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New Study Shows Diet & Lifestyle Habits Greatly Impact Sperm Health

New Study Shows Diet & Lifestyle Habits Greatly Impact Sperm Health

When a couple experiences fertility struggles, it is almost always the woman who is focused on, but a new study shows that men may be just as much of a factor in failed conception. The new study shows that what a man drinks and eats, as well as certain lifestyle habits affect the couples ability to conceive, implantation success, and pregnancy rate.

The study, published by Fertility and Sterility, 11/10/2011, observed 250 men, who with their female partners were to undergo intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The doctors evaluated their sperm samples prior to ICSI to determine the sperm health, count and motility. The outcomes of each of the IVF procedures were also observed. The men filled out daily questionnaires on how much they consumed alcoholic beverages, details of everything they ate, and how often they smoked cigarettes. Their body mass index (BMI) was also noted.

About 3/4 of the couple’s ISCI resulted in successful fertilization. Of all the couples, just under 4 out of 10 IVF’s resulted in pregnancy.

Results of the Study

Diet and Lifestyle Impacts on Sperm Health

Negative Findings

  • Men who are overweight to obese (high BMI) have slower sperm and lower concentration of sperm.
  • Men who drink alcohol regularly also have lower sperm motility and concentration.
  • Smokers had poor sperm motility.
  • Both alcohol and coffee consumption showed a reduced chance of fertilization.
  • Men who ate red meat had lowered had lower implantation and pregnancy rates.
  • Men who were on a weight loss diet had lowered implantation and pregnancy rates.

Positive Findings

  • Men who ate more whole grain cereals (wheat, barley, oats) had high sperm concentration and motility.
  • Consumption of fresh fruit gave sperm a boost in speed and agility.
  • Men who consumed more healthy meals a day had better overall rates in all areas.

It is Important to Eat a Nutrient Dense Fertility Diet!

Time and time again we have stressed the importance of eating a nutrient dense fertility diet for both partners! This study shows the importance for the male partner to eat well for healthy fertility. Diet changes alone make the greatest positive impact on our health, including the very sperm that will make up your future child! Both men and women should evaluate both their diet and lifestyle habits and make changes now and stick to them long-term. It takes around 76 days from the time of sperm production to ejaculation in normal men. It is best to implement healthy diet and lifestyle changes at least 3 months prior to beginning to try and conceive, or prior to going for IUI or IVF.

We Have Great Resources for Improving Male Fertility

The following articles have detailed ways to improve sperm count, health, and motility. These articles provide supportive tips on diet changes with specific vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, herbs and foods to avoid, implementing positive lifestyle changes, as well as suggestions for making a month-by-month plan. We greatly encourage you to check out these amazing tips…

The Male Fertility Diet
21 Day Fertility Diet Challenge
Increasing Low Sperm Count and Improving Male Fertility…
The Men’s Guide to Preparing for IVF
Study Finds Antioxidants Boost Male Fertility
Goji Juice Helps Men’s Sperm Stay Healthy

Additional Resources
21 Day Fertility Diet Challenge eBook
Fertility Yoga
Products to Support Male Fertility
Fertility Superfoods

What you eat makes up every cell in your body. When you are not getting enough vital nutrients each day, your body cannot function properly. In addition, if you partake regularly in unhealthy regular use of alcohol and cigarettes, you may be adversely affecting your fertility. This may lead to lowered fertility. Another key point of this study was the fact that the higher your BMI, your risk for lowered fertility goes up! If you truly want a child, you must find the drive within to change your dietary and lifestyle habits! You will be amazed at how you feel, just by making better food choices! Not only that, you will be increasing your chances of a successful pregnancy and healthy child!


  • Braga, D. P. D. A. F., Halpern, G., Rita de Cássia, S. F., Setti, A. S., Iaconelli, A., & Borges, E. (2012). Food intake and social habits in male patients and its relationship to intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes. Fertility and sterility, 97(1), 53-59. Retrieved online from:

Dalene Barton-Schuster - Certified Herbalist, Birth Doula

Practicing natural health and herbalism for over 18 years, Dalene received her training and herbal certification under the guidance of Lynn Albers at Yarmony Mt. Herbal College in Colorado in 2000. She went on to become a Certified Birth Doula at Birthingway College of Midwifery in Portland, Oregon in 2007. As a Birth Doula, Dalene has helped to bring many new lives in to this world. Dalene has written 280+ fertility articles and with her vast array of herbal and holistic healing knowledge has helped 1000’s of women on their journey to Motherhood.

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