1. Getting pregnant
  2. Trying to conceive
  3. Fertility

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How to Produce More Semen: Sperm Health and Male Fertility Explained

If less semen than normal is released during ejaculation, it might lead to some fertility issues. In this Flo article, we explain what leads to weak ejaculation, what can be done to produce more semen, and how to boost sperm health to increase the chances of conception. Read on to learn about it!  

As males age, semen volume and strength of ejaculation can decrease, causing weak ejaculation.

There are different things that can lead to weak ejaculation. Weakened pelvic muscles can decrease the force of ejaculation. Low testosterone levels may also be at fault. Declining levels of testosterone or an issue with testosterone production in the testicles can also occur with age. It’s also possible to have blockages in the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles or in the penis, which can prevent all of the semen from being ejaculated during orgasm.

There’s also an ejaculatory dysfunction condition called retrograde ejaculation, which is when some or all of the semen travels back towards the bladder instead of being released out of the penis. Medical problems like uncontrolled diabetes or nerve diseases can cause retrograde ejaculation.

Infections like gonorrhea, when not well-treated, can inhibit sperm production or health, which can lead to scarring that blocks sperm from passing. 

Lastly, certain medications, like those to treat an enlarged prostate gland, high blood pressure, and depression, or health conditions such as diabetes, can cause ejaculatory issues.

If someone notices a big change in their ejaculation volume, it’s worth their time to see a health care provider. Some ejaculatory problems can be reversed, but others are permanent.

Male fertility is intricately linked to sperm health and seminal fluid. Seminal fluid is made up of sperm and other nutrients that keep the sperm healthy, including fructose. There are several factors that determine semen quality and the ability to conceive a child: sperm amount and concentration, motility (movement), and shape.

Healthy semen has between 15 million to over 200 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Having 40 percent or more of sperm that are able to move is a good indicator of fertility. Lastly, normal sperm has an oval head and a long tail, which propel them forward to reach the egg.

Male infertility can be due to a variety of factors, including low sperm production, abnormal sperm motility or shape, or blockages that stop sperm from entering the vagina. Lifestyle choices, illnesses, injuries, and chronic health issues, among other things, can contribute to fertility issues.

Age is another important piece of the puzzle. A large population-based study in the U.K. by Ford and colleagues published in the Human Reproduction journal found that, after accounting for female age, males over 40 are 30 percent less likely to conceive a child within one year compared to males under 30. 

There are some key lifestyle changes that can improve fertility naturally for anyone, regardless of gender. There are also some ways to improve the quality of seminal fluid, increase sperm count, and promote sperm health.

Diet, weight, and exercise are also important for sperm health and fertility. This means eating five or more portions of fruits and veggies per day, getting enough protein through beans, fish, eggs, meat, some dairy or dairy alternatives (like soy), and eating foods high in fiber like baked potatoes, bread, rice, or pasta.

Kegel exercises are good for everyone. They can improve sexual and reproductive function by strengthening pelvic floor muscles.

To improve the quality of seminal fluid, it’s important to avoid increasing the temperature of the testicles, which means not using saunas or hot tubs often, as high temperatures can temporarily harm sperm production and function.

There are also some supplements and vitamins to increase sperm quality. The Mayo Clinic notes that Nigella Sative seeds, folic acid, horse chestnut, L-carnitine, Panax ginseng, Coenzyme Q10, and zinc have shown potential benefits in improving sperm quality or count. Speaking with a health care provider before taking any dietary supplements is recommended.

The testicles are constantly producing new sperm, which take anywhere from 42 to 76 days to reach maturity. Doctors can test sperm quality with a semen analysis. To perform the analysis, a sample is needed. This can be produced by masturbating and ejaculating into a container at the doctor’s office.  

To help ensure accuracy of the test, the doctor will likely advise: 

  • Ensuring all of the semen reaches the collection cup
  • Not ejaculating for two to seven days before collecting the sample
  • Doing a second sample at least two weeks later
  • Avoiding lubricants

Other tests are also available to find the cause of semen problems and male infertility, such as ultrasound, hormone tests, urine analysis, genetic tests, testicular biopsy, and more. 

If you and your partner are trying to get pregnant but struggling, it’s a good idea to see a health care provider. Thankfully, there are options for improving semen volume and quality. There are also medical treatments available for male fertility.

“Ask the doctor: Weak ejaculation: Cause for worry?” Harvard Health Publishing, 13 Aug. 2014, https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/ask-the-doctor-weak-ejaculation-cause-for-worry

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Low sperm count.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 30 Oct. 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/low-sperm-count/symptoms-causes/syc-20374585

“Low Sperm Count.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 30 Oct. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/low-sperm-count/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20374591.

Alwaal, MD, MSc, Amjad et al. “Normal male sexual function: emphasis on orgasm and ejaculation.” Fertil Steril, vol. 104, no. 5, Nov. 2015, pp. 1051-1060, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4896089/

Corona, Giovanni. “Perceived ejaculate volume reduction in patients with erectile dysfunction: psychobiologic correlates.” J Androl., vol. 32, no. 3, May-June 2011, pp. 333-339, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20705793/

“Diabetes, Sexual, & Bladder Problems.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, June 2018, https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/sexual-bladder-problems?dkrd=/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/sexual-urologic-problems

Cohen, PT, MS, CSCS, COMT, WCS, Deborah et al. “The Role of Pelvic Floor Muscles in Male Sexual Dysfunction and Pelvic Pain.” Sexual Medicine Reviews, vol. 4, 2016, pp. 53-62, https://www.smr.jsexmed.org/article/S2050-0521(15)00002-5/pdf

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Healthy sperm: Improving your fertility.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), 25 Apr. 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/fertility/art-20047584#:~:text=Quantity.,available%20to%20fertilize%20the%20egg

Ford, WC et al. “Increasing paternal age is associated with delayed conception in a large population of fertile couples: evidence for declining fecundity in older men.” The ALSPAC Study Team (Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood, Hum Reprod, vol. 15, no. 8, Aug. 2000, pp. 1703-1708, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10920089/

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Kegel exercises for men: Understand the benefits.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), 15 Sept. 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/kegel-exercises-for-men/art-20045074

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