KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — Most men would always dream of having a larger penis, but the obsession with size does not usually end there.
It seems that some men are concerned about their semen load too.
A recent study revealed that the men who are unsatisfied with their semen volume experience high levels of relationship distress, sexual discontent and anxiety about their sexual performance.
According to sexologist and sexual health practitioner Dr Rachael Winston a normal semen volume ranges from two to 5ml per ejaculation.
She said the amount tends to change with age, in which peak semen volume is usually produced between 30-35 years of age and the lowest level once men reach 55 years and older.
“There are no known products that help increase semen volume and it’s only believed to be a myth.
“The only known possible way that helps increase semen volume in a very minimal way is by abstaining from sex or masturbation for a long time.”
However, Dr Winston said the difference in volume does not vary much.
“Most men aspire to increase semen volume as they usually associate semen volume with fertility in which they feel they may have a better chance if they had more semen.
“Besides this, some men tend to feel more masculine if they ejaculate more semen and believe it would increase their and their partner’s sexual pleasure.”
In reality, she said the semen volume is not linked to sexual pleasure either for the male or the female partner.
“This is one of the main false perceptions believed by most men.”
Dr Winston also dismissed common claims by sexual supplement makers that such pills would increase semen volumes.
If you have been trying to have a baby and it’s just not happening, you might be having a low sperm count.
According to Dr Winston, there are a few things that can be done to improve and maintain a healthy sperm count.
One of the methods, she said is by doing regular exercise at least two to three times a week to help boost testosterone levels.
She also advised men to avoid smoking, reduce alcohol intake and drugs as this is highly related to lower sperm count, sperm density and reduced motility.
Lastly, she said men who are experiencing low sperm count should relax more and try to minimise stress levels.
“Studies have shown that prolonged stress raises cortisol levels which in return has a strong effect on lowering testosterone levels in return.”
Dr Winston said a normal sperm count is about 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen.
Therefore, anything lower than that is usually considered a low sperm count or a condition known as Oligospermia.
When it comes to examining the quality of sperm, Dr Winston said it is usually seen in its movement.
“A normal sperm average of 40 per cent or more is needed to have good motility in order to be considered fertile in men.
“The lower the sperm count the lesser the chances of them reaching to fertilise the eggs and this will eventually lead to fertility issues in men.”
Low sperm/semen count causes
Dr Winston said a decrease in sperm count or semen volume is usually related to medical, environmental and lifestyle issues.
“In terms of medical, it’s usually related to conditions that cause veins within the testicle to swell up called varicocele which is one of the most common reversible causes of low sperm count.
“Besides this, underlying infections can also interfere with sperm production.”
She said environmental factors such as exposure to industrial chemicals and radiation may disrupt the temperature within the testicles, causing an increase in temperature which in return affects both the quality and quantity of the sperm count.
Food for a bigger load
Apart from lifestyle adjustments, Dr Winston said food rich in omega-3 or antioxidants always help in boosting sperm count and quality as these nutrients will usually help by increasing blood flow to the testicles.
“Additionally, most green leafy vegetables are usually loaded with folic acid that helps in overall sperm health and motility.
“Oysters are also known to have a rich source of zinc which is also an essential mineral that plays an important role in improving testosterone levels as well as sperm production.”
She said dark chocolate is also known to be a natural aphrodisiac that contains a type of amino acid called L-Arginine HCL which is also known to increase semen volume and sperm count.