Infertility isn’t an issue that only affects women. In fact, at least one-third of cases, it comes down to an issue on the male side.1 Some well-known problems that get in the way of male fertility include erectile dysfunction and low sperm count, but it’s becoming that sperm motility is another important factor. Let’s run through what you should know about sperm motility means for male fertility goals.
What causes male infertility?
The big factor in male infertility is low sperm count: that is, a decrease in the number of sperm cells in the semen. If you’re trying to conceive, then the ideal number of sperm cells per ejaculation is over 40 million cells per milliliter of semen. If the sperm count is less than 10 million, it is considered low.2
However, quantity isn’t everything. A rating of male fertility also depends on a combination of concentration (density of the cells), morphology (shape of the cells), and motility (the cell’s ability to “swim” forward, straight and quick).
How does the aging process affect sperm motility?
Up until recently, there wasn’t thought to be a time limit on male fertility at all, and there’s still no clear conclusion of the controversy on whether sperm quality begins to decline with age.
However, aging can increase oxidative stress on the sperm cells, and it appears that oxidative stress is worsening the function of the sperm cells. There is also a study which shows that the older the father, the more likely their kid is to be autism and schizophrenia.
How to increase sperm motility naturally
There are steps aspiring Dads can take to increase sperm motility and boost odds of conceiving. As with many things fertility-related, a lot of this starts with good nutrition.
Sperm cells can be damaged by high concentrations of free radicals, and vitamin C is an antioxidant which may neutralize the effect of the free radicals on sperm cells. Ensure you’re getting enough vitamin C-rich foods like tomatoes, broccoli and strawberries.
Some study has shown that men who consume more vitamin E have higher sperm counts and motility than those who don’t get enough. Good sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils like sunflower and wheat germ, as well as nuts like hazelnuts and almonds.
The mineral zinc is vital in synthesizing sperm cells. Make sure you’re getting enough zinc in your diet, which you can enjoy from some delicious zinc-rich foods like oysters, lean beef, pepitas.
Don’t underestimate the power of good nutrition for fertility success. According to one study, when zinc combined was with Vitamin C and Vitamin E, sperm motility was boosted by 24%.3
Maintaining normal sperm motility for reproductive success
Research into the causes of male infertility is still in its early days, but don’t be too discouraged. There are still plenty of dads who are able to conceive even into their later years. If you’re having trouble conceiving and think poor sperm quality might be a factor, speak to a doctor. Your doctor may be able to recommend some treatments to help you and your partner reach your fertility goals.