“The interesting thing we discovered was that, on average, when we measured the testosterone in the blood of a 60-year-old in 1989 it was higher than that in a different 60-year-old measured in 1995,” said Thomas Travison, PhD, of the New England Research Institutes, Watertown, Mass. “We observed the same phenomenon over a wide range of ages. Although testosterone loss is common as men age, it is often associated with diabetes, abdominal obesity, sexual dysfunction, depression and other adverse conditions.”

We know through research that the testosterone levels and sperm count are dropping over time but the science is slim on narrowing down exactly what is causing the drop. The most likely conclusion is that it is likely caused by a combination of biological and environmental factors. One of the commonly reported contributing factors include maternal chemical/plastics exposure while the male child is in the womb.  Also reported contributing factors include high percentage of body fat and sedentary lifestyle habits.

Ways to protect my sperm count and raise my chances at conceiving.

  1. Avoid nicotine and drugs. When trying to conceive, try to avoid nicotine intake completely. This goes for smoking, chewing, or vaping. Nicotine lowers sperm count and decreases motility of the sperm. It can negatively affect libido and increase chances of impotence. Nicotine also can have negative effects on the sperm’s DNA, increasing the risk of health problems of an unborn baby. Drugs like marijuana, heroin, and cocaine can cause a whole host of issues for your reproductive system which lead to loss of sperm motility and quality.
  2.  Back off the booze. Over consumption of alcohol can lead to decreased quality and quantity of sperm. In a paper published by Mary Ann Emanuele, M.D. and Nicholas V. Emanuele, M.D. titled ‘Alcohol Effects on Male Reproduction‘ they state, “The male reproductive system consists of the hypothalamus, the anterior pituitary gland, and the testes. Alcohol can interfere with the function of each of these components, thereby causing impotence, infertility, and reduced male secondary sexual characteristics.”
  3. Lower caffeine intake. When the concept that caffeine may have a negative impact on sperm count many scientists theorized that caffeine may bear quite a bit of responsibility in the wider sperm count decline. After researching the subject however scientist came to the conclusion that caffeine from coffee or tea wasn’t as detrimental as caffeine consumed in the form of a sugary soft drink.
  4. Work on your weight. Fat tissue or Adipose tissue in specific places on the body can play a role in how your body metabolizes substances, like Androgen for instance. In a report by The World Journal of Men’s Health, “Within fat tissue, enzymes such as aromatase and aldo-keto reductase 1C are responsible for metabolizing testosterone into estrogen and 5-dihydrotestosterone into inactive metabolites. Adipose tissue can also affect the secretion of gonadotropin, which influences the formation of androgen in the testes.” Also exercise can effect sperm count as well so don’t be afraid to hit the gym.
  5. Improve your diet. Eat foods which are rich with antioxidants. Fruits, vegetables, and even a glass of red wine with dinner can all be beneficial to sperm health. Avoid any kind of soy intake. Soy contains phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen. This can effect testosterone levels which in turn means less sperm. Ingredients to avoid are soy sauce, edamame, and tofu.
  6. Take a supplement. You should always research supplements before deciding which ones are right for you. Specifically in regards to sperm count and quality, a deficiency in vitamin C, zinc, and/or folic acid greatly hinder the state of the sperm. These deficiencies can also cause chromosomal abnormalities in sperm which may lead to miscarriages.