Although it makes sense, it may surprise you that half of all infertility cases can be attributed to the man in part or in full. The good news is that most men are constantly producing new sperm, and by making the necessary lifestyle changes, a man can significantly increase his sperm count and motility, improve his morphology, and increase his overall male fertility. So, in this article, we will only talk about that.
Sperm motility is defined as sperm moving forward at a rate of at least 25 micrometres per second. Asthenospermia or asthenozoospermia is a condition in which a man's sperm mobility is poor. There are several types of sperm motility problems, including:
- slow or sluggish progressive motility
- non-progressive motility, which is defined as anything less than 5 micrometres per second
- no mobility
The precise cause of low sperm motility varies. Some men may be affected by a genetic condition, while others may be affected by an undiagnosed medical condition. Sperm motility is also affected by lifestyle and environmental factors. For example, smoking has been linked to decreased sperm motility, particularly in men who smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day. Men who serve in the military or have jobs that require painting, driving, or repeated pelvic trauma may be at risk for work-induced infertility.
Varicocele is a condition that occurs when veins inside the scrotum become enlarged. This has also been linked to a reduction in sperm motility.
There is also the possibility that low sperm motility is caused by a disorder in the secretion of the accessory sex glands in men, which causes the glands to empty more slowly.
A routine sperm analysis can be used to test sperm motility. For the test, you must provide at least two sperm samples. Masturbation at a doctor's office or testing facility is typically used to obtain these. It is also possible to obtain a sperm sample by having sex with a condom or by withdrawing. The sample must be kept at room temperature and delivered within 30 to 60 minutes to the facility. Low sperm motility is defined as having less than 40% of your sperm that is motile.
Aside from sperm motility, your doctor can use a sperm analysis to test:
- the health of the male genital tract
- accessory organs
How to Increase Sperm Motility?
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 aid in the improvement of sperm motility. One study, for example, discovered a 52% increase in sperm motility in men who took a daily supplement of 200 micrograms of selenium and 400 units of vitamin E for at least 100 days in a row. Before taking supplements, consult your doctor, and be cautious about where you buy them. Because supplements are unregulated, you should only purchase them from reputable vendors.
If the cause of the sperm mobility problem is a medical condition, such as low hormone levels or varicocele, medication such as a follicle-stimulating hormone or human chorionic gonadotropin may be beneficial. In some cases, your doctor may advise you to have surgery.
Over to You
Male fertility can be affected by a variety of factors. Pregnancy with low sperm motility is possible if the sperm is otherwise healthy. In vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI) can help increase the chances of pregnancy. This is due to the fact that they eliminate the need for the sperm to swim on their own.
Consult your doctor if you've been trying to conceive for 12 months or more without success. Your doctor can run tests on you and your partner to see if you have any health issues that are interfering with your fertility. The next steps will be determined by your doctor.
- Asghar Beigi Harchegani, September 2019; Hyperviscous Semen Causes Poor Sperm Quality and Male Infertility through Induction of Oxidative Stress - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6771048/
- Deborah Allouche-Fitoussi , October 2020; The Role of Zinc in Male Fertility - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7589359/
- Sedigheh Ahmadi, December 2016; Antioxidant supplements and semen parameters: An evidence based review - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5203687/