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What Can Cause Low Sperm Motility?

There are any number of factors that can cause a problem with male fertility. Whether it is a problem with the man’s sperm count, or whether he has abnormally shaped sperm, or whether he has a problem with how the sperm are moving (also known as low sperm motility), male factor fertility problems can be very frustrating things to deal with. A man’s identity is, very often, wrapped up in his virility. When he as a fertility problem, it can cause a severe loss of self esteem, not to mention the frustration involved with not being able to have a baby. Knowing what can cause low sperm motility and other fertility problems for men can, however, help a man to know how to proceed with addressing the problem.

The first kind of thing that can cause low sperm motility is nutritional issues. Some studies suggest, for example, that elevated levels of zinc, which may help a low sperm count, can also cause low sperm motility. While we don’t know exactly what foods will and won’t affect motility, eating a balanced diet can give you better health overall, which could certainly help with sperm motility.

Low sperm motility can be caused by certain medications. Some hormones, for example, as well as some steroids, can slow sperm down, make them weaker, and make it so that motility is much less than what is desired. In addition, the use of tobacco, while it is more likely to cause other sorts of health problems, is thought to cause low sperm motility as well. Even alcohol use may cause low sperm motility. Taking care of your body in general will also help your sperm motility overall.

To know what might be causing low sperm motility, your health care provider may wish to do some further testing. In many cases, the exact cause of low sperm motility might never be known. In other cases, the causes can indeed be identified. Once the cause of the problem is known, your health care provider will be much more likely to be able to develop a treatment plan.


Last modified: February 10, 2013


The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.