Low sperm count and low sperm motility are the biggest causes of male fertility issues. A low sperm count refers to a situation in which a man’s semen does not contain a “normal” amount of sperm. You will be diagnosed as having low sperm count if you have fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. A low sperm count is the most common fertility problem for men.
Low sperm motility means a man’s sperm do not move forward as they should. If the sperm do not move forward, they cannot make the journey from the vagina past the cervix towards the fallopian tubes, where they can fertilize an egg. Changing what you do on a day to day basis might be all you need to treat low sperm motility.
Major Causes of Low Sperm Motility
Changing the habits below can naturally improve sperm motility.
Hot Balls – If you like extra hot showers, sitting in the hot tub, or wearing tight-fitting undies and pants, you really need to stop those activities if you have low sperm motility. The overheated testicles harm the sperm.
Being Stressed Out – Stress can wreak havoc on your body and sperm health is not exempt. When you are stressed out, your body produces chemicals that can negatively affect overall sperm quality and lower your chances of getting pregnant. Figuring out how to relax is in your best interest. Meditation and mindfulness are both great practices that reduce stress and boost fertility.
Bad Eating Habits – There are many vitamins and minerals that are necessary for healthy sperm. If you are eating a diet of convenience foods and fast foods, you are likely not getting the nutrients you need to have healthy sperm.
Smoking and Drinking – Both smoking and alcohol consumption can cause changes in all sperm parameters – sperm count, motility and morphology. If you are trying to get pregnant and have low sperm motility, eliminating these vices might help.
Treatments for Low Sperm Motility
The first thing men should do to improve sperm motility is take a look at their lifestyle. Change what you are doing and improve sperm motility and overall sperm health. Extreme heat can affect both sperm count and sperm motility. The man who is trying to conceive, then, should avoid hot baths, saunas, whirlpools, and even tight-fitting underwear. Sometimes exposure to heavy metals or even smoking can contribute to low sperm motility. Eliminating these factors is often the most effective treatment option for low sperm motility.
There are some natural treatments that can improve low sperm motility. Ginseng, Vitamin c, Zinc, and lycopene help improve sperm issues, whether it is low sperm count, low sperm motility, or abnormal sperm. Fertilaid for Men and Motility Boost is specifically formulated to help naturally treat low sperm motility.
If lifestyle changes do not improve your sperm motility, you can see a doctor who specializes in fertility issues. The downside is treatment plans for treating low sperm motility are expensive and complicated. A fertility doctor can collect your semen and use it in fertility procedures. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) injects the semen into the woman’s body at ovulation with hopes of fertilization. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment fertilizes the egg with the semen in the lab and then places in the woman’s uterus. Both of these procedures eliminate the need for the man’s sperm to swim forward. These treatments work around the fact that the sperm lack the motility they need to fertilize an egg on their own.
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Low Sperm Count.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 7 Dec. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/low-sperm-count/symptoms-causes/syc-20374585.
Cigarette Smoking and Semen Quality: A New Meta-analysis Examining the Effect of the 2010 World Health Organization Laboratory Methods for the Examination of Human Semen
Sharma, Reecha et al. European Urology , Volume 70 , Issue 4 , 635 – 645
Low sperm count means that, when tested, the total amount of sperm in your semen is below a certain amount. The most current World Health Organization guidelines define low sperm count as having less than 15 million sperm in a milliliter of semen (15 million/ml).
Having low sperm count means that you have lower odds of fertilizing your partner’s egg. While it is true that it only takes one sperm to fertilize the egg, you really need a significant number of sperm to make it successfully through the obstacle course that is the female reproductive system.
Getting Pregnant With Low Sperm Count
If you don’t get pregnant in the first couple of months of trying to conceive, don’t worry. The statistics show that, for some couples, it just takes a bit longer to get pregnant.
20% will conceive within one month
70% will conceive within six months
85% will conceive within one year
Seeing A Fertility Specialist
It is hard to let nature take its course when you have baby on the brain. If you don’t get pregnant right away, fertility specialists usually want to see you after you’ve tried for a year. You can schedule an appointment at the 6-month mark if you are over 35.
You can do many things without needing a doctor’s help to improve your sperm health. Take a look at your lifestyle to see if something you are doing or dealing with on a daily basis that can be harmful to your sperm health.
Environmental Causes of Low Sperm Count
Chemical Exposure – Daily exposure to industrial chemicals used on the job can lead to a lower sperm count. Working with pesticides, solvents, or heavy metals can damage your sperm health.
Overheating Your Testicles – Your sperm like a cooler than body temperature environment. If you regularly squash your testicles close to your body with tight pants or underwear, your sperm count could suffer. Sitting for long times will also increase testicle temperature. If you are trying to get pregnant, you might also want to avoid saunas and hot tubs for the same reason.
X-rays – If possible, ALWAYS use a protective apron if you need x-rays. This will protect your sperm and sperm-producing organs from the damaging effects. Failure to do this can cause a dramatic long-lasting decrease in sperm count.
Lifestyle Changes to Improve Sperm Health
Sometimes, you can boost your sperm count by making changes to things you do on a daily basis. Some are easier to do than others but all have the potential to improve your sperm count and all other aspects of male fertility. What you do and eat on a daily basis is directly related to your fertility.
Keep in mind, unless you have a medical cause for your low sperm count, the changes you make in your day to day life will take 2 to 3 months to show up in improved sperm health.
– Exercise Regularly – If you are a couch potato, your fertility can suffer. Research shows exercise helps balance your hormones (yes, men have fertility-related hormones, too) and help improve your sperm count (and other aspects of your sperm too!).
Oh, and let’s not forget how you smoking affects your partner’s fertility. Research has shown that exposure to secondhand smoke can cause fertility problems and earlier onset of menopause in women.
– Check Your Medications – Anabolic steroids (not good news bodybuilders out there), antibiotics and certain medications used to control conditions like high blood pressure, ADHD and antidepressants can reduce your fertility. You can ask your prescribing doctor or pharmacist about the effects of your medications on your overall fertility.
– Take Natural Supplements to Boost Sperm Health – Adding nutritional supplements that are proven to improve your sperm health can improve your chances of getting pregnant. The most helpful supplemental nutrients that help improve your sperm are Vitamin C (at least 2,000 mg a day), Zinc (66-200 mg per day) and Folic Acid (5,000 mcg per day). The vitamin C helps improve the motility and morphology of the sperm. The zinc, when taken with the folic acid, has been shown to increase sperm count and improve sperm motility and improve the sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg. FertilAid for Men, in combination with CountBoost, provides all these nutrients and many more that improve sperm health and sperm count.
– De-Stress – Extreme and long-term stress can cause the hormones required for healthy sperm production to become unbalanced. Balance your mind and your body will go in the direction of balance as well.
Health Eating can Lead to Healthy Sperm
Focus on eating foods that ensure your body has the right amount of sperm friendly nutrients. Most of these nutrients can be purchased in supplement form, but your body will benefit more if you try and incorporate them into your daily diet. Many research studies have shown that the nutrients below help improve sperm count and overall male fertility. To receive sperm count friendly benefits, you should stick with organic, grass-fed, and wild caught food whenever possible.
What to Eat to Improve Sperm Health
You can improve your sperm count and sperm health if you pay attention to the foods you eat. Studies have shown that certain nutrients can help to improve sperm quality. Adding foods that are higher in these nutrients can help improve the health of your sperm.
Bell Peppers (All colors), Guavas, Dark Leafy Green Vegetables (Kale and Spinach for example), Kiwifruit, Broccoli, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Peas, Papaya, Chili Peppers, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, and Mango
Beef, Shrimp, Spinach, Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Oysters, Lima Beans, Kidney Beans, Egg Yolks, Turkey, Salmon, Dark Chocolate, and Beef Liver
Turkey, Chicken, Pork Loin, Pumpkin Seeds, Peanuts, Dairy, Chick Peas, Lentils, and All Types of Seafood
Beef, Pork, and Whole Milk
Essential Fatty Acids
Salmon, Herring, Mackerel, Flax Seeds, Almonds, Walnuts, Eggs, and Dark Green Vegetables
Whole Grains, Broccoli, Potatoes, Raw Tomatoes, Green Beans, Barley, and Oats
Tuna, Shrimp, Sardines, Turkey, Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Brazil Nuts, Eggs, and Spinach
Dark Leafy Greens, Broccoli, Citrus Fruits, Beans, Peas, Lentils, Brussel Sprouts, Sunflower Seeds, and Peanuts
Sunflower Seeds, Lentils, Almonds, Dark Chocolate, Mushrooms, Beef Liver, and Oysters
Goji Berries, Dark Chocolate, Kidney Beans, Berries, Pinto Beans, Sweet Cherries, Apples, Red or Purple Grapes, and Sweet Potatoes
Supplements for Improved Sperm Count
It should be easy to increase your daily intake of these sperm friendly foods. Unfortunately, totally changing the way you eat isn’t always possible. Adding a fertility supplement might give you the added nutrient boost that you need to improve your count. FertilAid for Men and Countboost are two of the best selling male fertility supplements on the market. These supplements include scientifically proven nutrients for improving sperm count and sperm health.
How To Get Your Sperm Count Checked
If a doctor’s visit is daunting, you can take an at at-home sperm count test. These tests let you assess your sperm count in the comfort of your own home. Keep in mind, it will only let you know about sperm count. The test will not alert you if there are any problems with sperm motility or morphology.
You may discover that the sperm count appears normal with the at-home test, awesome! BUT … that doesn’t mean you are off the hook. All it says is that sperm count may not be the issue. A fertility doctor visit should be your next diagnostic step.
Many men are hesitant to get a semen analysis done. Unfortunately, it’s the only way to find out if you are the reason why you and your partner not getting pregnant. You are going to have to “Suck it up, Buttercup!” and get the testing done if having a baby is important to you and your partner.
Summing It All Up:
If you are trying to get pregnant and have low sperm count, these changes may help you achieve your dream.
Visit a fertility specialist if you have been trying to conceive for over a year.
Check what you do and eat every day and make changes if you have activities that can harm your sperm count and overall health.
Eat healthy foods with nutrients that support healthy sperm count and male fertility.
When you are trying to get pregnant, women bring their eggs to the party and the men, the sperm. Having healthy sperm will increase the chances for you actually getting pregnant.
What is “Healthy” Sperm?
There are many different components that add up to “healthy sperm”. Good sperm count, healthy forward movement, and well formed sperm are three of the main ones. With the exception of a home sperm count test, there is very little you can do to figure out the baby making potential of your sperm without the help of a doctor. A semen analysis done by your doctor will provide the scientific details about these important sperm issues.
Important Sperm Criteria
Sperm Count A conception friendly sperm count would be at least 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Of course, the higher the count the better. f you have fewer than this amount, you could have difficulties getting pregnant. It’s not impossible, but you might need to have a doctor’s help to help you get pregnant.
Sperm Motility Motility is how the sperm moves within the semen and in the woman’s body. Healthy sperm know which way to move. Limited forward motion makes it very difficult for the sperm to get to the egg to fertilize it. Healthy sperm motility is when 40% or more of the sperm, in a semen analysis, are showing the forward movement. The Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago has an interesting video that shows you how sperm count and motility determine during a semen analysis.
Sperm Morphology – This particular criteria is a bit odd. The bar for “normal” is set quite low. Only 4% of your sperm need to have normal shape to qualify as “normal”. Of course, the higher the percentage the better if your goal is fertilizing your partner’s eggs. If you have normal sperm count and motility, a 4% morphology result might not make a difference in your pregnancy chances.
The majority of fertility treatments focus on improving the woman’s fertility. This is unfortunate. Half of all fertility problems couples experience have to do with male fertility. Many men are hesitant to undergo testing to determine if their sperm health is an issue. Even if a man doesn’t want to undergo fertility testing, there are several things he can try to improve his sperm count, motility and morphology.
4 Things You Can Do That Hurt Sperm Health
Hot Testicles – Tight pants and brief style underwear can contribute to lower sperm count. The testes need a cooler environment to create new sperm. A Temperature 3 or 4 degrees below what the rest of the body is at is optimal. This allows the testes to do what they are made for – healthy sperm production.
Smoking – Both cigarettes and marijuana have been studied where sperm health is concerned. The results are not good if you do either of these things. Cigarette smokers increase their chances of having lower sperm count and motility than non smokers. Smoking can can damage your sperm on a genetic level as well. If you are a pot smoker, you risk having significantly lower seminal fluid and low sperm count. Marijuana use can also cause sperm behave abnormally. Moral of the story, stop smoking, of all types, before you attempt to get pregnant. Your sperm can return to normal health in about 3 months once you stop smoking.
Weighty Issues – Both being overweight and underweight can impact your sperm health. Being underweight can contribute to a lower than normal sperm count. Being overweight can affect a man’s reproductive hormones, leading to lower sperm count. It can also lead to higher percentages of abnormal sperm. Losing a few pounds, if you are overweight, can improve your sperm quality. Improved sperm quality can increase your chances of fertilizing that egg.
Unhealthy Eating Habits – This goes hand in had with the item listed above. Unhealthy eating can contribute to weight issues and poor sperm health. Processed meats like hot dogs, lunch meat and bacon lead to fewer normally formed sperm. . Milk does your body good, right? Well, sometimes. A 2013 study in Human Reproduction has shown that the intake of full fat dairy like cheeses and whole milk actually can lower sperm motility and morphology. Drinking low fat milk, on the other hand, was shown to have a positive effect on sperm health with higher sperm concentration and progressive motility.
Take Fertility Supplements. Let’s be honest here. In an ideal world, we would all be eating exactly what we needed to be totally healthy. In real life, this isn’t always possible. Adding supplements lets us get the nutrients we need. Fertilaid for Men is an awesome supplement that improves male fertility. You can also add a boost of ingredients that help improve sperm count or sperm motility.
Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Quality Sleep. A recent study has shown that people who don’t sleep well or have sleep apnea can have a decreased sperm count and motility. If you have difficulty sleeping, it might be time to schedule a sleep study to find out what is going on. Improving your quality of sleep may, in turn, increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Eat Your Veggies.Scientific research has discovered that beta-carotene, Lycopene and carotenoids (aka antioxidants) can help improve sperm morphology and motility. The veggies that you should add to your meals include carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens and tomatoes.
Difficulties getting pregnant are often related to issues with sperm. The three main issues include:
Sperm Motility – This means that the sperm struggle to navigate through the cervical mucus and female reproductive system.
Sperm Count – The likelihood of conception is lowered due to low sperm counts in the semen.
Sperm Morphology – Deformed sperm fall into this category.
Some of these sperm issues are harder to correct than others. Luckily, sperm motility can be improved in several different ways.
Improving Sperm Motility with Diet and Lifestyle Changes
If you’re experiencing issues with sperm motility, making changes in your diet and lifestyle can help.
Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are two of the main issues that can impact your sperm motility. These bad habits also affect the sperm count and overall sperm health in a negative manner.
Nutrition can also affect sperm motility. Diets low in carnitine can cause sperm health issues. The amino acids, L-Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine help improve sperm motility by providing sperm with extra energy. Red meats are especially rich in these amino acids.
Deficiencies in certain nutrients, especially vitamin A and C and zinc, can also impact sperm quality and motility. Eating foods high in folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids promote healthy sperm production. If you find it difficult to consume the right types of foods or nutrients required for healthy sperm health, high-quality supplements can help. There are some supplements specifically intended to promote sperm health and improved motility, making them ideal choices for men suffering from sperm issues .
A deficiency in testosterone is another common culprit of low sperm motility. However, this issue is easily resolvable. In fact, there are many ways in which you can naturally increase testosterone levels, including:
Weight Loss – Being overweight can severely impact both your general health and testosterone levels. By taking efforts to lose weight, you can improve both simultaneously.
Intense Exercise Routines – While exercise is generally good for your health, rounds of short, intense workouts can help to build your testosterone levels. However, it is important to keep in mind that longer, more moderate workouts will not produce the same effects.
Increase Levels of Vitamin D – Healthy doses of sunshine or taking supplements for vitamin D are essential. Adequate Vitamin D consumption helps increase testosterone levels.
Reduce Stress – Stress triggers the body to produce cortisol, a hormone that blocks the effects of testosterone. Taking the initiative to reduce stress through exercise and meditation can help.
Medication – Sometimes, modifying your lifestyle isn’t enough. Fortunately, there are medications that can help in these instances.
Low Sperm Motility and Physical and Genetic Issues
In some instances, improving low sperm motility is unfortunately impossible. If a genetic defect is the cause of low motility, there is no way to correct the issue through the use of supplements, medicines, or hormones.
In other cases, low motility is caused by physical defects such as variocele. While the physical problem can be corrected, sperm motility might not improve as a result.
It is important to seek a proper diagnosis for genetic and physical issues. If you find that neither a genetic or physical problem is the source of low sperm motility, you can turn to lifestyle modifications or other methods to effect positive changes.
You might not realize it, but in close to have of the cases where a couple is having trouble conceiving there is at least one male fertility factor present. There are any number of causes of male infertility, and understanding exactly what can cause them can help you to know what kind of treatment to expect, and what kinds of changes you might make to increase your odds of trying to conceive.
Some of the most common causes of male infertility include:
Low sperm count. This is most often the cause of male infertility. The vast majority of male infertility issues stem from a low sperm count. A low sperm count happens when a man’s semen doesn’t’ have enough sperm. This can be caused by many different things. Hormonal changes, for example, can be responsible for a low sperm count. So can the use of certain medications, illicit drug use, alcohol use or abuse, excessive caffeine intake, smoking and more. Even testicular injury or testicular overheating can contribute to a low sperm count. Testicular overheating is most often caused by things like hot tub or sauna use, a heated waterbed or wearing tight underwear.
Low sperm motility. This is the next most common cause of male infertility. If a man’s sperm don’t move forward at a reasonable rate, you’re going to have a hard time conceiving. This can be caused by many of the same things that can cause a low sperm count, such as medications, drug use, alcohol use, excessive use of caffeine, smoking or testicular injury. It can also be caused by testicular overheating.
Abnormal sperm. When a man’s sperm aren’t developing correctly and have an abnormal shape, it will affect his fertility. Abnormal sperm can be caused by many of the same things that the other sperm problems can. In addition, exposure to heavy metals or to certain chemicals can also cause a man to have abnormal sperm.
If you’re having trouble trying to conceive, it’s important that the male partner provides an open and honest health history to your doctor. This will help to narrow down the possible causes of male infertility, and get you on track to have a better chance of conception.
There are three major problems that men face about their fertility. They are low sperm count, low sperm motility and abnormal sperm (morphology). Low sperm count causes over 50% of male fertility issues. Sperm motility also affects a significant number of men. You can calculate your sperm motility, but you will need your doctor’s help.
Sperm motility is the way that your sperm move after having sex. The sperm need to be moving in the right direction and at the right pace. How your sperm move will determine how successful you are at trying to conceive. Sperm that move too slowly will not reach the egg in time. Limited forward movement that also presents a problem.
Video: Sperm Motility
Can You Calculate Your Sperm Motility?
You can’t calculate your sperm motility by yourself. You will need the help of your health care provider. Your doctor will recommend a semen analysis if have problems getting pregnant. The semen analysis will check many aspects of your sperm health. It will calculate your sperm motility and sperm count. It will also check for problems with the size and shape of your sperm.
Sperm motility results are in the form of a percentage. The percentage reflects the percentage of sperm that move forward at a regular pace. Sperm have to perform a particular way to be able to fertilize the egg. They need to travel forward in the right direction. How fast the sperm are is also important. The quicker the sperm move, the less time they have to be in harsh vagninal secretions. The sperm will die before they are able to travel to the egg if they move too slowly. Sperm have normal motility if the result is 50% or more.
The doctor doing the analysis of your sperm will rate its movement (motility).
Normal sperm have 50% or greater motility and a grade of 3 or 4.
Grade 4: Fast and forward progression where sperm move in a straight direction. 3: Sperm move forward but at a slower speed and/or in a curved direction. 2: Slow movement and in a poorly defined direction 1: Movement seen but sperm fails to progress forward. 0: No signs of movement.
Motility results of less than 50% doesn’t mean pregnancy is impossible. It can still occur with lower motility sperm with good forward movement.
Improving Your Sperm Motility
There are a few options for men with low sperm motility. Some men have had luck improving their motility by eating healthier diets. If you smoke, stop. Studies have shown how damaging smoking is to sperm health. You should limit alcohol consumption to help improve sperm motility and sperm health.
FertilAid for Men and Motility Boost – Improve Sperm Motility and Overall Sperm Health.
These fertility supplements help improve your sperm motility. The ingredients in this package help improve overall sperm health too. These supplement will improve your your chances of getting pregnant. Click here to buy them now.
Contact your doctor if the fertility supplements do not create the results you need. Your doctor will have some ideas to increase your chances of conceiving. IVF and ICSI are fertility procedures that may help.
Kloos , Bryan. “Andrology: Sperm Motility & Progression.” Fertility Centers of New England, Fertility Centers of New England, 10 Mar. 2011, www.fertilitycenter.com/fertility_cares_blog/andrology-blog-part-iii/.
Semen analysis. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from