When trying to conceive, there are many factors that affect sperm count and fertility. These include diet, exercise and avoiding certain environmental toxins.

In a study that included 12,245 semen samples from over 7,000 men, it was found that sperm concentration, sperm count and progressive motility were higher in the morning than any other time of day.

Morning

When you’re trying to conceive, there’s a lot to keep track of. From calculating your basal body temperature to testing your urine for ovulation hormones, there’s a lot to do before you’re able to take the big step of getting pregnant. But one of the most important things is having a healthy semen analysis, which measures the volume and count of sperm in a sample of the thick white fluid released from your penis during sexual climax (orgasm).

According to research on 12,245 semen samples from 7,668 men, sperm concentration, count, and normal morphology were highest in samples collected before 7:30am. Interestingly, these results also showed a daily and yearly variation in sperm quality based on circadian rhythms, with the highest concentrations, counts, and normal morphology occurring in winter and early spring, and lower levels in summer.

However, this doesn’t mean you should start planning your sex life around these findings. Instead, try to have sex every two to three days, and avoid excessive ejaculation. Similarly, limiting your exposure to environmental toxins will help ensure the health of your sperm, such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, organic mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls.

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In addition, you can also up your sperm count by eating foods that are rich in vitamin A and D. Add spinach to your morning smoothie or make some palak paneer, and be sure to eat plenty of walnuts, which are loaded with omega-3s and can reduce the rate at which your sperm become damaged by lipid peroxidation.

Afternoon

If you’re trying to conceive, there are many little things that you can do differently that will improve your odds of success. Taking your basal body temperature daily, testing for ovulation hormones in the urine and keeping a tight schedule around when you’re expecting to ovulate will all have an impact. But you might be surprised to learn that the time of day you have sex can make a difference in your fertility too.

A study by researchers at the University Hospital Zurich found that semen samples collected in the morning showed a higher sperm concentration, count and percentage of normally-shaped sperm when compared to those that were taken later on in the day. However, the researchers also noted that sperm motility was not affected by the time of day at which a sample was collected.

Another factor that could affect sperm count is the season, according to research published in 2013. The study reported that a man’s sperm quality and concentration was highest in winter and early spring, but was significantly lower during the summer.

There are a number of steps that you can take to help increase your chances of conception, including maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding environmental toxins. Abstaining from ejaculation for several days can also increase your chances of conceiving, but you should always consult with your doctor to see if this is the best option for you and your partner.

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Evening

If you’re trying to conceive, you may have heard that the best time for you to have sex is in the morning. But a new study suggests that the time of day that you’re collecting your semen might also play a role in its quality.

Researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland found that sperm parameters varied depending on when the sample was collected. Previously, it was believed that abstaining from sex for certain periods of time helped to boost sperm levels and increase fertility rates. However, the new study suggests that this isn’t always the case — and it might be the time of day that matters most.

Specifically, the researchers found that a greater percentage of the sperm’s progressive motility (meaning that it’s able to swim properly) was lower when men collected their samples in the evening, rather than the morning. The researchers believe that this could be due to the effects of nighttime exposure to short wavelength light emitted by the screens of electronic devices, which inhibits the secretion of the natural sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

Of course, there are many other things that can affect sperm count and quality, including smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, a poor diet, and stress. So while the results of this study are intriguing, it’s probably a good idea to focus on reducing your overall stress level and eating a balanced diet to improve your chances of conceiving.

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Night

For men trying to conceive, an optimal sperm count is one of the key factors in successful conception. A semen analysis, or sperm count, is a test that measures the quantity and quality of semen (the thick fluid released during sexual climax and called orgasm) and sperm, the cells that contain the genetic material necessary for conception. A low volume of sperm or a low sperm concentration could indicate infertility.

According to research published in Chronobiology International, the time of day that semen is produced can affect its parameters. In the study, semen samples collected between 5:00am and 7:30am were found to have the highest sperm concentration, total sperm count, and percentage of normally shaped sperm, compared to those produced later in the day. Progressive motility and sperm shape were also influenced by the time of day that samples were produced, but not as much as concentration and count.

The authors of the study suggest that their findings may mirror mating patterns in other species, such as the gypsy moth, which releases sperm into its seminal vesicles according to a circadian clock. However, they acknowledge that the same phenomenon might not apply to human intercourse.

If you’re trying to conceive, eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise can help keep your sperm count high. Limiting your caffeine intake to two to three cups of coffee a day can also be beneficial. In addition, consuming foods rich in vitamin C and E and antioxidants can boost sperm count.