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After an initial consultation at Ferticare Clinic, the man has the possibility to provide a semen sample which will be used to determine the potential reasons why conception was not possible, as well as the appropriate treatment.

 

The sperm analysis tests for several markers of sperm quality. It is checked whether:

– There are enough motile sperm present (in the sample) (normozoospermia)

– Too few sperm are present (oligozoospermia)

– The sperm have poor motility (asthenozoospermia)

Teratozoospermia occurs when only a small percentage of the sperm have normal morphology. Semen analysis is based on the reference values published by the WHO (World Health Organisation) in 2010.

Spermiogram criteria according to WHO 2010:

Oligozoospermia: total number of sperm below lower reference limit i.e. low sperm count in the ejaculate (less than 15 million/ml, or total sperm count below 39 million per ejaculate)

Asthenozoospermia: poor sperm motility i.e. less than 32 % of the sperm are able to move efficiently

Teratozoospermia: abnormally low percentage of sperm with normal morphology (4%) i.e. too few normally shaped spermatozoa (less than 4%)

Oligoasthenoteratozoospermia: decreased sperm concentration, sperm motility and morphology i.e. lower number of sperm with normal morphology and motility (OATS)

Cryptozoospermia: very low sperm concentration in a fresh sample (less than 1 million sperm/ml)

Azoospermia: absence of sperm in the ejaculate

Nekrozoospermia: all spermatozoa in the ejaculate are dead or stationary

Hypospermia: low ejaculate volume (less than 1.5 ml)

 

What can you do to improve sperm quality?

Stop smoking. Smoking can damage sperm cells and smokers often experience up to 20% less sperm motility than non-smokers. Their sperm is more often affected by mutations and chromosomal abnormalities. In addition, smokers usually/often have a lower sperm count in the ejaculate.

Stop drinking or reduce alcohol consumption. Drinking regularly can affect testosterone production as well as sperm maturation.

Be more active. Standing up or moving around every now and then during working hours may improve sperm quality. When sitting, the testicles are pulled close to the body.

Reduce stress. Chronic stress upsets the hormonal balance and increases the production of prolactin. This hormone reduces sperm production, reduces libido and may also cause erectile dysfunction.

Check the active ingredients in your medication. Certain active ingredients may decrease sperm quantity and sperm quality. Potentially risky medication may also include some over-the-counter drugs such as Ibuprofen. Regular use of this painkiller (600mg daily) may lead to a lower level of testosterone and luteinising hormone (LH).