Trying to get someone pregnant? Then you should make sure your sperm is as healthy and vigorous as possible.
The making of sperm is a complex affair, a process referred to as “spermatogenesis.” At the beginning, round, nondescript cells in the testes duplicate themselves, and these copies then divide twice to form cells with half of the man’s chromosomes. A sperm half cell will ultimately join with the half cell that is the egg to make an embryo.
But first, a sperm must change in shape dramatically to become the elegant submarine that swims upstream in the female reproductive organs to penetrate the egg. The complicated manufacturing of a single sperm requires two to three months to complete, yet the testis produces hundreds of millions to billions of sperm each day. A result of the months-long production of sperm is that should a man require treatment to improve spermatogenesis, he must wait two to three months before therapy’s effects are seen.
The sperm are rapidly dividing and growing populations of cells. A well-balanced diet with green leafy and brightly colored vegetables provides the chemicals necessary for DNA and sperm function. A chemical found in red meat and dairy foods, l-carnitine, may be important to sperm function as well.
Avoiding substances and conditions known to be toxic to sperm may also improve male fertility. Sperm toxins include:
- Heat, such as a whirlpool bath
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Anabolic steroids
- Medications such as cimetidine, sulfasalazine, and nitrofurantoin
- Almost all lubricants (such as KY jelly)
So you might want to think twice about that wild bender.