September 19th, 2016
Healthy semen is an indicator of good sexual and physical health. Needless to say that the risk of developing infertility and a variety of other reproductive ailments is also low if your semen is high quality. However, it is hard to tell the quality of semen just by looking at it. Thankfully, there are certain signs which can help in determining the quality of your semen; without undergoing unnecessary testing.
Below are some classic physical findings that are associated with healthy semen sample:
Obesity or excessive weight gain is a sign of metabolic derangements that is very frequently associated with low sperm production. Accumulation of fat in the belly region is known to negatively affect the release of sex hormones, which may in turn interferes with the production of sperms. According to latest research, men who have high waist circumference (up to 40 inches or more) are more likely to have low sperm count as compared to those who have slimmer waists.
Women loves those wide and broad muscular faces, but wait! Guys who have “manly faces” are more liable to have poor quality semen, says Finnish and Spanish researchers.
Now this sounds strange but it can be explained via “tradeoff hypothesis”, according to which, males have specific amount of energy that has to be reserved for reproductive system and that particular energy has to be divided among various components. Which means, if a guy has devoted bigger part of that energy for the production of semen, lesser energy will be available for development of secondary sexual traits such as, masculine face (2).
Wearing tight underwear can reduce the motility of sperms and increases the scrotal temperature which can interfere with the sperm production. Men who wear loose undies or boxer shorts have 24% lesser chance of developing abnormal sperms (such as morphological abnormalities or poor quality such as low motility sperms). Moreover, wearing loose fitting underclothes also facilitates ventilation and thus minimizes the risk of bacterial/ fungal colonization.
Despite the fact that women are attracted towards husky, low pitched voices, men with such voice tends to have low sperm count. Now here is the explanation, high testosterone levels are responsible for producing more masculine face and low pitched voice. Higher the testosterone levels, deeper and sexy your voice will be. But very high testosterone levels can also represses your sperm production (2).
If you like eating red, processed meat, you are reducing your sperm count! Researchers from Harvard University says, men who eat processed meat on frequent basis have lower count of normal sperms as compared to those who eat such food once in a while.
White protein are sperm boosters. If you want to maintain healthy semen with maximum sperm count then you must improve your intake of fish, especially tuna and salmon. Men who consume fish frequently tend to have 65% higher sperm production as compared to those who don’t eat fish more often (3). This is because fish is enriched with omega-3 fatty acids which help in the producing sperms.
Exercising not only reduces your weight but also boosts the production of antioxidants in the body; thereby minimizing the risk of damage to your sperm cells as a result of exposure to free radicals. According to a new study conducted by Harvard University, men who engage in moderate to high resistance weight training for 15 hours or more every week, tend to have 73% higher sperm production as compared to those who don’t exercise at all.
Laying on couch and watching TV all day can create problems for your manhood! According to a new research, watching television for more than 20 hours a week can reduce sperm production by 44% (4).
Keeping food in plastic boxes and then heating it in the microwave when needed, sounds easy but not good for your sperm health. When a plastic is heated it leaches certain chemicals such as BPA (bisphenol-A) into your food which then goes inside your body and BPA may affect the androgen and estrogen activities in testicles, leading to development of low motile, abnormal sperms (5).
It is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional if you are experiencing problems in impregnating your partner or you have questions about your sexual health.
1. Eisenberg, M. L., Kim, S., Chen, Z., Sundaram, R., Schisterman, E. F., & Louis, G. M. B. (2014). The relationship between male BMI and waist circumference on semen quality: data from the LIFE study. Human reproduction, 29(2), 193-200.
2. de Lurdes Carrito, M., dos Santos, I. M. B., Lefevre, C. E., Whitehead, R. D., da Silva, C. F., & Perrett, D. I. (2016). The role of sexually dimorphic skin colour and shape in attractiveness of male faces. Evolution and Human Behavior, 37(2), 125-133.
3. Afeiche, M. C., Williams, P. L., Gaskins, A. J., Mendiola, J., Jørgensen, N., Swan, S. H., & Chavarro, J. E. (2014). Meat intake and reproductive parameters among young men. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.), 25(3), 323.
4. Gaskins, A. J., Mendiola, J., Afeiche, M., Jørgensen, N., Swan, S. H., & Chavarro, J. E. (2013). Physical activity and television watching in relation to semen quality in young men. British journal of sports medicine, bjsports-2012.
5. Manikkam, M., Tracey, R., Guerrero-Bosagna, C., & Skinner, M. K. (2013). Plastics derived endocrine disruptors (BPA, DEHP and DBP) induce epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of obesity, reproductive disease and sperm epimutations. PloS one, 8(1), e55387.