The higher your sperm count, the easier itshould be to father a child. When you ejaculate, your semen should contain atleast 15 million sperm per milliliter. If it is lower, this doesn’t mean youcan’t have a child, it just makes it harder. You can maximize your sperm countby protecting your sperm from damaging substances, living a healthy lifestyle,and getting treatment for any underlying medical problems.

Don’t smoke, and if you do, quit. Smoking isassociated with a lower sperm count and lower quality for the sperm that you dohave. It can cause them to have the wrong shape and be less mobile, making itharder for them to fertilize the egg. 

If you quit, your sperm countmay improve. If you need help quitting, you can get support by:

  • Talking to your doctor, attending a treatment program, or seeinga specialist. If you try nicotine replacement therapy, talk to your doctorabout whether this could also impact your sperm count.
  • Talking to friends and family.
  • Joining an in person or online support group.
  • Getting support from toll free hotlines which are available inthe US and many other countries. Check online or in your phone book for thenumbers. 

Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption. 

Heavy drinking can reduce testosterone and lower sperm production. If youare concerned that your drinking might be lowering your sperm count and you needhelp quitting, there are lots of resources available to help you:

  • Join a detox program to get medical supervision duringwithdrawal.
  • Get support from a counselor or local support groups likeAlcoholics Anonymous.
  • Get counseling, either alone, or together with your partner orfamily.
  • Try medications to curb the cravings. Talk to your doctor firstbefore taking medications while trying to father a child.
  • Join a residential treatment program for round-the-clock medicaland emotional support.

Abstain from using illegal drugs.

  • Various drugs may damage your testicles or sperm. In addition, drugs that are purchased onthe street have no quality controls. This means that they could containchemical contaminants that could be dangerous for your sperm. What type of damage occurs will depend upon what chemicals you have used and how much. 
  • Cocaine and marijuana may lower sperm count and quality.
  • Anabolic steroids may shrink your testicles and reduce spermproduction. Avoid industrial or environmental chemicalsthat may be dangerous to your sperm. 

If your job puts you in contact with these substances, wear safety gear and talk to your doctor about whether they could be lowering your sperm count. The greater your exposure, the more likely it is that they will lower your sperm count. These include: 

  • Benzenes
  • Toluene
  • Xylene
  • Herbicides
  • Pesticides
  • Organic solvents
  • Painting materials
  • Lead
  • Heavy metals 

Reduce your chances of getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD). 

STDs cancause damage the testicles, inhibit sperm production, or damage the tubes through which the sperm must pass. 

  • You can reduce your chances of contracting one by being monogamous with an uninfected partner or always using a latex condom when having non-monogamous sex. 
  • Put a condom on before sexual contact begins and use it throughout.
  • If the condom breaks, replace it with a new one immediately.
  • Don't use expired condoms. They are more prone to breaking.