QUIT SMOKING AND EAT WELL: SPERM HEALTH ADVICE16th March 2018
Is your diet poor? Do you smoke? It’s not just your health that may be suffering but your sperm too, meaning you may not be able to donate sperm or conceive as quickly as you’d like if you want a child yourself.
For this week’s Nutrition & Hydration Week and also No Smoking Day, we look at why diet and smoking affects sperm – and what you can do about it with tips from fertility nutritionist Jeannette Jackson:
Diet and sperm health
Obesity is a big problem for sperm health. Various studies have shown that being overweight negatively affects sperm in a number of ways, ranging from your sperm count to how well your sperm moves.
Smoking and sperm health
The toxins from cigarettes aren’t just harmful to your health, studies have shown it can also damage the DNA of your sperm. Research has shown that smokers also have lower semen volume, sperm count and motility compared to non-smokers.
But because of the sperm production cycle, if you stop smoking your sperm will improve fairly quickly. So if you’re planning to be a sperm donor, there’s never been a better time to quit.
Sperm donation: Checking your sperm quality
If you’re overweight or currently smoke it doesn’t mean you can’t apply to be a sperm donor.
We’ll check the quality of your sperm as part of the initial sperm donation process, which will tell us if your BMI or smoking habit has affected your sperm.
Remember that donor sperm used for fertility treatment has to be the very highest quality than what would normally be needed for natural conception, because of all the processes it goes through in the lab.
So if your sperm isn’t suitable, it doesn’t mean you have a fertility problem or are infertile.
We’ll explain the results of your semen analysis in full, so you understand what they mean for you and your ability to be a sperm donor or father a child in future.
Fertility boosting nutrition for healthy sperm
If you’d like to be a sperm donor and want to get your sperm in shape first, here’s some dietary advice from fertility nutritionist Jeannette Jackson.
- Aim to eat a good balanced diet that will provide you with all the vitamins and minerals you need, such as wholegrain carbs; lean proteins and omega-3 rich fish; low-fat dairy and plenty of fruit and vegetables.
- Studies have shown that a diet rich in nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants like selenium, zinc and lycopene and vitamin D and folate (folic acid) is good for sperm health. Foods like tomatoes, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, lentils, spinach and blueberries are all sperm-friendly foods.
- Avoid processed foods as much as possible
- Avoid foods high in saturated fats
- Cut back on sugar consumption – including ‘diet’ drinks
- Reduce alcohol intake and increase your water intake instead – hydration is vital to for healthy sperm
Apply to be a Semovo sperm donor
You can apply to be Semovo sperm donor online. We have regional donation clinics in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Glasgow. Explore the process or read our FAQs. Or chat to our friendly team if you have any questions on 0345 266 1272.