Sperm motility is that quality of the sperm which affects a man’s ability to fertilize the woman’s egg. Low sperm motility is a very common problem these days and it also determines how freely the sperm is able to move around in the woman’s cervix and further. In other words, low sperm motility affects your ability to become a father.
Whenever a couple is unable to conceive, most people blame the infertility on the woman. On the contrary, usually the problem lies with the male partner. He might be producing sperms but if his sperm count is low or it isn’t healthy, it won’t be able to fertilize the woman’s egg. In fact, research shows that almost 25% cases of infertility are a resultant of low sperm motility of males.
How can you detect sperm motility?
Low sperm motility can easily be detected by doing a semen analysis. A semen analysis will show the following three parameters:
1. Sperm Count – This shows the concentration or count of sperm per ml of semen.
2. Morphology – This shows the percentage of sperms that are of normal shape.
3. Motility – This shows the percentage of sperms which have the ability to swim forward.
What causes low sperm motility?
Low sperm motility can be caused due to various factors such as:
1. Heredity – If your father suffers from low sperm motility, there are chances of passing on the DNA to his children.
2. Nutritional Deficiencies – Eating an unhealthy diet lacking essential nutrients can affect the health of your sperm. If your diet doesn’t contain enough minerals and vitamins, you might suffer from low sperm motility.
3. Anxiety and stress – A hectic work schedule and too much exertion lead to anxiety and stress, which in turn decrease the motility of the sperm. Not only does it let boredom set in, it also causes various hormonal imbalances.
4. Consuming foods that contain metals – Consuming foods that contain heavy metals also affects the motility of the sperm.
5. Too much heat – Enjoy the sauna a lot? Well, it can affect your ability to be a father. Taking too many hot showers, keeping your laptop directly on your lap, Wearing tight underclothes and sitting in hot tubs lead to low sperm motility.
6. Too much sex – Having sex too often can also lead to low sperm motility. Also having sex with too many partners can increase the risk of contracting STDs – sexually transmitted diseases. Use a condom and practice safe sex.
7. Alcohol and smoking – Consumption of alcohol and cigarette smoking affects the health of your sperm. Cigarette smoking weakens the sperms and they are unable to fertilize the eggs. If some sperms do fertilize the woman’s eggs and form an embryo; those embryos have fewer chances of survival.
8. Side effect of medicines – Anti-anxiety medications, steroids and hormones can weaken the sperms and lead to low sperm motility.
If you have been diagnosed with low sperm motility, do not panic. You can still be a father. There are various ways of increasing your sperm motility.
Here are a few home remedies for increasing sperm motility:
1. Eat a healthy diet – Consume a healthy diet that contains lots of Vitamins and minerals to increase the motility of your sperm. Ideally, your diet should include whole grains, leafy greens, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds along with lean sources of protein. Fruits and vegetables are very nutritious and also contain antioxidants. Eating garlic is really helpful in increasing the motility of your sperm. Bananas, ripe mangoes, cashew nuts and sweet carrot halwa are also of much help. However, you need to cut down processed foods and aerated drinks.
Tip – You can also prepare a salad using nuts such as pistachios, almonds, raisins, cashew nuts and sunflower seeds. Half a bowl of this nuts salad can help to increase motility and sperm count.
2. Reduce stress and anxiety – Stress and exertion can affect your sexual performance manifold. Keep stress at bay by doing meditation and yoga. Take deep breaths and try to relax. Don’t get panicky when you don’t need to.
3. Consume alcohol in limits – You would have to decrease your alcohol intake as it can decrease the sperm motility and also cause hormonal imbalances. Stop excessive consumption of alcohol since it’s affecting your fertility.
4. Inculcate a habit of regular exercise – Regular exercise can help to improve your sperm motility since it helps you to lose weight and stay in shape. It also regulates the hormones and keeps your reproductive system healthy. Strength training along with half an hour of moderate exercise per day should be your target.
5. Maintain a healthy body weight – Try and maintain a healthy body weight. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to suffer from various hormonal problems and also affect your fertility.
6. Minimize your exposure to toxins and chemicals – Various toxins in the atmosphere get released due to everyday activities and these decrease the motility of the sperm. Stay away from them. Some of the products you should avoid are bleach, synthetic deodorants, plastic products that have BPA – Bisphenol A, foods that contain pesticides or preservatives and bleached paper products such as napkins and toilet paper.
7. Reduce your contact with heat – Since elevated temperatures can lead to the loss of the life of sperms, it is advisable to keep only minimum contact with heat. Do not bathe with very hot water. Never ever keep your laptop directly on your lap. Either work on a table or keep a cushion on your lap. Wear comfortable underwear and don’t use the sauna too much.
8. Quit smoking – Stop smoking cigarettes as early as possible. Join a group or forum or a rehabilitation centre and get rid of this unhealthy habit. You must quit smoking at least three months prior to the conception of your baby.
9. Avoid medications that affect sperm motility – Consult your health care provider and get those medications removed from the prescription which are decreasing your sperm motility. If a substitute is available, go for it. Sometimes, alternative treatments are also available for curing depression and cancer.
Although the sperm motility can be increased in most of the cases by following the above home remedies but if the problem still persists, it is advisable to see a doctor.