Sperm Quality and Production: The Surprising Impact of Lifestyle Choices

As a couple plans to have kids, the health of both men and women must be at its prime. Both the egg and sperm must be of top quality. Low sperm count implies that the couple will have a tough time convincing. It also implies that the fluid (semen) that males ejaculate during orgasm has fewer sperms than normal which will affect your sperm quality and production.

Low sperm count is known as oligospermia, and a complete absence of sperm is called azoospermia. If the male has fewer than fifteen million sperm per millimeter of semen, then it is termed a low sperm count.

Impact Of Low Sperm Count

Low sperm count implies that the sperm may not fertilize the egg. There is a rare chance that the male will father a child. Low sperm count often causes problems in sperm quality and production and your sexual function. It often results in having low sexual drive or erectile dysfunction. It often causes pain, swelling, or a lump in the testicle area. Decreased facial hair or body hair is also an indication of hormone abnormality.

Low Sperm Count

Dilated testicular veins, hormonal imbalance, a condition that results in the blocking the passage of sperms, tumors, prior surgeries, celiac disease, prior surgeries, antibodies that attack sperm, or inherited chromosomal abnormality coil cause low sperm count. Apart from these, several lifestyle factors would result in low sperm count.

Causes Of Low Sperm Count Due To Lifestyle Factors

1. Drug Use

Anabolic steroids are taken to stimulate muscle growth and strength. It is common practice for athletes and wrestlers, causing the testicles to shrink and the sperm production is reduced. Consumption of cocaine, weed, or marijuana could also cause a reduction in sperm count.

Apart from the ones mentioned here, several illicit drugs could cause low sperm count. Not only causing low sperm count they also affect the quality of the sperm. It is a documented fact that children born to drug-abusive fathers often have birth defects or experience withdrawal symptoms as an infant. Drinking alcohol causes a reduction in sperm count.

Alcohol results in lower testosterone levels. Alcohol infamously affects the nerves and causes the hormones to go haywire thereby causing low sperm count. Similar to drugs, even alcoholic fathers often give birth to children who have congenital defects or achieve milestones very late.

2. Obesity

Being on the heavier side or obese could directly result in low sperm count. It could also affect the hormones that can reduce male fertility. Fat deposits around the testicles or the passage from where sperm is released cause low sperm count. 

3. Occupation

Several occupations could cause low sperm count. Occupations like welding, or sitting prolonged in one position like truck driving, often cause low sperm count. Medically, there are not ample studies that prove consistency in this but then it is found true in most cases. At times athletes use performance enhancers or may get hurt (trauma to the testicles) in a way that could cause low sperm count.

4. Tobacco Consumption or Smoking

Men who smoke could end up having a low sperm count. Even consuming tobacco in any other form could cause a low sperm count.

5. Emotional Stress

Severe and prolonged emotional or mental stress could cause infertility. Stress interferes with hormones that produce hormones. Stress also causes reduced sexual drive, and in the long run, it causes low sperm count. 

6. Depression

Being depressed or even having anxiety issues could cause a massive reduction in sperm count. Depression or any other mental issue affects the hormones and sperm count. Depression brings a sense of perpetual low mental status. Thus, the sperm quality is poorly affected. 

7. Not Getting Adequate Sleep

Not getting quality sleep time could also affect sperm count. A body that is not well rested could often feel the stress and thus in such instances the fertility is highly affected in both males and females. It could also lead to low sperm count. Inadequate sleep affects bodily functions, and sperm quality also deteriorates. Poor-quality sperm is also a leading cause of stillborn births or miscarriages.

8. Consuming Too Much Fast And Processed Food

It is proven that consuming fast and processed food can cause several health issues. Infertility and low sperm count are often a result of bad food choices. Processed food and fast food affects the hormones in the body and also the quality of sperms.

9. Sperm Testing Issue

Low sperm test results could also happen when the sperm testing is taken too soon after the last ejaculation. Also, if the test is done after a long illness or traumatic event the sperm count is often low. It is also possible that most of the semen was spilled while collecting for the test and this could also result in low sperm count. 

10. Working On A Laptop

Working with a laptop while keeping it too close to the testicles affects the quality and quantity of sperm. It is a proven fact that males who work on laptops for a long period experience male infertility issues. Similarly, wearing too-tight clothes also affects sperm quality.

Environmental Causes That Affect Quality And Quantity Of Sperm

Apart from the above lifestyle factors, several environmental causes affect the quality and quantity of sperm. It is a proven fact that the environment has been negatively affected due to human activities. Thus, directly or indirectly human activities affect the sperm count in males. The environmental reasons are as follows:

  1. Industrial Chemicals- Extended exposure to toluene, xylene, herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, painting material, and, benzenes cause permanent damage to sperm quality and quantity.
  2. Heavy Metal Exposure- Heavy metals like lead result in infertility. 
  3. Radiation Or X-rays- Radiations affect sperm quality and it takes years to get back to normal. 
  4. Overheating The Testicles- Extremely high temperatures negatively affect sperm production and function. 

The sperm quality is crucial for a happy and healthy child. Making lifestyle changes is mandatory to overcome infertility issues. Making lifestyle changes will not only affect sperm but also, overall well-being. 

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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