After hearing about accidental pregnancy from your friends, you are bound to believe that getting pregnant is easy. But just ask any couple who’s been trying to conceive for a while, and you’ll find that the truth is quite the opposite – getting pregnant is one of the hardest things for a woman to do when she’s actually wants to be a mother The problem of infertility prevents a couple from conceiving. The health of a man’s sperm also plays an important role in a couple’s ability to conceive, and sperm motility can affect a man’s fertility. For more information about sperm motility and how it affects fertility, read further in this article.
What is meant by sperm motility?
Sperm motility refers to the ability of the sperm to move towards the ovum. A man’s sperm is considered ‘healthy’ when it is able to move at a rate of at least 25 micrometres per second. If the sperm do not move at this rate, the condition is called asthenospermia or asthenospermia.
The degree of motility of spermatozoa can be very different. Sperm motility is sometimes slow or may have non-progressive motility. This means that the sperm moves less than 5 micrometers per second. In some other cases, a motility problem may also mean that the sperm do not move at all. In addition, at least 40 percent of the sperm in a sample must be sufficiently motile for a man to have normal sperm motility.
Why is sperm motility important for pregnancy?
Let us tell you that the sperm has to reach the ovum and connect with it so that you can become pregnant. Therefore, sperm motility is extremely important for the sperm to be sufficiently mobile to reach the egg, which is inside the uterus of the woman. If sperm motility is poor, the sperm do not swim well and eventually die before reaching the ovum, which is why couples are unable to conceive.
Men usually ejaculate sperm near the cervical canal when they have intercourse with a woman. While they don’t need to do this because sperm can swim through the vagina to the cervical canal by themselves. The sperm must be near the cervical canal for better chances of fertilization. The egg only lives inside the fallopian tube and waits for the sperm to reach it. Therefore, it is necessary that the sperm reaches the egg before it dies due to lack of nutrients.
The sperm has to travel through the cervical canal into the uterus and pass through it to reach the fallopian tubes, where the egg is fertilized. Nevertheless, the sperm must be able to travel to the ovum in order for fertilization to complete. Hence, it would be absolutely correct to say that sperm motility is one of the most important factors and it directly affects your chances of pregnancy.
What is normal sperm motility?
Not all sperm need to swim for normal motility, only about 40% of sperm need to move in order to conceive. This means that at least 40% of the sperm must be strong swimmers before you can move on to testing the next factor.
Progressive motility is also one of the important factor which plays an important role. This means that sperm must swim from place to place, not move in circles or zigzags. The benchmark for progressive motility is 32 percent, which means that at least 32% of the sperm in a sample must be optimally motile for the sperm to be considered healthy.
Finally, the motility of the sperm is also examined. To be considered healthy, sperm need to move fast and in a straight path. If the speed of sperm is around 25 micrometres per second, it is considered healthy, less than this is not considered good. Sperm are considered non-progressive if the speed is less than 5 micrometers per second. At least 12% of the sperm sample should be fast, straight and progressive for a man to have normal sperm motility.
What is low sperm motility and how does it affect fertility?
Low sperm motility means that the sperm may not reach the ovum in time for fertilization. Because of this, infertility is a major cause among men who are trying to conceive their wives. Sperm can sometimes be very slow, non-progressive, swimming in circular motions rather than moving in fast, straight paths. In any such case, you must consult a doctor to rectify the situation.
What is the cause of low sperm motility?
The causes of low sperm motility in men can be different. In some cases, it is also genetic, or can be due to some medical problem or can also be due to unhealthy lifestyle. The environment around a man also plays a huge role in determining the motility of his sperm.
- Smoking is part of a bad lifestyle, which lowers your sperm count. If a man smokes more than ten cigarettes every day, the chances of reduced sperm motility are greatly increased.
- Work-related fertility problems are also common in some men, especially those who work in the military or paint, drive or who may be subject to repeated injuries around the pelvic area.
- Varicocele or varicocele is a medical condition that causes the veins inside the scrotum to become enlarged, causing low sperm motility in men.
How is low sperm motility diagnosed?
To diagnose sperm motility, examining semen is considered the best method. A man must provide at least two samples of semen to a doctor in order to have a sperm test. Sperm is collected either through masturbation or through a used condom. Sperm samples need to be handled very carefully and should always be kept at room temperature, Sperm should be delivered within one hour to the medical office where it is going to be tested.
Medical procedures to treat low sperm motility
The following are medical procedures that can treat low sperm motility in men:
- If the cause is low hormone levels in the body or a varicocele, there are surgeries or medications to increase sperm motility, which help improve sperm motility with the use of follicle stimulating hormones.
- If sperm motility is not improving even after trying for a long time, couples can take the help of intrauterine insemination procedure to get pregnant. In this procedure, sperm are injected directly into the uterus so that they do not have to swim long distances to reach the ovum. It is more useful when the sperm motility is only slightly less in a man.
- If even IUI doesn’t work, you can always opt for in vitro fertilization (IVF) . The sperm and ovum are fertilized in a laboratory dish, after which the fertilized egg is implanted in the woman’s uterus. It has a higher chance of success as compared to other methods.
How to increase sperm motility naturally
If a man has low sperm motility, it can be very difficult for him to get his wife pregnant. But there are ways to increase sperm motility. Some of the things that your partner can consider to increase sperm motility are as follows:
1. Eat good food
Eating healthy food can increase sperm motility. Let us tell you that processed meats can be harmful for the health of sperm, whereas things like dark chocolate, eggs, bananas and garlic are beneficial for the health of sperms. You can include these food items in your partner’s diet.
2. Keep Electronics Off Your Lap
In such a situation, it is strictly prohibited to keep mobile phone and laptop in the lap, because they affect the health of sperm. Heat and radiation from electronics are not good for sperm motility.
3. Wear comfortable clothes
The scrotum should be a few degrees cooler than the rest of your body. So avoid wearing clothes like skinny denim or tight underwear so that your sperm can swim well.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking has a direct effect on the health of sperm, so it is very important to quit smoking. If your husband doesn’t smoke, that’s fine but if he does, ask him to stop. Because it is harmful not only for their sperms but also for their health. Also, if you are pregnant, you should breathe fresh air at home and not the smell of cigarettes (this can harm you or your baby).
Men need adequate sleep and rest for their sperm health as well as for the rest of their health. In men who do not sleep properly, sperm motility has been found to be low due to lack of testosterone. So whenever you have sex for pregnancy, make sure that your partner is well rested.
When a man exercises, his body produces testosterone which is highly important for maintaining the health of the sperm. Therefore, it is important to exercise to improve sperm motility.
Sperm motility plays an important role in pregnancy. So you should ask your partner to follow a healthy lifestyle if he has low sperm motility. You can also get yourself examined by both doctors to understand more about the health and motility of sperm and what you can do to get pregnant.