In medical terms, infertility is the couple’s inability to conceive after twelve months of having unprotected copulation and pregnancy attempts. According to reports, around 60-80 million couples around the world are deprived of having a child due to infertility.
The main causes of infertility in men are Oligospermia (low sperm count), asthenospermia (reduced sperm motility), teratozoospermia (sperm with abnormal morphology), and azoospermia (semen contains no sperm) which accounts for around 20-25% of the cases.
The quality of the semen is known to depend on your lifestyle, environment, and biology. Certain medications like anti-depressants, calcium-channel blockers, anti-epileptics, and anti-retroviral drugs are also known to meddle with the semen quality. Besides, smoking and alcohol consumption are known to affect semen quality as well. Azoospermia and Oligospermia are known to occur more frequently in obese and overweight men. One surprising factor affecting the semen quality is the season. Sperms have higher motility during the winter and spring season when the temperatures are around 10 to 20ͦ C. Also, the percentage of mature motile sperms with head defects is known to be lower during the winter.
For a man to successfully impregnate a woman, healthy sperm motility is necessary. The sperm can travel efficiently through the woman’s reproductive tract to approach and inseminate her egg. To do this, sperm needs to have a progressive (moving in a straight line) motility of at least 25 micrometers a second. Asthenospermia, also known as asthenozoospermia or reduced sperm motility, is identified when less than 32% of the sperm can move efficiently.
Can the sperm motility be improved? Lifestyle changes are one of the most sure-shot ways to improve the quality of sperm. If you cannot quit smoking and alcohol consumption, then try reducing it to improve sperm motility. Since the temperature of the scrotum is known to have a direct effect on the sperm quality, make sure you keep your testicles cool (below body temperature) by wearing loose-fitting underwear. Also, take care not to use laptops for a more extended time.
Since the body weight also contributes to the well-being of the sperm, make sure to include regular exercise in your regime. Exercise not only has a positive impact on your general health, but it also improves your sexual health. In a study, 215 men with the same BMI and age were divided into three groups. One group did light exercise, the second group did moderate exercise, and the last one was into rigorous training. The study concluded that weight loss due to moderate exercise reasonably increased the semen volume, concentration, mobility, and percentage of normal morphology when compared to the groups who underwent light and heavy exercise. In addition, a regular intake of Vitamin C significantly improved sperm concentration and motility.
However, care should be taken not to over-exercise. Exhaustive exercises are known to cause male infertility by decreasing sperm volume, intensity, and motility. Moderate exercise is the key to improved sperm motility.
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