Sperm quality has a great effect on reproduction. Though there are procedures such as medicinal treatment or in vitro fertilization (IVF) that can help couples conceive, researchers are still looking for natural ways to improve the sperm quality to avoid miscarriage, birth defects, and childhood cancer.
A group of researchers from Uremia University in Iran learned that by doing moderate exercise regularly, sperm quality can be improved.
Researchers conducted tests from 261 healthy men, aged 25-40. Participants were asked to perform exercises in different intensities. They followed routine exercises for 24 weeks.
The men were split into four experimental groups:
- Moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) - running on a treadmill for 25-30 minutes, 3-4 days per week
- High-intensity continuous training (HICT) - running on a treadmill for 50 minutes-1 hour, 3-4 days per week
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT) - 1-minute bursts of treadmill sprinting followed by 1 minute of recovery, repeated 10-15 times
- Control group - no exercise.
Results showed that men who followed the MICT exercise had impressive improvements in their sperm quality. Improvements include the greater sperm count, resistance to oxidative stress, better concentration, and motility of the sperm cells.
In a report published in Medical News Today
, the following improvements among men who followed MICT are specified:
8.3 percent more semen volume
12.4 percent higher sperm motility
17.1 percent improved sperm cell shape/morphology
14.1 percent more concentrated sperm
21.8 percent more sperm cells.
"Our results show that doing exercise can be a simple, cheap, and effective strategy for improving sperm quality in sedentary men. However, it's important to acknowledge that the reason some men can't have children isn't just based on their sperm count. Male infertility problems can be complex and changing lifestyles might not solve these cases easily," said Lead author Behzad Hajizadeh Maleki.