Question: I need a help. I have been married for 3 years but my wife is still not pregnant. I went for a checkup and it seems as if my sperm count is very low as only 30% is active. I’m active in sports and go jogging almost every day for at least 5 kilometres. I also participate in long distance marathons in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. How can I increase my sperm count? Please help me.
Dr Dana Answers: I refer to a study titled “Gonadal Hormones And Semen Quality In Male Runners. A Volume Threshold Effect Of Endurance Training” in The International Journal of Sports Medicine in 1994. A sample of eleven high mileage runners (approximately 108 kilometres per week); 9 moderate mileage runners (approximately 54.2 kilometres per week) and 10 sedentary controls of similar age (28.3 kilometres per year) were studied to evaluate the effects of volume of endurance training on reproductive functions in male runners. Researchers discovered that total motile sperm count and density were lower in the high mileage runners than the sedentary control group.
Decreased sperm motility and an increased population of immature sperm were observed in the high mileage compared to moderate mileage and sedentary control groups. Sperm penetration of cervical mucus was also decreased in the high mileage group compared to the sedentary control group.
In another study titled “Prospective Study Of Hormonal And Semen Profiles In Marathon Runners” in 1995, 24 healthy male marathon runners between the ages of 25 to 54 were studied. Semen analyses included an evaluation of count, motility, morphology, and volume. These profiles were correlated with training intensity. The intensity of training was increased significantly in the first 5 months of the study. The results showed that the semen volume, sperm motility and morphology fell significantly during training, but there was no significant alteration in the sperm count.
So my recommendation is to opt for less intense endurance sports if you seek to have a higher chance of being a father.