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How to increase sperm count

On this page

  1. Overview
  2. Symptoms
  3. Causes
  4. Treatment
  5. Supplements
  6. Foods
  7. Sleep
  8. Exercise
  9. Alcohol
  10. Heat

1. Overview

A lot of men now have fertility issues. Male sperm quality has decreased by 40% over the last 70 years. A low sperm count is known as oligozoospermia. The volume of semen in a typical ejaculation is 2.5-5mL, with 50-150 million sperm per mL.

2. Symptoms

The parameters for a semen sample are set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Some countries use the old parameters and some the new. According to the latest report (fifth version), a normal sperm count should be more than 39 million in total.

3. Causes

Clinical studies have confirmed that chronic consumption of alcohol and nicotine causes a decline in testosterone levels and sperm count.

A lot of man-made chemicals act like oestrogen causing a decrease in testosterone levels in men, which affects sperm count and quality. Exposure to chemicals such as PFCs and electromagnetic waves can decrease sperm count.

4. Treatment for a low sperm count

It is possible to increase sperm count levels with the use of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, dietary changes, lifestyle improvements and specific supplements.


There have been several research studies which have shown that acupuncture can improve a man's sperm count and increase testosterone levels.


Moxibustion has been shown in research to improve a low sperm count in men.

5. Supplements

These supplements have been shown to improve sperm count:

6. Foods

These specific foods can increase sperm count:

  • White and dark fish
  • Shell fish
  • Walnuts
  • Organic food

These foods can reduce sperm count:

  • Red meat
  • Cow's milk
  • Coffee
  • Chilli

7. Sleep

For optimal male fertility, try and sleep before 10pm and for 7 to 8 hours.

8. Exercise

Try and exercise (cardio) for at least 30 minutes, three times a week. Don't over-exercise as this can reduce male sperm count.

7. Alcohol

Try and cut down on alcohol intake to two beers a week. No more!

10. Heat

Avoid heat on the lower abdomen near the testicles. Avoid hot baths, saunas, sun beds, heated car seats and laptops on the lap. Heat can affect sperm production.


Ren et al. (2016) Effects and mechanisms of acupuncture and moxibustion on reproductive endocrine function in male rats with partial androgen deficiency. Acupunct Med, 34:136-143 doi:10.1136/acupmed-2014-010734.

Sherman et al. (2000) Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study. Andrologia 32, 31-39.

Siterman, et al. (2009) Success of acupuncture treatment in patients with initially low sperm output is associated with a decrease in scrotal skin temperature. Asian Journal of Andrology; 11: 200-8.

Mu, Y, et al. 2019. Effect on sperm quality of asthenospermia and oligospermia treated with grain-moxibustion combined with medicine therapy. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu; 12;39(8):843-8. doi: 10.13703/j.0255-2930.2019.08.012.

Allameh F, Razzaghi M, Hosseini S, Barati M, Razzaghi Z, Salehi S, Ghahestani SM, Shahabi V. The Effect of Laser Acupuncture on Semen Parameters in Infertile Men With Oligospermia: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Lasers Med Sci. 2021 Dec 27;12:e84. doi: 10.34172/jlms.2021.84. PMID: 35155169; PMCID: PMC8837838.

Siterman S, Eltes F, Wolfson V, Lederman H, Bartoov B. Does acupuncture treatment affect sperm density in males with very low sperm count? A pilot study. Andrologia. 2000 Jan;32(1):31-9. PMID: 10702864.

Yu Y, Sha SB, Zhang B, Guan Q, Liang M, Zhao LG, Zhang QY, Wen J, Sun W. Effects and mechanism of action of transcutaneous electrical acupuncture point stimulation in patients with abnormal semen parameters. Acupunct Med. 2019 Feb;37(1):25-32. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2017-011365. Epub 2019 Apr 3. PMID: 30942613.


My Fertility Guide - How To Get Pregnant Naturally

My Fertility Guide: How To Get Pregnant Naturally

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