SPERMAGGEDDON! Men are becoming gravely infertile.
Junk food, lack of exercise, pollution killing sperm quality globally.
Is the human race doomed?
Fresh fears that the human species face imminent extinction have emerged following findings from a new study showing that the quality of men’s sperm all around the world is rapidly declining due to pollution, sedentary lifestyle and junk food.
The experts say sedentary lifestyles lower sperm production, while cheap and saturated fats found in junk food are known to harm sperm counts. They are warning that more men will become infertile over time, threatening the future. A man’s sperms carry half the genetic material necessary to make a complete human being. A woman’s egg holds the other half. But this alarm in reproductive health circles is not new. All over the world, reports of declining sperm quality and increasing male infertility attributable to low sperm count and poor sperm motility and morphology have been making the rounds. The typical African, Asian, American or European male has been battling declining sperm quality for decades. In 2017, health experts warned that the human species could face extinction, after facts emerged that the average sperm count in Western countries had more than halved in a generation. The latest findings reveal that men’s sperm quality is falling every year due mainly to unhealthy health habits and sedentary lifestyle and health experts are worried that modern life is destroying male fertility. One study by fertility clinics established that the number of active sperm in men’s semen sample drops 1.8 per cent each year. Another study found that male fertility is declining in five out of six American cities. The new findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Denver, Colorado. The findings compelled the issuance of a public health warning that junk food, lack of exercise and pollution may be fueling the spermaggeddon (sperm death) crisis. Researchers led by the Sidney Kimmel Medical College in Philadelphia and fertility clinic IVIRMA monitored almost 120,000 men seeking treatment for fertility problems in Spain and the US from 2002 to 2017. The men were put into three groups based on the millions of swimming sperm in their semen samples. “Fertility clinics found that the number of moving sperm—or ‘swimmers’—in men’s samples has dropped by 1.8 per cent each year. Measuring ‘swimmers’ is seen as a better way of judging fertility than sperm count alone. Among American men in the most fertile group, who had more than 15 million moving sperm, this went down by 1.8 per cent for each year of the study. Between 2002 and 2005, 84.7 per cent of men were in the most fertile group, but this fell to 79.1 per cent between 2014 and 2017. At the same time, the proportion of the least fertile men rose. Those with poor fertility, from five million swimming sperm to none, increased from less than 9 per cent of the total to 11.6 per cent. Co-author of the study, Dr James Hotaling, stated: “We did not expect to see the same fall in sperm quality in Spain and the US. If this trend continues, there is potential for more men to become infertile.” A UK expert, Professor Charles Kingsland, of CARE fertility, also said: “Our change to a more sedentary lifestyle has no doubt had an effect, as has our diet because men tend to eat far more rubbish than they did a generation ago.” The second study, led by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, involved more than 2,500 sperm donors. It found that fertility declined over 11 years in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Boston, Houston and Indianapolis. New York was the only one of the six cities studied to buck the trend. Sedentary lifestyles are believed to lower sperm production, while cheap and saturated fats found in junk food are known to harm sperm counts. Bisphenol A (BPA), widely used in plastic wrappers and containers, is known to be toxic to sperm. Sperm counts have been on the decline for more than 50 years and many factors are responsible. The trend is essentially a reflection of the inherently detrimental effect to sperm production of environmental and lifestyle changes over the past half century or more. Increasingly, experts have been reporting incidences of men with genetically fragile sperms. Such sperm have fragmented DNA chains, which make them to be of low quality and less capable of fertilisation. While it was thought that the problem was only genetic in nature, it is now known that lifestyle issues are involved. “We are seeing more men who are having bad sperms, weak sperms and abnormal sperms, and there is a real need to explore a suitable intervention to meet the growing proportion of men that need help in this direction,” noted Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, a fertility treatment specialist, and Medical Director, Nordica, Fertility Clinic, Lagos, Asaba and Abuja. “There are many things in the environment causing what is described as oestrogenisation of men. Things such as paint, exposure to petrol and even insecticides can affect sperm count. Men working in fuel stations, for instance, are known to suffer from low sperm counts.” According to Dr. Richardson Ajayi, Medical Director, The Bridge Clinic, Lagos, “Our grandfathers had higher sperm count than our fathers who had higher sperm counts than our generation. A common theory is that the male of our species is getting exposed to a lot more female hormones than ever, basically due to a lot of xerophenes in the atmosphere. These xerophenes have female hormone oestrogen-like effects and exposure of males to them could be deleterious.” Clinical records show that in Nigeria, 25 percent of couples are infertile, and that half of the causes are due to male factor issues. To illustrate the continuing decline of male fertility in the modern world, French researchers once conducted a study on French men aged 18-70, tracking their average sperm counts across the country between 1989 and 2005. Their findings showed a drop in sperm counts among all French men in this age range, of about 1.9 percent per year on average, and by 32.3 percent on average over the course of the 16-year period studied, while the number of normally-shaped sperm dropped by 33.4 percent during the study period. “This constitutes a serious public health warning,” said Dr. Joelle Le Moal, an environmental health epidemiologist and one of the researchers. Le Moal said the downward trend observed in the study clearly illustrates a perpetual decline in male fertility, which more than likely extended far outside the borders of France and around the world. Based on the figures, average sperm concentrations dropped from 73.6 million per milliliter (mi/mL) among 35-year-old men in 1989 to 49.9 mi/mL among the same age group in 2005, highlighting a disastrous situation.
35 per cent decline in sperm count: Infertile men everywhere!
“Infertility” and cold shivers run down peoples’ spines. Infertility threatens the love, peace and joy in a home. Many homes are faced with the agony of childlessness and infertility is fast becoming a plague. The desire of every couple is to become parents within the first or second year of marriage. While many couples have this dream fulfilled, quite a number of others do not; no matter how hard they try. When pregnancy is not achieved at a point, mistrust sets in. Most of the time, the woman bears the bulk of the blame. Such was the case of Obigaeri and her childhood friend, Emeka, who later became her husband. “The moment I noticed my mother in-law’s frequent visits, I became suspicious,” Emeka said. Emeka and Obigaeri were close enough friends right from childhood that what started like child’s play blossomed into real life marriage. Six years into the marriage, there was no sign of pregnancy not even a miscarriage. Tongues started wagging. Love in the home suddenly grew sour. Like the usual practice in Africa, the woman is blamed. Obiagaeri became a laughing stock before her husband’s family. No one saw any good in her anymore. Obiagaeri’s world came crashing down. Month after month, she continued to wallow in self pity, hoping for a miracle. One day she ran into an old school mate, and they got talking. She narrated her story, and her school mate counselled and encouraged her to insist that her husband also go for a medical check up. But like the typical Nigerian woman, Obiageri was afraid to confront her husband. While praying to God to open her womb, Obiageri had been to two in-vitro fertility, IVF, centres where she was given a clean bill of health. Six months later, when she could no longer bear the harassments by family members, she finally opened up: “I told my husband that it was time for him to also check himself”. But the response she received from Emeka shocked her. “Why should you involve me in that?”, he queried. His reaction was typical of African men. However, his reaction did not deter Obigaeri. She mounted pressure until he gave in after several months. He finally agreed to go for screening. They went to another fertility centre in Lagos where it was discovered he was azoospermic, that is, had zero sperm count. “The battle did not stop there. My husband argued that it was a lie, and that we needed a second opinion which we obtained from another clinic. The results came out the same.” Then the search for solution began. It took a while before they decided to try IVF is the process by which eggs are removed from a woman’s ovaries and mixed with sperm in a laboratory culture dish. Fertilisation takes place in the dish, “in-vitro”, which means “in glass”. Thousands of IVF babies have been born since the first one emerged in 1978. “And God decided to answer us. Today I am a living testimony. I have a set of twins, a boy and a girl.” Infertility remains a growing problem in Nigeria and the world at large. Reports have shown that 30 percent of men suffer infertility. Unfortunately, in this part of the world, women are presumed to suffer infertility and not men. Options Emeka and Obiageri, after fertility experts told them there was chance they could have their own child, took steps to resolve the challenge. Different options were presented to them. They were told they could go for sperm donation or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSC) among others. Convincing Emeka on the options was another challenge. Emeka, vehemently rejected the option of sperm donation. Few months later, there was a drama in the neighbourhood. Life, you may say, sometimes may be unfair . While Emeka likes children, few years after marriage he has not been able to have children of his own. Meanwhile, he was fond of his neighbour’s children. One fateful afternoon, he was playing with the children in front of his house, when one of them fell and broke his arm. Emeka tried to help the child. From nowhere, the parents of the child came out, and, instead of finding out what happened, they lashed at Emeka. “Is it our fault that you have no children? Why do you want to kill our child? If you love children so much what stopped you from having yours?”, they said. Emeka broke down in tears and left. Emeka’s case is just one out of the many experiences of many couples with the problem of infertility in their neighbourhoods. This incident, however, motivated Emeka. “My husband came back home and suggested we immediately resume treatment. That is how our problem was solved”, Obiageri said. One of the IVF clinics was able to help them, and they are now proud parents of Jane and Juliet. According to them, they approached their challenge after Emeka realised there was hope. Emeka and Obiageri were helped with ICSI as part of IVF treatment to conceive. ICSI, according to experts, is the most successful form of treatment for men who are infertile and is used in nearly half of all IVF treatments. The procedure requires just one sperm, which is injected directly into the egg. The fertilised egg (embryo) is then transferred to the woman’s uterus (womb). In ICSI, as with standard IVF treatment, the woman will be given fertility drugs to stimulate her ovaries to develop several mature eggs for fertilisation. When the eggs are ready for collection, the woman and her spouse will undergo separate procedures. The husband may produce a sperm sample himself by ejaculating into a cup on the same day as the wife’s eggs are collected. If there is no sperm in his semen, doctors can extract sperm from him under local anaesthetic. The woman’s doctor will use a fine needle to take the sperm from the husband’s epididymis, in a procedure known as percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA), or testicle, in a procedure known as testicular sperm aspiraction (TESA) If these techniques don’t remove enough sperm, the doctor will try another tactic. He’ll take a biopsy of testicular tissue, which sometimes has sperm attached. This is called testicular sperm extraction (TESE) or micro-TESE, if the surgery is carried out with a microscope. After giving the woman a local anaesthetic, the doctor will remove her eggs using a fine, hollow needle. An ultrasound helps the doctor to locate the eggs. The embryologist then isolates individual sperm in the lab and injects them into the woman’s individual eggs. Two days later the fertilised eggs become balls of cells called embryos. The procedure then follows the same steps as in IVF. The doctor transplants one or two embryos into the woman’s uterus through her cervix using a thin catheter. If you are under 40, you can have one or two embryos transferred. If you are 40 or over, you can have a maximum of three embryos transferred if using your own eggs, or two if you’re using donor eggs. Extra embryos, if there are any, may be frozen in case this cycle is not successful. One cycle of ICSI takes between four weeks and six weeks to complete. You and your spouse can expect to spend a full day at the clinic for the egg and sperm retrieval procedures. You’ll go back anywhere between two days and six days later for the embryo transfer procedure. The success rates for ICSI are higher than if you use conventional IVF methods. A lot depends on your particular fertility problem and your age. The younger you are, the healthier your eggs usually are, and the higher your chances of success. The percentage of cycles using ICSI, which result in a live birth, is over 35 per cent if you are under 35. ICSI may give you and your spouse a chance of conceiving your genetic child when other options are closed to you. ICSI doesn’t appear to affect how children conceived via the procedure develop mentally or physically. ICSI restored happiness in Emeka and Obiageri’s marriage. According to experts, infertility is inability to conceive or produce offspring despite having regular unprotected sex. Infertility occurs when a poor reproductive system impairs the ability of the body to perform necessary functions of reproduction, and affects nearly 25 percent of couples in Nigeria. Experts claim that 40 to 45 percent of all consultations in gynaecological clinics are infertility-related. Although, there have been several cases of male infertility and approximately 30 percent of infertility attributable to male factors, in many cases, it appears that men are not as willing or as able as their female partners to talk about their experience. When a man is involved, in countries like Nigeria, it is treated in secret. A school of thought believes it could be due to the fact that, traditionally, children are seen as a woman’s province, or because, over the ages, conception has been thought of as the woman’s responsibility. ‘Why men suffer infertility’ But the Medical Director (MD), Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, Abuja and Asaba, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, says men contribute a lot to the challenge of fertility as findings have shown that, every year, there is 30 percent decline in sperm count. Ajayi, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, maintained that although there are many factors, sperm count appears to be decreasing worldwide and no one knows why it is so. “We don’t know why ‘but that is what we have seen. We have substantiated that in Nordica by comparing the sperm of people who presented 10 years ago to the sperm count of people who are presenting now. It is obvious to us that there had been about 30 percent decline. It is like, every year, there is 30 percent decline in sperm parameter. There is no doubt that sperm is a big issue all over the world.” The MD, who, however, said there is hope for even men without sperm in IVF treatment, explained that technology has made it possible for men with as low as 40,000 sperm count to have children instead of the average sperm count of 15 million. According to him, one of the advantages of ICSI is that the sperm doesn’t have to travel to the egg or penetrate the outer layers of the egg and this process can help couples where the man’s sperm can’t get to the egg at all. It can also be recommended when sperm can get to the egg, but, for some reasons, can’t fertilise it. ICSI is likely to be recommended if your spouse has a very low or zero sperm count. It can also be recommended when you have a high percentage of abnormally shaped sperm and can result in poor motility, which means the sperm can’t swim well. Quality of sperm Ajayi pointed out that one out of every four Nigerian couples will experience delay in getting pregnancy, saying that if 100 couples have intercourse at once, only about 20 percent will conceive. He stressed, that a man’s fertility generally, relies on the quantity and quality of his sperm. If the number of sperm a man ejaculates is low or if the sperm are of a poor quality, it will be difficult, and, sometimes, impossible for him to cause pregnancy. Studies have shown that infertility is a widespread problem. For about one in every five infertile couples, the problem lies solely in the male partner. It is also estimated that one in every 20 men has some kind of fertility problem with low numbers of sperm in his ejaculate. However, only about one in every 100 men has no sperm in his ejaculate. Causes of male infertility Another consultant gynaecologist, Dr. Victor Ajayi, said: “Male infertility is usually caused by problems that affect either sperm production or sperm transport. About two-thirds of infertile men have a problem with making sperm in the testes. Either low numbers of sperm are made and/or the sperm that are made do not work properly. “Sperm transport problems are found in about one in every five infertile men, including men who have had a vasectomy but now wish to have more children. Blockages (often referred to as obstructions) in the tubes leading sperm away from the testes to the penis can cause a complete lack of sperm in the ejaculated semen”. For known causes of male infertility, experts have also identified sperm production problem, chromosomal or genetic causes, undescended testes, infections, varicocele (varicose veins of the testes), medicines and chemical, and radiation damage. ‘Why couples should be evaluated’ Victor Ajayi stressed the need to always evaluate both parties in cases of infertility. “Current studies have shown that, after 45 years, a man begins to have issues with sperm. At that age, a man may experience two heads and two tales sperm. We encourage DNA in old men. Some may have their DNA damaged and there will be problems such as having difficulties impregnating their women, or damage babies,”he said. The consultant gynaecologist noted that semen is not the same thing as sperm, saying sperm cannot be seen with naked eyes as it lives within the semen. Things that can dispose men to infertility On things that can dispose men to infertility, Ajayi listed them to include complications of sexually transmitted diseases, STDs, such as Chlamydl; trauma alcohol ingestion, which, according to him, can slow down sperm; marijuana; cocaine ingestions; drugs for body building, tight pants; and cigarette smoking. He warned that long-distance travelling drivers could suffer infertility due to their sitting position which is usually close to the engine of their vehicles. However, with increasing rates of infertility among couples, health watchers are of the view that couples, after a few years of trial, should seek help as there are many advanced procedures that can diagnose and treat infertility in both men and women. Studies and experiences have shown that infertility is no longer a problem for women alone; it should be the concern of all. Childless marriage: I was on the verge of committing suicide — Frustrated lawyer January 30, 2018
Sperm Analysis Procedure?
- The sperm count test is a simple procedure whereby a semen sample is analysed in a laboratory to check the quality and quantity of the sperm
- An analysis is carried out which determines the number, activity level and shape of the spermatozoa
- A commonly used benchmark result for chances of conception within normal range is a sperm count of more than 39 million in the ejaculate
- However it is not purely a matter of the sperm count, there is also the matter of the sperm’s’ ability to move around
- A suitable level which would result in good chances of conception would be with at least 32% of the spermatozoa having progressive motility and at least 4% having a normal shape
- With lower quantities than these measurements, the chance of naturally occurring pregnancy falls substantially
What Is Male Fertility Testing?
Majority of male fertility testing looks at two questions:
- Do you have sperm?
- And can it reach an egg?
These are foremost important questions to answer and that’s why male fertility testing should start with a trip to the urologist and a professional laboratory-performed semen analysis. However, the reality is that infertility is a highly complex, multifaceted problem. A semen analysis often may not give a clear or complete answer. A thorough professional doctor advice could be the best treatment for each case respectively.
As per research, for around 40% of couples who are having problems conceiving, the cause of their infertility is sperm-related. Female factor infertility accounts for another 40% of couples struggling to conceive, with the remaining 20% of cases remain unexplained. Therefore it is a must for every man to undergo a sperm analysis test if the couple is unable to conceive.
Remember, the cause of the issue can lie equally with either partner.
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Modern life really is rubbish – if you're a sperm, that is.
According to a major study, sperm counts have fallen by almost 60 per cent since the 1970s – and the finger of blame is being pointed at our 21st century lives. High stress levels, plus the increasing existence of chemicals and pesticides in everyday life, are apparently harming our fertility.
The research tracked more than 40,000 men and concluded that sperm counts in Western countries have fallen by 59 per cent since 1973, with a 52 per cent fall in sperm concentration. That decline far outpaces the fall in sperm counts elsewhere in the world, which researchers said “strongly suggests” that industrial chemicals are among the main causes....
Having a low sperm count decreases the odds that one of your sperm will fertilize your partner's egg, resulting in pregnancy. Nonetheless, many men who have low sperm count are still able to father a child.
The main sign of low sperm count is the inability to conceive a child. There might be no other obvious signs or symptoms. In some men, an underlying problem such as an inherited chromosomal abnormality, a hormonal imbalance, dilated testicular veins or a condition that blocks the passage of sperm may cause signs and symptoms.
Low sperm count symptoms might include:
- Problems with sexual function — for example, low sex drive or difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area
- Decreased facial or body hair or other signs of a chromosome or hormone abnormality
When to see a doctor
See a doctor if you have been unable to conceive a child after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse or sooner if you have any of the following:
- Erection or ejaculation problems, low sex drive, or other problems with sexual function
- Pain, discomfort, a lump or swelling in the testicle area
- A history of testicle, prostate or sexual problems
- A groin, testicle, penis or scrotum surgery
Low sperm count can be caused by a number of health issues and medical treatments. Some of these include: Varicocele. Infection. Ejaculation problems. Antibodies that attack sperm. Undescended testicles. Hormone imbalances. Defects of tubules that transport sperm. Chromosome defects.Celiac disease. Certain medications. Prior surgeries.
Sperm production or function can be affected by overexposure to certain environmental elements, including: Industrial chemicals. Heavy metal exposure. Radiation or X-rays. Overheating the testicles.
Health, lifestyle and other causes
Other causes of low sperm count include: Drug use. Alcohol use. Occupation. Tobacco smoking. Emotional stress. Depression. Weight. Sperm testing issues.
To protect your fertility, avoid known factors that can affect sperm count and quality. For example:
- Don't smoke.
- Limit or abstain from alcohol.
- Steer clear of illicit drugs.
- Talk to your doctor about medications that can affect sperm count.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid heat.
- Manage stress.
Avoid exposure to pesticides, heavy metals and other toxins.
Sperm without Semen- The Meaning of Azoospermia.
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Infertility isn’t just a female issue. Men are responsible too for contributing to infertility, mostly 50% of the time. If a couple has been struggling with infertility, the female partner and the male partner both should get themselves checked.
There are a lot of options out there for evaluating female fertility. However, there are fewer options when it comes to evaluating male fertility. As every couple going through the stressful experience of failure to conceive knows, the temptation to look for something or someone to ‘blame’ for their difficulties, has to be resisted. Nevertheless, in these circumstances it is only natural and sensible for those affected to want to find out the cause or causes of their infertility.
What does it mean when Oligospermia is diagnosed? Low sperm count means that the fluid (semen) you ejaculate during an orgasm contains fewer sperm than normal. A low sperm count is also called oligospermia (ol-ih-go-SPUR-me-uh). A complete absence of sperm is called azoospermia. Your sperm count is considered lower than normal if you have fewer than 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen.
Infertility almost ruined our marriage for over 8 years of my marriage I was unable to conceive due to staph bacterial infections which has blocked my Fallopian tubes and caused my husband low sperm count which he wasn't aware of. Until a doctor told us to run comprehensive test on fertility. After we were placed on Abacure herbal capsules , Detox Flusher And Meno-seed sperm booster medications for me and my husband. Today we a proud parent.
Healthy sperm are an important factor in male fertility. If you’re trying to conceive, you can improve the quality of your sperm by choosing the right foods.
Markers of sperm health include:
- Sperm count. The concentration of sperm cells in a given sample is an important marker of sperm quality.
- Sperm morphology. The average size and shape of sperm cells in a sample is an indicator of fertility.
- Sperm motility. Motility refers to movement. Sperm cells must be able to swim to reach and fertilize an egg cell.
- Semen volume. A minimum volume of semen is required to carry sperm cells through the female reproductive tract.
What Is Sperm Motility and How Does It Affect Fertility?
Sperm health is an important factor in a couple’s ability to conceive. There are six main criteria for healthy sperm:
- ability to pass through the cervical mucus and make it to the egg
- acrosome reaction
- zona pellucida binding
- nuclear decondensation
Sperm also need to have the right number of chromosomes for a successful pregnancy. A breakdown in any of these criteria can result in male-factor infertility.
Read more: 5 common signs of infertility in men and women »
An estimated 15–20 percentTrusted Source of couples worldwide are affected by infertility. Of those, approximately 30–40 percent are infertile due to male factors, including sperm motility. Another 20 percent are infertile due to a combination of male and female factors.
Sperm motility and pregnancy
Healthy sperm motility is defined as sperm with forward progressions of at least 25 micrometers per second. If a man has poor sperm mobility, it’s called asthenospermia or asthenozoospermia. There are different types of sperm motility issues, including:
- slow or sluggish progressive motility
- non-progressive motility, which is defined as anything less than 5 micrometers per second
- no mobility
Sperm speed and gender: Fact or fiction?
It’s long been thought that sperm with Y chromosomes, or “boy” sperm, swim faster than sperm with X chromosomes, known as “girl” sperm. StudiesTrusted Source have proven that this is a myth, however, and there is no noticeable difference in motility or speed between X and Y sperm.
The exact cause for low sperm motility can vary. Some men may have a genetic cause, while others may have an undiagnosed medical condition. Lifestyle and environmental factors also play a big role in sperm motility. Smoking, for example, has been linkedTrusted Source
to decreased sperm motility, especially if the man smokes more than 10 cigarettes per day. Men who work in the military or have jobs that include painting, driving, or repeated trauma to the pelvic area may be at risk for work-induced infertility.
A condition called varicocele occurs when veins inside the scrotum become enlarged. This has also been linked to decreased sperm motility.
Low sperm motility may also be due to a disorder in the male accessory sex gland secretion, which leads to the glands emptying more slowly.
Sperm motility can be tested through a routine semen analysis. For the test, you’ll need to provide at least two semen samples. These are usually obtained by masturbation at a doctor’s office or testing facility. It’s also possible to obtain a sperm sample by having sex with a condom or withdrawing to obtain the sample. The sample must be kept at room temperature and delivered to the facility within 30 to 60 minutes. If less than 40 percent of your sperm are motile, your considered to have low sperm motility.
In addition to sperm motility, your doctor can also use a semen analysis to test:
- the health of the male genital tract
- accessory organs
Some lifestyle changes may help increase sperm motility for some men:
- exercise regularly
- maintain a healthy weight
- limit cell phone exposure
- reduce alcohol
- quit smoking
Some supplements may also help improve sperm motility. Speak to your doctor before taking supplements, and be careful about where you buy them. Supplements are not regulated, so you should only buy them from reputable vendors.
If the cause of the sperm mobility issue is a medical problem, such as low hormone levels or varicocele, medication such as follicle-stimulating hormone or human chorionic gonadotropin may help. In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery.
What Is a Normal Sperm Count
Sperm count can be important if you’re trying to conceive a child. An abnormal sperm count may also indicate an underlying health condition.
A normal sperm count ranges from 15 million sperm to more than 200 million sperm per milliliter (mL) of semen. Anything less than 15 million sperm per milliliter, or 39 million sperm per ejaculate, is considered low. A low sperm count is often referred to as oligospermia. A high, or above average, sperm count is over 200 million sperm per millimeter.
You can determine your sperm count through a semen analysis. You can get the analysis done at your doctor’s office, a fertility clinic, or with an at-home test.
Understanding your semen analysis
A semen analysis tests for the following:
- number of sperm (volume)
- shape of sperm
- movement of sperm, or “sperm motility”
The number, shape, and mobility of sperm are important for testing for male factor infertility. Your doctor may recommend testing up to three samples of sperm at different visits to get an accurate analysis.
At-home tests only test for the number of sperm. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in a full analysis.
Semen analysis results table
The following are the healthy or normal semen analysis results, as determined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Since results can vary from person to person, results are given as a range.