It may only take one fast sperm to make a baby, but his chance of success is truly one in a million. How much do you know about sperm and its effect on fertility? Read on to find out!
Unlike women who are born with a set number of eggs, men produce 40 million to nearly 1 billion sperm cells each time they have sex. It truly is a case of the strongest will survive, as the journey to the egg is treacherous. In terms of fertility then, more is definitely better. Many studies have shown that a man's fertility chances improve as his sperm count increases. At a minimum, 15 million sperm per mL of semen is considered normal. If you are looking to optimize conception, a sperm count of 55 million per mL is ideal. For some men, higher quality sperm can make up for smaller concentration. Unfortunately, once a sperm count drops below 10 million per mL natural conception can be difficult.
First, it is important to remember that sperm count can fluctuate. At a minimum, take the average number of two tests done about one month apart to establish a baseline fertility rate. The more data you have, the better your understanding of your sperm count will be. Try an at-home sperm test to make this a convenient task. If your sperm count is still low, try improving your health. Simple lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding drug and alcohol use, and limiting elevated heat near your belt buckle can improve your sperm count. If you still find your sperm count is not improving, it may be time to talk to a urologist. The doctor will give you an overall examination which will include semen analysis, hormone measurements, and genetic testing. Based on your results, you and your doctor can discuss the next steps in treatment to improve your fertility.