Improving (Boosting) the Sperm Health (Quality)

When couples face challenges with fertility, male factors such as sperm quality often play a critical role. The quality of sperm refers to its ability to fertilize an egg and contribute to the formation of a healthy embryo. Some factors that influence male fertility, such as genetics, illness, or age, cannot be controlled. Abnormal sperm can make it more difficult to fertilize the woman’s egg, however, fortunately, there are things you can do to improve your sperm health and, therefore, your chances of successfully conceiving.

Understanding sperm quality involves assessing various factors through a process called semen analysis. Some the main factors considered when evaluating sperm quality are as below:

1 - Sperm Count (Sperm Concentration):

This measures the number of sperm present in one milliliter of semen. A normal sperm count is usually considered to be 15 million sperm per milliliter or higher.

2 - Sperm Motility

This assesses the ability of sperm to move and swim. Motility is crucial for sperm to reach and fertilize an egg. The evaluation includes the percentage of progressively motile sperm and the total motile sperm count.

3 - Sperm Morphology

This examines the shape and structure of sperm. Ideally, a high percentage of sperm should have a normal shape. Abnormalities in sperm morphology can affect their ability to penetrate and fertilize an egg.

4 - Semen Volume

This measures the amount of semen produced during ejaculation. A normal semen volume is typically above 1.5 milliliters.

5 - Sperm Viability (Vitality)

This indicates the percentage of live sperm in a semen sample. Viability is an important factor, as only live sperm can fertilize an egg.

6 - Genetic Factors

While not directly assessed in a routine semen analysis, genetic factors can play a role in sperm quality. Genetic testing may be considered in specific cases or when there is a history of genetic conditions.

Sperm analysis results may vary depending on your age, health history, and other things. Your test results may be different depending on the lab used. They may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.

More information about male infertility can be found here.

Supplements for Improving Sperm Health

Research has identified several nutritional supplements that may improve male fertility.

Here’s a concise guide to supplements that promise to enhance sperm health.

  • Zinc: Integral for testosterone production and seminal fluid, zinc supplementation can increase sperm count and motility, particularly in men with zinc deficiencies.
  • Selenium: As an antioxidant, selenium helps reduce oxidative stress, which is known to improve sperm viability and motility.
  • Vitamin C and E: These vitamins act as antioxidants, safeguarding sperm DNA from oxidative stress and potentially improving the sperm's overall ability to fertilise an egg. Some studies suggest that antioxidant supplementation may improve sperm morphology.
Amino Acids and Coenzymes:
  • Coenzyme Q10: This antioxidant is crucial for energy production within sperm cells. Some studies suggest that CoQ10 supplementation may improve sperm parameters, including morphology.
  • L-Carnitine: L-carnitine is an amino acid that plays a role in energy metabolism. Some studies suggest that L-carnitine supplementation may have a positive impact on sperm quality, including morphology.
Fatty Acids:
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are essential for sperm health. These fatty acids are found in fish oil supplements and may positively impact sperm morphology.
  • Vitamin D: Adequate vitamin D levels are essential for overall health, and research has indicated a potential connection between vitamin D deficiency and poor sperm quality. Ensuring sufficient vitamin D intake may benefit sperm motility and morphology
  • Folic Acid: Often used in combination with zinc, folic acid supports sperm's genetic material and may lead to an increase in overall sperm count. Some studies indicate a potential link between folic acid supplementation and improved sperm morphology.
Herbal Supplements:
  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): An adaptogenic herb that has been traditionally used to improve sperm count and motility.

It’s important to note that individual responses to supplements can vary, and excessive intake of certain vitamins and minerals can have negative effects. Before starting any supplementation regimen, individuals should consult with a healthcare professional, preferably a reproductive specialist or urologist, to determine the most appropriate approach based on their specific situation and health status.

What are the other factors to improve sperm health?

1 - Lifestyle Changes:
  • Diet: Adopt a balanced and nutritious diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity to maintain a healthy weight and improve overall well-being.
  • Avoidance of Harmful Substances: Minimize or quit consuming tobacco, excessive alcohol, and recreational drug use.
2 - Maintaining a Healthy Weight:
  • Obesity has been linked to lower sperm quality, so achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can be beneficial.
3 - Stress Management:
  • Chronic stress can negatively impact sperm health, so incorporating stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or mindfulness may be helpful.
4 - Avoiding Heat Exposure:
  • Prolonged exposure to high temperatures, such as hot baths or saunas, may affect sperm quality. Encourage practices that prevent excessive heat exposure to the genital area.
5 - Regular Ejaculation:
  • Regular ejaculation (but not too frequent) may help maintain sperm quality.
6 - Medical Interventions:
  • Consultation with a healthcare professional or a fertility specialist can lead to medical interventions tailored to the individual's needs. This may include hormone therapy, medications, or surgical procedures.
7 - Avoiding Environmental Toxins:
  • Minimize exposure to environmental toxins, such as pesticides, chemicals, and pollutants, which may negatively impact sperm quality.

Intralipid Serum

There are many reasons for recurrent implantation failures (RIF) and pregnancy losses, and for some expectant mothers, multiple factors may be at play. One of the key elements involved is the immune system.

The immune system plays a vital role in the formation and maintenance of a healthy pregnancy. Natural killer cells (NK), which are regulated by the immune system, can be excessively active in women with autoimmune diseases. When an embryo is implanted, women with autoimmune diseases may experience abnormal reactions in their natural killer cells. As a result, these cells may perceive the embryo as an invader, triggering an attack by the body. In such cases, the mother’s body may not accept the transferred embryo, leading to rejection, ultimately resulting in the failure of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. Intralipid serum treatment aims to assist in balancing immune system irregularities that cause the inability of the embryo to implant in the uterus.

What is Intralipid Serum Treatment?

Intralipid serum therapy is a treatment method used to strengthen a woman’s immune system and enhance its ability to accept embryos and sustain pregnancy. This treatment is considered, particularly for women experiencing recurrent miscarriages or implantation failures.

Intralipid serum is a nutritious lipid emulsion containing components such as proteins and fats derived from soybeans, egg phospholipids, and glycerin. These substances are known to have positive effects in fortifying the immune system. The therapy aims to balance immune system irregularities, especially in women facing challenges in embryo acceptance, thereby improving the chances of successful pregnancy.

However, the treatment plan is individualized and determined after a personalized assessment, guided by a fertility specialist.

When Is Intralipid Serum Treatment Considered?

Intralipid serum therapy is typically considered in the following situations:

  • Recurrent Pregnancy Losses: When a woman has experienced three or more recurrent miscarriages, and/or
  • Recurrent Implantation Failures (RIF):In cases where embryos fail to attach to the uterus or pregnancy does not occur.
Frequently Asked Questions About Intralipid Serum

How Is the Intralipid Serum Treatment Applied?

Intralipid Serum treatment is typically combined with in vitro fertilization (IVF) or other assisted reproductive technologies.

The serum is administered to the expectant mother through the vein at specified intervals. Treatment typically starts before embryo transfer. After pregnancy is achieved, the administration may continue at regular intervals (usually once a week or every 2 weeks) up to the 8th week if deemed necessary. However, individual responses to the treatment may vary.

What are the Benefits of Using Intralipid Serum?

The primary role of Intralipid serum in IVF treatment is to balance the immune system. A healthy and well-balanced immune system can enhance the success rates of the treatment; however, the effectiveness may vary from one woman to another.

Are There Any Side Effects of Intralipid Serum?

It is known that there are no specific side effects associated with Intralipid serum treatment. However, some women may have allergies to certain components within the Intralipid serum, such as fats derived from soybeans, egg phospholipids, and glycerin. If there is a known allergy, the treatment should not be administered.

What is Hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is a procedure that allows us to examine inside the uterus (the womb) and the parts of the tubes opening into the uterus by using a thin, lighted instrument called a hysteroscope. The hysteroscope is inserted through the vagina to the cervix and into the uterus, providing a direct view of the uterine cavity.

Application areas of Hysteroscopy (When is hysteroscopy recommended?)

Hysteroscopy is mainly used for two purposes: diagnostic and operative (surgical treatment)

  • Diagnostic Hysteroscopy: Used to investigate and diagnose symptoms or problems within the uterus, such as heavy periods, unusual vagina bleeding, pelvic pain, post-menopause bleeding, recurrent miscarriages, the presence of polyps or fibroids, and difficulty in getting pregnant.
  • Operative Hysteroscopy: Involves using the hysteroscope to perform specific surgical procedures, such as removing polyps or fibroids, correcting uterine abnormalities, intrauterine adhesions or scar tissues.

How is a hysteroscopy done?

  • Hysteroscopy is generally performed in operating room conditions. The patient may be given local anaesthesia or be under general anaesthesia, depending on the nature of the procedure. Office hysteroscopy (diagnostic hysteroscopy) is performed only with local anaesthesia.
  • The vagina and cervix are cleaned with an antiseptic solution.
  • A hysteroscope (long, thin lighted tube with a camera) inserted through the cervix into the uterus. (Some cramping and discomfort can be experienced as it passes through the cervix)
  • A solution is used to expand the uterus, allowing better visualisation.
  • The doctor examines the uterine lining and structures, looking for abnormalities.
  • If the procedure is purely diagnostic, the doctor may observe and gather information about the condition of the uterus.
  • If treatment is needed, small instruments may be passed through the hysteroscope to remove polyps, fibroids, scar tissue or correct abnormalities.

Advantages of Hysteroscopy

  • Minimally invasive: Hysteroscopy does not require abdominal incisions.
  • Direct visualisation: Provides a clear view of the uterine cavity, allowing for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hysteroscopy

When hysteroscopy can be performed?

Hysteroscopies are done after the period has stopped and before ovulation. This is usually between days 10-14 of your cycle.

When can the patient be discharged?

Patients can usually be discharged 4-6 hours after the procedure.

Recovery Process Following Hysteroscopy

  • Recovery is typically quick for diagnostic hysteroscopy; many women can resume normal activities the same day.
  • Recovery may take longer for operative hysteroscopy, depending on the procedure. Most women can return to normal activities, including work and exercise, within a few days after the procedure.

Risks of a hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy is generally safe, but like any medical procedure, it carries some risks. These can include infection, bleeding, and injury to the uterus or other organs.

Things to consider after hysteroscopy

You might experience cramping that is similar to period pain and some spotting or bleeding for a few days. This is normal unless it is heavy.

You should avoid having sex for a week or until bleeding has stopped to reduce the risk of infection.

Does the chance of getting pregnant or IVF success rate increase after doing a hysteroscopy?

Hysteroscopy is an important diagnostic and treatment method in the evaluation of infertility. One of the many causes of infertility is intrauterine lesions, polyps, myomas, uterine septum, and intrauterine adhesions. These conditions can be diagnosed and treated by hysteroscopy.

If there has been one or more unsuccessful in vitro fertilisation treatments before, it is crucial to perform hysteroscopy. According to research, more than 50% of women who have had more than one unsuccessful in vitro fertilisation treatment have abnormalities such as adhesions, polyps or uterine septum.

These abnormalities can be treated with hysteroscopy, which may increase the success rate in in vitro fertilisation treatment.

Egg Quality – How it affects fertility and ways to enhance it

In the process of conception, the quality of the egg is crucial. “Good egg quality” is linked to better embryo quality, greater rates of fertilization, and a better likelihood of successful implantation. There are several factors that affect egg quality including age, genetic factors, environmental factors (stress, smoking, etc.), lifestyle, nutrition, and supplements. While preparing for the egg retrieval process nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting overall reproductive health and the egg quality.

Enhancing Egg Quality through Diet

According to the research done, eating habits largely affect your egg quality and therefore the success rate for fertilization. Consuming protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals in a balanced way is the key. The consumption of vitamins and minerals is critical to protect the cell against toxins through antioxidants. Eat the rainbow, a wide range of fruits and vegetables, such as peppers, berries, beetroots, carrots, and sweet potatoes to optimize your nutrient and antioxidant intake. Eat proteins, such as eggs, lean, meat, nuts, and seeds to rebuild and repair the body. Eat carbs and fats such as sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, oats, asparagus, spinach, chia seeds, olive oil, and avocado to provide fiber, regulate hormones and provide energy. While there are no certain medications that can increase egg reserve, there are supportive treatments (such as taking supplements) aimed at enhancing egg quality and delaying cellular aging.

It is also important to note that there is no absolute guarantee that taking supplements will increase a woman’s egg quality since it is also influenced by various factors such as genetics and age. However, some supplements may help support reproductive health in general.

Here are some supplements that have been associated with supporting reproductive health:

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 is an antioxidant that may help improve the quality of eggs and overall fertility. It can also help protect the eggs from oxidative damage.

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone): DHEA is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands of the human body. Some women with diminished ovarian reserve or poor egg quality may consider DHEA supplementation to help increase their egg quality and slow decrease in ovarian reserve.

Folic Acid (Folate): Folic acid is important for healthy cell division and may help reduce the risk of certain birth defects. It is often recommended for women who are trying to conceive and during early pregnancy.

Inositol: Inositol, particularly Myo-inositol is a compound that has been studied for its potential benefits in improving egg quality and ovarian function. This compound also has a potential to increase the chances of pregnancy, particularly in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Vitamin D: Adequate vitamin D levels are important for reproductive health. It helps regulate the menstrual cycle and may improve the chances of conception.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may help protect cells, including eggs, from oxidative damage. Adequate levels of antioxidants are essential for reproductive health. In order to avoid consuming excess amounts, it should be used as in prescribed dosage.

Resveratrol: Resveratrol is a compound found in red grapes and certain other plants. It has antioxidant properties and may have some positive effects on reproductive health.

NAC (N-acetyl cysteine): NAC is an antioxidant that can help replenish glutathione, a critical antioxidant in the body. It may have benefits for reproductive health.

Selenium: Selenium is a trace element that plays a role in antioxidant defense. Adequate selenium levels are important for reproductive health, and a deficiency may negatively impact fertility. However, excessive selenium intake can be harmful, so it’s important to maintain a balance.

Zinc: Zinc is crucial for overall health, and it plays a role in DNA synthesis and cell division, which are essential for reproductive health. However, excessive zinc intake can have adverse effects, so it is important not to exceed recommended doses.

Omega 3: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, may help regulate hormones and promote healthy ovarian function.

Remember that the effectiveness of these supplements can vary from person to person, and their impact on egg quality may not be significant. Along with supplementary intake, focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as these factors can significantly impact fertility and reproductive health.

Egg Freezing (Social Freezing) Preserving Your Fertility for the Future

Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a revolutionary procedure that allows women to preserve their fertility for future family planning. Whether focused on your career, pursuing higher education, or not ready for parenthood, egg freezing allows you to choose when to start your family.

Egg freezing involves collecting a woman’s eggs, freezing them and then thawing them later for fertility treatment.

Who Can Benefit from Egg Freezing?

Egg freezing is an excellent option to preserve a woman’s fertility for various scenarios, including;

  • Undergoing medical treatments that may affect fertility.
  • The presence of a disease that requires removal of the ovaries
  • A family history of early menopause.
  • For women prioritising their career or education and thus seeking to delay parenthood.

Understanding the Egg Freezing Process

Egg freezing involves extracting and freezing a woman’s eggs to preserve their quality and viability for future use. Here’s an overview of the process:

1 – Consultation

Your journey begins with a consultation with one of our fertility experts, where we’ll discuss your goals, assess your fertility status, and create a customised plan.

2 – Ovarian stimulation phase

  • Once we pass this stage and have a clear profile of your status and medical history, our fertility specialist will prepare your medication protocol.
  • You’ll start your ovarian stimulation phase from the 2nd day of your menstrual cycle and continue for approximately 10-14 days. During this phase, you’ll take stimulation medicines and injections from our medical team with multiple ultrasound checkups to monitor your ovaries’ progress.
  • Once our doctor confirms the follicles have reached the targeted size, the stimulation phase ends, and you are prepared for the IUI procedure. We will inform you about the exact timing of the trigger injection to help release the eggs.

3 – Egg Retrieval

  • When the eggs are mature, the stimulation phase ends, and you undergo the egg retrieval procedure.
  • The egg retrieval (OPU) procedure is performed using sedation (anaesthesia) at our hospital, which takes approximately 15-20 mins.
  • After the egg retrieval procedure, you will be informed about the number and quality of eggs collected.

4 – Egg Freezing

The harvested eggs are carefully frozen and stored in our secure facility. The vitrification method is used at our hospital to freeze the eggs.

5 – Future Use

You can decide when and how to use your frozen eggs for assisted reproduction, in vitro fertilisation (IVF), or other fertility treatments.

Take Control of Your Fertility

At Cyprus IVF Hospital, we’re here to support you every step of the way on your fertility journey. Egg freezing is not just about preserving eggs; it’s about preserving your choices and giving you the flexibility to start a family when the time is right.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how egg freezing can be a game-changer in your family planning journey.

Frequently Asked Questions About Egg Freezing

If I freeze my eggs, will my future baby be normal?

Many healthy live births have occurred since the first in vitro fertilisation trial with frozen oocytes in 1986.

Research on the health of children born through in vitro fertilisation has shown no increase in the risk of congenital anomalies in babies born due to egg freezing.

One 2009 study that tracked 900 babies born using frozen eggs found no difference in the rate of birth abnormalities compared with the rate for babies born with fresh eggs.

(Source: Article “Over 900 oocyte cryopreservation babies born with no apparent increase in congenital anomalies”

How is egg freezing done?

At our hospital, freezing is performed with the Vitrification method (ultra-fast freezing). With this method, ice crystals that can damage cells or tissues do not occur during freezing. Thus, after freezing, the eggs are stored in long-term storage tanks.

What is the ideal age to freeze eggs?

Women’s egg reserves and quality decrease with ageing. In addition, the risk of chromosomal anomalies in eggs increases for women over 35.

Having a good number and quality of eggs increases the chance of a healthy pregnancy and the birth of a healthy baby. For this reason, it is recommended that egg collection and freezing procedures should be completed on time and be performed until age 38.

How many eggs are collected in one attempt?

Every woman is unique. So, to answer this question more precisely, an infertility specialist will need to evaluate the woman’s hormone tests (AMH, FSH, LH, etc.) and antral follicle count.

If the woman is younger than 35, 8-12 eggs can be collected in one cycle by stimulating the ovaries. If the number of eggs collected is low, the egg collection process can be repeated several times. A higher number of eggs frozen at an early age allows more embryos to be created after fertilisation, which increases the chance of pregnancy.

How many frozen eggs remain healthy when thawed?

When frozen with the vitrification method, approximately 70-90% of the eggs stay viable when thawed in the future. The point to consider here is the quality of the eggs to be suitable for freezing.

How long can my eggs be stored for use in treatment?

Frozen eggs can be stored for many years. However, you must inform our hospital and renew your consent every year. You must give your consent on the relevant consent form. Our medical team will contact you and provide the consent forms you must complete at the appropriate time.

How much does egg freezing cost?

For detailed information about the pricing, please visit our webpage:


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