Male infertility accounts for approximately 40% of fertility problems.
Sperm quality is one of the most common causes of male infertility. Although there are different alterations in sperm that can lead to infertility, the prominent abnormalities affect sperm concentration, motility, and morphology.
Today we will discuss the main alterations that affect sperm quality, as well as some general tips to improve sperm quality.
It is important to have a large number of sperm in the ejaculate, increasing the odds that at least one of them is able to reach the oocyte for fertilization
During the journey to the fallopian tubes (where the ovum is located) the sperm endure numerous obstacles that not all of them manage to overcome.
The three basic complications related to the number of sperm are:
• Oligozoospermia: the number of sperm is less than 15
million/ml of ejaculate.
• Cryptozoospermia: sperm not observed in the fresh semen sample, but some are seen after extensive centrifugation and microscopic search.
• Azoospermia: complete absence of sperm in the ejaculate.
For the sperm to reach the egg, it must move through the female reproductive tract.
Poor motility (asthenozoospermia) is considered when less than 40% of the sperm move progressively.
A spermatozoa is considered normal when it presents with:
- Oval head, without any irregularity in its contour.
- Neck of suitable thickness and length.
- Thin, long and motile tail.
Sperm is morphologically abnormal (teratozoospermia) when one or more of the above structures are abnormal.
Tips to improve sperm quality:
Semen quality is assessed by performing a seminogram or semen analysis. This is a simple diagnostic test that evalautes male fertility based semen quality parameters.
There are factors, such as stress, medication, diet, and even exposure to contaminants that can lead to altered results.
For this reason, it is important to follow the below recommendations to improve semen quality:
- Avoid toxic habits such as tobacco, alcohol and narcotic substances.
- Perform moderate physical exercise.
- Avoid exposure to certain chemicals or radioactive substances.
- Avoid overheating the testicular area (do not rest the computer on the testicles, do not carry a mobile phone in your pocket and avoid tight clothing).
- Maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
- Reduce stress.