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Infertility In Men

In the past it was considered necessary to address the reproductive function of a man only if his sperm count was found to be low. However, It is now known that count is not the only factor in impaired fertility cases, motility and morphology also play a major role in a man’s ability to fertilize.

A man with fewer than 5 million sperm per milliliter of semen is often infertile. A sperm count below 20 million is considered low. In these cases the men might be sub-fertile or infertile. However, it should be understood that a man can be sub-fertile even if he has a normal sperm count of between 20 and 250 million sperm per milliliter of semen.

The sperm’s ability to move is referred to as motility. The most successful sperm are those that are able to move forwards rapidly. Rapid motion forward is defined as a sperm that is able to travel at least half its length in one second. Often times, sperm are found to lack this essential aspect of motility and they end up swimming slowly or in the wrong direction, some even swim in circles. The sperm’s ability to move correctly is directly linked to its shape.

The morphology of sperm is the third key factor in evaluating the role of abnormal sperm cells. A normal sperm is made up of a head, a mid piece and a tail. A normal head is oval in shape and can be easily distinguished from the mid piece. The mid piece should have approximately half to three quarters the area of the head. And the tail should be around four or five times the combined length of the head and mid piece. When variation in just one of these areas occurs, a sperm’s chance for success is greatly reduced as a miss-shapen head or a deformed tail can cause the sperm to be a weak swimmer or to be incapable of maintaining a straight path.
 
 
 
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