • Tofu

5. Reduce your exposure to EDCs 

EDCs are endocrine-disrupting compounds that disrupt the body’s hormone levels and can have devastating effects on fertility and sperm count. Unfortunately, EDCs are found everywhere we go and in many household items such as:

  • Plastics (Bisphenol-A)
  • Personal hygiene products (parabens)
  • Food (pesticides and chemicals)

To limit exposure, switch to all-natural cleaning and personal care products. Buy organic fruits and vegetables, especially when you’re buying any of dirty dozen, which include nectarines, peppers and strawberries.

6. Cut Down Your Alcohol Consumption

While a little alcohol in moderation won’t necessarily affect male fertility, it most certainly won’t help increase sperm count. Numerous studies have shown that heavy drinking can have a huge effect on a man’s fertility and sperm health, and cutting back can be one of the best ways to increase your chances of pregnancy. What’s more, this moderation is often reflected very quickly, within just a few weeks, in elevated testosterone levels.

7. Avoid Overheating

Sperm need a stable temperature around four degrees cooler than the body in order to maintain optimal health. Any warmer and decreased motility begins to affect sperm analysis results. Prolonged heat exposure results in low sperm counts and reduced pregnancy rates, so do what you can to avoid overheating from the following:

  • Fever
  • Tight boxers or shorts for a prolonged period of time
  • The heat from a laptop or electronics
  • Grilling
  • Hot tubs
  • Saunas
  • Cycling

Before you panic, you don’t have give up grilling or sell the laptop. Just follow the everything-in-moderation rule and take regular breaks. If you’ve been diagnosed with low sperm count, taking extra precautions here can help.

8. Exercise Regularly 

Exercise has been shown to increase sperm counts in men, likely due to the increased blood flow throughout the body and higher oxygen levels in the blood. Exercise is also great for reducing body fat, which is a huge fertility risk factor in both men and women.

Swimming and working out in cool temperatures are good methods of exercise for increasing sperm count, since they don’t pose risks of overheating. Yoga is also an effective way to manage stress levels and increasing blood flow to the pelvic area. Plus, there are specific fertility yoga poses that may help increase sperm counts and overall reproductive health.

9. Control Stress

High stress levels can affect male fertility by decreasing testosterone levels and impacting sperm count. 

It’s hard to eliminate stress entirely, but there are a few things you can do to relax:

  • Listen to music or a podcast
  • Try meditation or acupuncture
  • Spend time with friends (but take it easy on the alcohol!)
  • Take a yoga class or try fertility yoga as a couple in the comfort of your own home
  • Hit the gym

10. Reduce Caffeine Intake

It’s generally believed that large amounts of caffeine aren’t ideal when you’re trying to increase sperm count and mobility. A 2017 Italian study found some evidence that excessive use consumption of caffeine (more than four cups of coffee a day) can actually damage sperm DNA fragments.

It’s worth remembering that drinks such as cola, caffeinated black and green teas, and energy drinks all contain caffeine, which means they’re contributing to your total daily intake.

To cut back on caffeine, try switching to decaf as much as possible and cutting soda out completely. For a non-caffeinated morning drink, try a vitamin-packed fertility smoothie.

11. Stop Smoking

Smoking affects all three sperm analysis factors (count, motility and morphology), but the good news is that levels will go back to normal around one year of quitting.

The big takeaway here is that steps you take to lead a healthier, happier lifestyle will often pay off in the health of your sperm. By understanding the pivotal role of nutrients in fertility and pregnancy, we can take proactive measures to improve fertility health.

Additional Resources

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Ever wondered why men produce so much darn sperm, especially if only one of them will ultimately fertilize the egg? There are millions of sperm in normal ejaculate because it increases the likelihood that one will reach the egg and seal the deal. It begs the question, what exactly happens on the journey to the egg?

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Read More

Diet has been suggested to have an influence on the quality and function of human sperm. More specifically, the results of a randomised trial have shown that including nuts as a component of a regular diet improved the quality and function of human sperm.

Read More

A shot to the balls may be played for laughs on screen, but testicular impacts really aren’t a joke. Worse case scenario, getting hit in the balls can affect fertility thanks to complications like sexual dysfunction, low testosterone and other issues. Let's discuss.

Read More

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Read More

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Read More

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Read More

Raise your hand if you already know that you have a biological clock. From age 35 and beyond, there is a natural decline in testosterone and sperm quality. Just as people lose muscle strength, flexibility and endurance with age, sperm also tend to lose their "fitness" over the life cycle. But what does that mean—and does it really matter?

Read More

It’s an easy assumption, but you’re much better off thinking that every prenatal vitamin is wildly different in terms of composition, nutrient quality and, importantly, nutrient amount. Not only is that actually true, it puts you in the smart consumer mindset of understanding what matters in a prenatal vitamin—and why.

Read More

Men really do benefit from specialized nutrition in the form of a prenatal vitamin that’s formulated to support sperm health. Here’s what that looks like, and how specific nutrients can impact a man’s fertility health before fatherhood.

Read More

Shilajit is finally getting the credit it’s due, and we’re proud to point out that our proprietary formula was the very first to include this powerful Ayurvedic compound. Here’s why shilajit is rapidly becoming the darling of the male fertility world–and what you’re missing if you’re skipping it.

Read More

Ever wondered why men produce so much darn sperm, especially if only one of them will ultimately fertilize the egg? There are millions of sperm in normal ejaculate because it increases the likelihood that one will reach the egg and seal the deal. It begs the question, what exactly happens on the journey to the egg?

Read More

Just as women’s bodies need to be prepared for pregnancy, men’s bodies need to be ready to contribute healthy sperm for conception. Nutrients are the foundation that support the normal structure and function of sperm and men's fertility health. Taking Beli’s male prenatal supplement is a proactive way to strategically fuel your body to optimize fertility contributing to your overall chances of conceiving and supporting a healthy pregnancy.  

Read More

Diet has been suggested to have an influence on the quality and function of human sperm. More specifically, the results of a randomised trial have shown that including nuts as a component of a regular diet improved the quality and function of human sperm.

Read More

A shot to the balls may be played for laughs on screen, but testicular impacts really aren’t a joke. Worse case scenario, getting hit in the balls can affect fertility thanks to complications like sexual dysfunction, low testosterone and other issues. Let's discuss.

Read More

With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024. But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.

Read More

Research shows that the overall health of both biological parents during the preconception window plays a huge role in everything from conception to pregnancy health to the lifetime health of their baby. Luckily, there are simple steps you can both take to improve your health together.

Read More

When it comes to becoming parents, good habits really will take you where you want to go. Now, new science is giving us insight into exactly how long it takes to form those good habits. We're breaking down all the ways you can build healthy habits to boost your chances of conception. Think of it as life-hacking, but for grown-ups.

Read More

Here at Beli, we’re working hard to raise awareness of the important role men play in the baby-making equation, which brings us to today’s topic of men’s preconception health and specifically, sperm health. Knowing what you’re working with can save you a lot of time, but is at-home sperm testing considered an important part of men’s preconception health? Let’s break it down.

Read More

There’s a certain magic to the holiday season, whether you’re all-in on the decorations and the family time or a self-proclaimed Scrooge from mid-November to the New Year. But when you’re trying to conceive, it can be a challenging time.  We’re sharing five tips for managing the holidays when you’re trying to conceive.

Read More

Everyone knows that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix. But what about before you’re pregnant, during the trying-to-conceive stage? There’s no evidence that the occasional drink—i.e. one or two a week—is going to torpedo your chances of parenthood. But it is true that the more you drink, the greater the likelihood it will have an effect on your health. Here’s what the research says about alcohol and your fertility.

Read More

You’re clear on the mechanics of making a baby, but how much do you really know about conception and fertility? There are a lot of wild stories, downright falsehoods and notions that are actually rooted in a kernel of truth out there. In the interest of sticking to the facts, we’re debunking 15 of the most common myths about conception and fertility.

Read More

When you’re knocking boots in an effort to get knocked up, timing is everything. Your best chance of conceiving is during the most fertile time of your menstrual cycle—when you ovulate. The key is figuring out exactly when that happens. Fortunately, you have a few ways of detecting ovulation. Here’s what to know about understanding ovulation and timing sex for pregnancy.

Read More

You have big plans for parenthood in 2024, which means this is the time to start laying the groundwork for everything to come. While so much of conception is beyond our control, there are actionable steps you and your partner can take right now to support and nourish your fertility.

Read More

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Read More

Heard the one about ice baths and testosterone? Spoiler: there's little to no research behind that idea. Here’s what to know about cold plunges and male fertility, according to the research, plus where you should really focus your efforts if you’re trying to improve sperm health.

Read More

As a society, we’re an impatient bunch, and that applies to pregnancy, too. The second you decide it’s time to try for a baby, you’re ready to see those two pink lines. If you’ve recently tossed the birth control and you’re wondering how long it should take to get pregnant, here's what to know.

Read More

Jimmy Fallon. Hugh Jackman. Mark Zuckerberg. Keith Urban. Gordon Ramsey. Kyle Busch. Besides immediate name recognition, what else do these men have in common? They’ve all struggled with infertility issues—and it’s something they’re all talking about publicly. Here's why that matters.

Read More

While it’s true that popular hair loss meds work minor miracles on that receding hairline and back-of-the-head bald patch, it’s also true that it can come with side effects—some of them sexual. So, what does that mean in terms of male fertility? Here’s what couples should understand about the effects of popular hair-loss medications on sperm health.

Read More

A few years ago, the keto diet was all the rage—a high-fat, low-carb way to shed pounds quickly. While it’s lost a bit of its luster, as all diet trends do, interest in the keto diet remains. Specifically, those hoping to become parents wonder whether following this way of eating could support fertility. Is a diet high in fat and low in carbs the answer? It’s possible. Here’s what to know about the keto diet and whether it might help support fertility.

Read More