So get busy: Sperm quality peaks in winter and early spring, an Israeli study found, and low-stress weekends offer your best chances of success.
Ashok Agarwal, Ph.D., head of reproductive medicine at Cleveland Clinic, explains how four lifestyle changes can improve your baby-making odds.
Avoid Any Defects
Sperm are not perfectly shaped little tadpoles. In fact, 90-plus percent of the average guy’s swimmers may be too deformed to penetrate the egg. Excess free radicals may be to blame, Agarwal says.
Consuming foods rich in the antioxidant lycopene is one solution, Harvard scientists say. (For a quick boost, eat tomato sauce: A quarter cup has 8,500 micrograms.)
Lift Your Number
A typical ejaculation can contain 15 to 150 million sperm. To maximize your potential payload, you need to work up a sweat outside the bedroom, says Agarwal.
In fact, Harvard researchers found that men who worked out the most had a 33 percent higher sperm count than those who exercised the least. That’s because gym time helps burn fat while boosting testosterone.
Make Them Mobile
Your sperm must carry out their mission in 12 to 14 hours; that’s how long the egg, once it’s released, remains viable. Success can depend on their swimming speed.
So help them out: Put down the smartphone. In a Cleveland Clinic study, men who used their phones more had decreased sperm mobility, perhaps because of these phones’ electromagnetic waves.
Keep The Alive
Those swimmers need to stay alive—and your choice of lube matters. Even lubes that are touted as “all natural” may contain chemicals that are acidic or alkaline enough to poison your mini-Phelpses.
In fact, some brands can wipe out 72 percent of your offering in 30 minutes, say researchers in Australia. Save your sperm with a blend designed for procreation.