What Makes Sperm High Quality?
Did you know?: Research shows that from 1973-2011, the average sperm count in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand dropped by 59.3%.
You may think that because you can produce sperm throughout your life, you can father a child at any time. But truthfully, men are just as susceptible to fertility issues as women, with fertility rates starting to decline after the age of 35. If you and your partner are trying to get pregnant, you need to make sure your sperm are healthy and meet certain requirements. These include having a high sperm count and concentration, proper sperm motility, or movement, and proper size and shape, or morphology.
Why Is A High Sperm Count Important?
Sperm count refers to the average number of sperm present in one semen sample. Concentration is one of the most important factors impacting male fertility, as a healthy man’s single ejaculation contains 1 million sperm. According to health experts, for a healthy sperm count, a man should have a concentration of more than 15 million per milliliter (ml), or at least 39 million per ejaculate.
However, this journey from the vagina to the target egg is challenging, and only 200 sperm ever reach the egg. So, having a higher count of healthy sperm means more will potentially fertilize her eggs. But If you do have a low count, this doesn’t mean you can’t father children. Again, sperm count is just one factor, and men with higher counts may still fail to impregnate their partners.
Do You Have Healthy Sperm Motility?
For successful fertilization, sperm must have good motility, meaning they’re good swimmers, able to successfully move through a woman’s cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes. Sperm need to be able to swim easily and in the correct direction. Those that swim in a straight line or large circles, known as progressive motility, are most likely to achieve fertilization.
The Size And Shape of Your Sperm Matters
Sperm need proper morphology, or size and shape, to successfully survive the fertilization journey. Normal sperm have an oval head with a long tail, while abnormal sperm have head or tail defects, like large heads or double tails. Sperm that are too large or small or misshapen may fail to reach and penetrate an egg.
Currently, fertility experts don’t believe sperm morphology is an indication of predicting infertility unless the majority of the sperm is abnormal. But there may be an association between DNA fragmentation, in which the sperm’s DNA is damaged, and male infertility contributing to pregnancy loss.
Schedule A Sperm Quality Consultation in California
Should you be attempting to conceive, you must ensure your sperm are healthy enough to succeed. If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our fertility specialists today.