Male Factor Infertility: Can You Improve Low Motility and Morphology in Men’s Seman Analysis?
Far too often the focus of infertility is on the woman when the reality is infertility causes are one-third male, one-third female, and one-third unexplained or both. June is men’s health month and this week is men’s health week so let’s shift our focus to male factor infertility. I want to start off by expressing the importance of a semen analysis on day one of an infertility workup. If these levels are off, they need to be addressed right away.
Let’s begin by understanding what sperm morphology and motility are
Sperm morphology refers to the shape, structure, and size of sperm that is analyzed under a microscope. Even healthy men will produce some sperm that are abnormal, just like healthy females will at times produce abnormal eggs.
When morphology is abnormal sperm will have tails that are abnormal or extra tails, multiple heads, or misshapen or disconnected heads.
Motility refers to the sperm’s ability to move or swim which is necessary for it to fertilize an egg. When they are analyzed we want to see progressive motility which means sperm move forward in straight lines or in circles. We don’t want to see them move in small circles or abnormal paths.
Can You Improve Low Motility and Morphology in Men’s Seman Analysis?
Yes! A man is continuously being made in the male body and takes approximately 74 days to mature. This means that it takes about 3 months to see results from healthy lifestyle changes or treatments started.
- The obvious change is to stop smoking, including vaping, as well as decrease or eliminate alcohol intake.
- Decrease exposure to toxins. This includes herbicides, pesticides, and solvents.
- Ensure you are getting quality sleep. One study showed sperm survival rates were lower in men who sleep less than six hours per night.
- Following a fertility lifestyle with your partner including nutrition and exercise. Studies have found that physically active men have healthy sperm parameters and fertility hormones.
- Nutrition should include seafood, leafy greens, nuts, berries, and healthy fat consumption. This will allow the body to absorb vitamins A, D, and E, which are all essential for fertility.
- Supplements to consider taking are vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and CoQ10. All have shown to improve semen parameters. Download your list here!
*Always consult your healthcare provider before starting a new supplement.
Does any of this look familiar to you?! These changes are extremely similar to lifestyle changes indicated for women. Fertility lifestyle changes should be implemented for both men and women when going through infertility. The goal is to decrease inflammation, improve hormonal health, optimize fertility, and improve overall health. I find it is easier to maintain lifestyle changes if both partners are working at improving them together.
Also Read: Dear Friends and Family, I have infertility