Men's Reproductive Health

How does your sperm measure up?

There are many factors that affect sperm health. Sperm that has the ability to swim (motility) and are a good size and shape all affect the sperm’s ability to produce offspring. Now, maybe you aren’t planning to have a child so you think this information doesn’t apply to you. Well, the majority of pregnancies are unplanned, so it’s never too early to take action to improve your sperm!  Here are some sperm-health facts.

Stress & Weight

Stress and unhealthy body weights impact semen quality and can influence hormones. For example, increased body fat is linked to decreased testosterone, and a healthy diet helps to build healthy sperm.

Tobacco, Drugs & Alcohol

Substance use impacts sperm health. Smoking alters motility and reduces the number of working sperm, and erectile dysfunction is also most common in smokers. Cannabis use has been linked to low sperm counts. Drinking too much affects sperm counts and alcohol use can cause loss of libido and poor sperm quality. How much is too much alcohol? See Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines.

The Environment

Your environment can have an effect on sperm. Testes should be kept 4 degrees lower than body temperature so make that sauna or soak a quick one. Also, certain chemicals you may be exposed to can disrupt the way your body makes hormones – a function which is important for reproduction.

These factors can contribute to low sperm count and poor sperm quality which cause the majority (90%) of male infertility – but other factors also play a role, such as chronic disease, genetics and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Untreated STIs can cause scarring which prevents the passage of sperm, so it is important to get tested for STIs. Check out our Sexual Health Clinic Hours.


For Further Information

Call to speak with a public health nurse (807) 625-5900 

Or toll-free 1-888-294-6630

Last Updated: 20/06/2022