The sperm quality of men has been decreasing for years. 9 out of 10 men who have their sperm tested have poor values. But how do you actually measure sperm quality?
What does good or bad sperm quality actually mean?
Semen consists of seminal plasma and sperm cells. The sperm cell can fertilize the female egg. Both components of the sperm must be of good quality, i.e. healthy, in order to be fertilizable. Sperm quality is determined by the consistency and motility of the sperm, and there must also be enough nutrients in the sperm to ensure its energy supply.
Several factors play a role in measuring the quality of semen: the Quantity of sperm cells, their Mobility and the Number of normally formed cells. It is normal that some cells are just not normally formed – and it usually does not even matter that they exist. These cells usually do not reach the egg cell at all. Up to a quarter of the sperm cells may be dead, which is still within the limits.
sperm quality is controlled (© panthermedia.net Monkeybusiness Images)
Why sperm quantity and motility are important?
In short: because the sperm has to swim so far (18 cm) from the ejaculation to the ovum. Many sperm do not manage this, and some researchers even say that there are sperm that serve exclusively to "prepare the way" for the following sperm.
Do all sperm look the same?
Not at all! There are not only sperm with crooked heads and curled tails, but also sperm with two heads, hanging heads or large and small heads. The best forward in the vagina comes a long, not curled tail with a medium-sized head.
Sperm quality – shape and size of sperm (© Thinkstock)
Standard values for good sperm:
- 20 million sperm cells per milliliter of fluid
- 2 milliliters of fluid per ejaculation
- 40 million sperm cells per ejaculation
- 75% of the semen should be alive
- 30% normal looking sperm
- 25% fast moving sperm
- 25% sperm swimming forward
Guide values for poor sperm:
- Below 13.5 million sperm cells per milliliter of fluid
- Below 9% normal looking sperm cells
- Less than 30% forward swimming sperm
Important to know: the quality of sperm can vary greatly in the same man. There is a way "Daily shape" For sperm related to stress, testicle temperature, diet, medications and stimulant consumption. Alcohol and nicotine are obviously not good for sperm quality.
That’s why when you have a semen test several samples examined – usually three. You can "produce" them at home, possibly store them in the refrigerator and take them to the urologist as soon as possible, who will then send them to the laboratory.
If several samples from different days are not in the normal range, the doctor will consider whether the poor sperm quality is genetic. Then the sperm quality cannot be improved. Some men produce Sperm without sperm cells – it is one of 100. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about this.
Otherwise, there are some ways to optimize the quality of sperm: live healthy, avoid too much heat (even the sauna) and reduce stress. It is important to know that 74 days lasts until Sperm cell completed and that it can survive up to 20 days in the testicles. So it can take almost 3 months to achieve a measurable improvement in sperm quality.