Increasing Low Sperm Count and Improving Male Fertility…

Increasing Low Sperm Count and Improving Male Fertility…

Low sperm count and infertility in men is more prevalent than most couples think. People tend to think that if a woman is not getting pregnant the fertility issue must be with the woman, but that is not necessarily always the case. There is an equal chance that male factor infertility can be the cause of a couple’s difficulty in achieving pregnancy. While women have many tests to try to find out the cause of infertility, men have only a couple, the sperm analysis being the easiest.

Getting Tested

If you have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year, make sure that both of you go and get infertility testing. There are at-home sperm count tests available in stores, or you can have a complete semen analysis performed at your doctor’s office.

The results of a good test would be a sperm count of 20 million or more sperm with healthy motility and morphology. Suboptimal levels are less than 20 million sperm. If you find that your sperm levels are low or are having issues with mobility, motility or morphology, this article will share with you some natural therapies you can use to help improve sperm count and health.

Causes of Low Sperm Count

Natural ways to increase sperm healthThere are many potential causes of low sperm count and male infertility, fortunately many of them we have control over by reducing exposure to them.

Here is a list of the top culprits:

  • EMF’s – Electromagnetic frequencies (EMF’s) have been shown through studies to lower sperm count due to the heating of the testicles from the EMF’s. Do not keep your cell phone in your pocket and do not place your laptop computer on your lap.
  • Radio frequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) – A study performed in 2011 (Fert. Ster. 1/2012) showed that RF-EMWs emitted from devices connected to Wi-Fi (wireless internet) decrease sperm motility, while increasing sperm DNA fragmentation. Men should avoid using laptop computers running on a Wi-Fi connection directly on their lap. In addition, be sure to avoid carrying a smart phone in your front pocket.
  • Cigarette smoking – Smoking damages the sperm. Period. The good news is the damage done from smoking can be reversed… As long as you quit smoking.
  • Pesticides and hormones in foods – The pesticides found on produce and the hormones added to dairy and meat have a HUGE effect on a man’s hormonal balance. Pesticides mimic estrogens in the body while the added hormones in meat and dairy are actual hormones (like estrogen) you do not want in your system.
  • Soy foods – Highly processed soy foods (soy milk, TVP, soy burgers, etc.) contain concentrated amounts of isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen shown to block estrogen receptor sites that are needed for testosterone.
  • Alcohol– In a study of men with poor sperm quality, excessive alcohol consumption was associated with a decrease in the number of normal sperm.
  • Plastics – When plastics are heated they release xenohormones which mimic estrogen in the body.
  • Hyperthermia (overheating) – The testicles need to keep the sperm at a healthy temperature (which is less then the body’s temperature). It is thought that this may be in part why the male reproductive organs are external. Heat is known to damage sperm, so it may be best to avoid repeated exposure to activities that may elevate the temperature of the testicles. Examples are frequent use of saunas or hot tubs. In addition, tight underwear like briefs can keep the testicles from being able to hang and regulate their temperature. Boxers could be an alternative to briefs.
  • Stress – Stress can have a big impact on hormone balance which can in turn have an affect on sperm production.

Diet & Nutrients for Healthy Male Fertility

Diet has a big impact on sperm health and male fertility. What you are eating today is impacting the sperm that will be swimming 3 months from now.

Study findings show a range of 42 to 76 days from the time of sperm production to ejaculation in normal men.

The changes that you make today are impacting the sperm you will be using two to three months from now. This means that it will take about 2-3 months for diet, herbs and supplements to have an effect on sperm health.

Here are the nutrients specifically needed for a healthy male fertility diet, they should be added to the diet as well as supplemented:

    In men, zinc is considered one of the most important trace minerals for fertility; increasing zinc levels in infertile men has been shown to boost sperm levels, improve the form, function and quality of the sperm thus decreasing male infertility.
    Food sources: Calf liver, oysters, beef, lamb, venison, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, turkey, peas, and shrimp. Zinc can be damaged by cooking so it is important to eat some foods high in zinc in their raw forms.

    Selenium is necessary for the creation of sperm. In studies, men with low sperm counts have also been found to have low levels of selenium.
    Food sources: Brazil nuts, liver, snapper, cod, halibut, tuna, salmon, sardines, shrimp, and turkey.

    Necessary for every cell in the body for energy production, CoQ10 is an important antioxidant that helps to protect cells from free radical damage, thus protecting DNA: it is necessary for sperm motility in semen. Additionally, studies have shown that CoQ10 can increase sperm health.
    Food sources: Found most abundantly in seafood and organ meats, though it is very difficult to obtain through the diet. CoQ10 Ubiquinol supplementation is the best way to obtain CoQ10 – keep in mind that amounts in the body decline with age.

    Vitamin E
    Vitamin E has been shown in studies to improve sperm health and motility in men. Studies have also shown a diet deficient in Vitamin E to be a cause of infertility in rats. The meaning of the name for vitamin E ‘Tocopherol’ literally means to bear young. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant to help protect sperm and egg DNA integrity.
    Food sources: Sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, spinach, papaya, and dark leafy greens.

    Folic acid – New research suggests that folic acid can boost sperm health. Men with low levels of folate had increased risks for sperm that contained too little or too many chromosomes. If an egg is fertilized by an abnormal sperm it could result in a birth defect such as downs syndrome, or an increased chance of miscarriage.
    Food sources: Liver, lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, asparagus, spinach, black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, and collard greens.

    Vitamin B12 – Also known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is involved in cellular replication and studies indicate a deficiency can lead to reduced sperm count and motility. Supplementation is advised for any man whose sperm count is less than 20 million or has a motility rate of less than 50%. Studies indicate that supplementation with vitamin B12 at 1,000mcg per day may increase sperm count.
    Food sources: Clams, oysters, muscles, liver, caviar (fish eggs), fish, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, cheese, and eggs.

    Vitamin C – For men, vitamin C has been shown to improve sperm quality and protect sperm from DNA damage; helping to reduce the chance of miscarriage and chromosomal problems. Vitamin C also appears to keep sperm from clumping together, making them more motile.
    Food sources: Abundant in plants and fruits including red peppers, broccoli, cranberries, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, and citrus fruit.

    L-Carnitine – Carnitine is a necessary nutrient for sperm cells to function normally. Sperm require high concentrations of carnitine for energy metabolism. Studies indicate that the level of free carnitine in seminal fluid directly correlates with sperm count and motility. The lower the concentrations of carnitine in the seminal fluid, the lower the sperm count. Research shows that supplementing with L-carnitine for a minimum of 4 months helps to increase sperm count and motility in men with low sperm count and quality. Carnitine and CoQ10 have been shown to work synergistically when combined.
    Food sources: Red meat and dairy products.

    Antioxidants – Antioxidants are one of the most important components to having healthy fertility that every man and women needs to focus on. Antioxidants help to protect the sperm from free radical damage. Free radicals are able to damage both sperm cell health and the cell’s DNA. The DNA of both partners is the future blueprint for a child. Damaged DNA is known to cause miscarriages, birth defects, and/or developmental problems for the future child. Studies have also shown a connection between oxidative stress caused from free radicals and male infertility. Fertilica Choice Antioxidants contains all of the most important antioxidants nutrients in a capsule form. This blend is great for both men and women, but especially for men with low sperm count and poor sperm health.

To purchase a kit with these ingredients click here…

Hormone Balance

Hormone imbalance is not just something that is reserved exclusively for women. Men can also have imbalanced hormones. Hormones play a large roll in semen production and a man’s fertility. One of the main hormones being testosterone. Due to our modern lifestyles and many of the culprits mentioned above, men’s hormones can become imbalanced.

There are pollutants that “mimic” estrogens (xenohormones) in the body leading to a reduction in testosterone. Excess estrogen in men produces erectile dysfunction, low/lack of libido, low sperm count, and lowered production of seminal fluid.

These xenohormones can come from:

  • soy foods
  • pesticides on food
  • hormones added to dairy and meat
  • plastics

5 steps to balancing your hormones:

1. Reduce your exposure to xenohormones

2. Eat only organic meats and dairy

3. Do not eat soy foods.

4. Cleanse the body of excess hormones and toxins. This can be done with a Male Fertility Cleanse

5. Eat lots of fiber and cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables contain a special element that helps the body to rid itself of excess estrogens. You can also take the supplement DIM to have the same effects.

Herbs for Male Fertility & Sperm Health

Photo by Forest & Kim Starr

These traditional herbal tonics have been shown through studies and hundreds of years of use to help men have healthier sperm and increased fertility.

Most of these herbs are adaptogens which help to nourish the endocrine system so all of the hormones are working properly. For best results use these herbs for at least 3 – 6 months.

American Ginseng root (Panax quinquefolius)
American Ginseng may support a healthy sex drive, erectile dysfunction and enhance sexual performance in men. It strengthens the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis, aiding hormonal balance, stress management and immune function.

Ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera)
Traditionally used to improve sex drive and low sperm count, Ashwagandha supports endocrine system function for overall hormonal balance.

Epimedium, also known as horny goat weed (Epimedium grandiflorum)
Epimedium is known as an aphrodisiac, increasing sexual desire and performance. The active ingredient Icariin has been shown to increase nitric oxide in turn nitric oxide increases circulation to the extremities. It has been shown useful in aiding a sustained erection.

Fo-ti, also known as Ho Shou Wu or He Shou Wu, root (Polygonum multiflorum)
Fo Ti has been traditionally used for men who have low libido, low sperm count, erectile dysfunction and poor sperm motility. This root supports fertility longevity.

Ginkgo leaves (Ginkgo biloba)
Ginko is the #1 remedy for erectile dysfunction. It increases circulation to the reproductive organs and is high in antioxidants, shown to be important for sperm health.

Goji berry, dried fruit (Lycium barbarum, L.chinense)
Goji berries have been shown to protect sperm from hyperthermia (overheating), helping to preserve and improve sperm quantity and quality through its high antioxidant content. Goji berries support hormonal balance through improved liver function support and they are extremely nutritious.

Maca root (Lepidium meyenii)
Regular consumption of maca has been shown to increase libido, seminal volume and sperm count per ejaculate, and improve sperm motility. Maca is a wonderful superfood which can be taken in capsules or added to fertility smoothies in powder form.

Saw Palmetto berries (Serenoa repens)
Saw Palmetto has been traditionally used to improve prostate health, impotence, testicular atrophy and low libido.

Schisandra fruit and seed (Schisandra chinensis)
One of the most supportive and protective herbs for liver health, (important for hormone balance) Schisandra has been shown to support immunity, and endocrine and nervous system function. Studies have also shown it may help to increase sperm count. This berry helps the body to adapt to stress, making it useful for stress related infertility as well.

Tribulus, aerial parts and fruit (Tribulus terrestris)
Tribulus has been shown to be effective in aiding sex hormone production, increasing luteinizing hormone (LH), DHEA and testosterone production in men. This makes Tribulus useful for erectile dysfunction, low sperm count and poor sperm health related to hormonal imbalance.

Yohimbe bark (Pausinystalia yohimbe)
The bark of this tree supports healthy circulation to the male reproductive organs making it useful for erectile dysfunction. Yohimbe has been shown to help men sustain an erection and may help to make an erection firmer. The increased circulation to the reproductive organs has also been shown to increase libido.

To learn more details about our top 5 favorite herbs for improving male fertility click here…

Click here to buy natural products for sperm health…

Have Sex at The Right Time

There is a right time to have sex to optimize your chances of conception and to give sperm an extra boost.

Here are some fertility/sex tips:

  • Know her cycle – Know when she is ovulating. Become interested in knowing the timing of her fertility cycle. If she does not know, find out when her period is. Roughly 12-14 days after the first day of her period is when she may ovulate. This is a rough estimate because women are all different in their cycles. Some other signs that she is ovulating is she is way more interested in sex and has cervical mucous resembling egg whites. You can learn more about fertility charting here.
  • Timing is everything. You will not want to have sex 2 -3 days before ovulation so that your sperm supply is built up.
  • Use sperm friendly lubrication.
  • Don’t have sex standing up. This makes it harder for the sperm to reach the cervix.


If you are experiencing low sperm count there are many natural therapies that have been shown to increase sperm count and health. Here is a summary of steps you can take to increase your sperm health:

    1. Get a sperm analysis done.
    2. Reduce and/or eliminate exposure to EMF’s, pesticides, cigarette smoke, soy foods, alcohol, plastics, briefs, hot tubs, bike riding and reduce stress.
    3. Eat a diet and take supplements rich in nutrients specific for sperm and male reproductive health. These nutrients are zinc, selenium, CoQ10, vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin B12, L-Carnitine, and a wide range of antioxidants.
    4. Support male hormonal balance and use supportive herbs.
    5. Time baby making sex at the right time.

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Let your voice be heard... Leave a brief comment or question related to this article.

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  1. my husbands semen analysis done
    sperm count-12 millions/ml,
    actively motile- 1st hour-45%, 2nd hour-40%, 3rd hour-35%
    sluggishly motile- 10%
    dead/non motile-45%
    morphology-55% Normal
    Please advice what to do. Thanks.

    • Hello Sruthi!

      We are not legally able to interpret medical test results, but may have information to share if you share with us what you were told these results indicate or mean.

      Please contact us directly with this information and we will assist you the best that we can.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks a lot for this useful article, I hope that it will help me during coming period.
    Just a question, My friend’s report says:
    Motile: 60%
    Nonmotile: 35%
    Vol. : 3 ml.
    Count: 42.7
    Slugish: 9.5%
    PH: 6.0

    Report is OK? . Doctor said he has low sperm count please advice. Thanks

    • Dear Amit,

      It is believed that sperm count is “good” test results show 20 million or more sperm with healthy motility and morphology. Less than 20 million sperm in a sample would be considered low. This very article shares how to consider naturally supporting healthy sperm production and function.

      I hope this information if helpful!

  3. I am taking a homeopathic liquid medicine (30 drops twice a day in water) made of bael tree either leaves or fruit, because my sperm count is less. Kindly advise if it really works.

    • Dear Suraj,

      We find homeopathy a complementary and alternative therapy valuable for many experiencing infertility. I believe in the power of homeopathic remedies and have experienced their effectiveness. This being said, I can not know if the remedy you are taking will work for you. I do hope so!

  4. It has been reported that with increased sperm count more ejaculate is also produced. Is this true?

    • Dear Scott,

      While I have not read these reports, it does make sense that there would need to be more seminal fluid to carry the sperm. I am sorry I can not offer detailed information on this topic.

  5. Hai,

    I had been taking Psychiatrist treatment for 5 years. Initially my doctor prescribed me PRODEP and OLEANZ, now I am taking FLOATIN and OLAN. The intake of medicine for long period of time has resulted in lack of sex desire. I consulted a doctor and he said the reproductive cells become dry and no Siddha will be effective. I tried Siddha for six months, with no results. Is there any way to gain the potency?

    • Dear Rajesh,

      I am sorry you are having to deal with this.

      Can you please help me understand what “Siddha” is? Is the side effect of either medication decreased libido?

      We are not able to suggested combining herbs with medications, but there may be some dietary and lifestyle ways to consider supporting a healthy libido which you can learn in this article, 10 Natural Ways to Increase Baby Making Libido. If you are interested in trying any herbs or nutritional supplements, please speak with your healthcare provider about taking them with your medications.

      Best wishes!

  6. Hi,
    I suffer from varicose testicles problem. I have little pain for both testicle and abdomen. please suggest any things to solve this problem.

    I have follow the below activity’s for each and everyday! Kindly tell me now, have i follow this activity’s.

    * Warm Up Exercises & Meditation.
    *Eat Vegetables in break fast and i drink Nutrient flour, Lunch Almonds & Rice. Dinner is diet foods.

    Note- I haven’t Smocking & Drinking.

    Thank You: :)

  7. I got my semen analysis done and found that my sperm count is 0.01 million/ml. This is a real worry for me. Is there any chance of increasing sperm count through medicines? How long does it take to get the required sperm count.

    • Dear Rags,

      First, I have to share that what we support the use of herbs, nutritional supplements and natural therapies which are not medicines.

      The herbs and nutritional supplements discussed in this article are backed by scientific studies regarding their ability to support sperm count and health. Regarding how long it takes to increase sperm count, I can not be certain for you. Studies show however that the time it takes for new sperm to mature is a range of 42 to 76 days (from the time of sperm production, through maturation, to ejaculation). In general we suggest following our programs for a minimum of three months time.

      Best wishes!

  8. I have encountered many cases of primary sterility where the liquefaction time of semen was 30 minutes or more. Sperm count too was border line. Advising female not to move about 45 minutes after intercourse caused conception in most of the cases.

  9. Hi,
    Thanks a lot for this useful article, I hope that it will help me during coming period.

    Just a question, will # of times having sex in a week or day during the diet period affect the sperm count & fertility? What’s the recommendations on this regard?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Badr,

      I am not certain I understand what you are asking. What do you mean by “during the diet period?”

      For most men, there is no limit to the amount of sperm that can be produced. While frequent ejaculation is actually healthy for sperm, for men who struggle with sperm health – motility, morphology and motility – frequent ejaculation may mean there is less sperm in each subsequent ejaculation. Studies show that the time is takes for new sperm to mature is a range of 42 to 76 days (from the time of sperm production, through maturation, to ejaculation).

      Is this helpful?

  10. This article has been very educative to me. I suffer from low sperm count, but with this I think i’m on the right path of finding solution. please I want to find out if taking supplements in terms of capsules/tablets can help. Thanks.

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Ebitimi,

      We have learned through our studies and work with our clients that sperm health may be naturally supported by the herbs, nutritional supplements and natural therapies discussed here.

      Best wishes!

  11. hello

    You have a contradiction on this page! is wearing briefs good or bad for testicles?
    Also, I have varicoscele and wish to know how this affects my sperm quality and count?
    Is there any natural remedy you can recommend please?

    I would like to know how much

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Edi!

      I am sorry if this was confusing. Because of the tighter fit of briefs, they hold the testicles closer to the body and increase their temperature which may damage sperm. Boxers have been found keep testicle temperature from increasing to the point where they may damage sperm health.
      Varicoceles (varicose veins) of the testicles is known to be the number one reason for this blockage. Varicoceles is usually treated with surgery. Often sexually transmitted disease (STD’s) such as gonorrhea or Chlamydia may cause a blockage, so it is important to be treated for any STD right way to prevent damage to the reproductive organs. While this blockage or varicocele may not directly affect sperm health, it does not allow them to travel properly and that which leads to the varicocele may affect fertility.

      In regards to natural remedies to help your body rid itself of varicoceles, I am not certain of one. To my knowledge they may need to be taken care of surgically after which you can supporting your body’s ability to break down fibrin (the substance that makes up scar tissue and also support sperm health.

      I wish you well!

  12. my fsh level normal (7mIU/ml) but semen analysis says Nil sperm (Azospermia). testicular biopsy done it also shows no sperm. scan reports says no problem, what to do? thanks

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Kumar,

      There are three different classifications of azoospermia about which you can learn more here… We know of very few natural remedies that alone will support men with azoospermia, however there may be ways to do so in combination with medical support from your doctor.

      I wish you well!

  13. I just did semen analysis test after 7 days abstanance my result goes thus volume 4.0ml motile 10 percent non-motile 90 percent, active 10 percent non-active 90 percent morphology: normal 60 percent abnormal 40 percent. Scanty pure cell seen pure cell 6-8 /HDF cell – 6*10 cells and the doctor said I have low sperm count Please advice me on what to do. Thanks

    • Hi babson,

      I am sorry to hear of your negative test results! Please discuss with your doctor the possible causes for your poor test results. If the cause is genetic or physical, natural therapies mentioned in this article may not be effective.

      If your counts are poor due to lifestyle factors such as diet, weight, antibodies, etc., the natural therapies listed in this guide may help the body to improve sperm counts and health once again. Most of these items can be found in our Male Factor Formula Kit. Best of luck to you.

  14. Thanx for the thread as it has been so educative to me

  15. hi My husband have the problem of azoospermia. we have gone for every test even karyotype also every result is normal , even no harmonal inbalance .every test results are normal please give me the solution ,even we are not getting what was the problem if every test results are normal

  16. Is it save healthy to take all these diet and nutrient for healthy male fertility and still take hormone balance drug at the same time?

    • Hi Adeoye,

      No, we do not recommend taking all of the herbs and supplements in this guide with hormone fertility medications prescribed to you by your doctor. Taking a whole food men’s multivitamin and cod liver oil is fine.

  17. My husband have the problem of azoospermia.After their test we find that there is no live or dead sperm. In biophsy report show that sperm cyle is not completing plz give a solution immidiately.