Male Infertility: It's Not All About The Sperm, Except For When It Is
If you are the man in a straight relationship and you're trying to have a baby, you have a big responsibility.
Or you could look at it that you have millions of responsibilities.
Yes, your sperm.
Unlike women, who have all the eggs they will ever have when they are born, you have the advantage of creating new sperm constantly.
There are a lot of common misconceptions about sperm. What you really need to know are a few male infertility & sperm basics.
Male Infertility & Sperm Basics
Here are four of them:
- Up to 90% of sperm can have malformations. Typical ones are the shape- too much or too little tail, neck or head. The sperm we want is oval (the head which contains the nucleus) and has a long tail, made for swimming. It's ok and normal to have some sperm that do not look the way that they should, you can still fertilize an egg.
- Hot sex can create a pregnancy. This one's true! At least some of the time. But, and this is a big but, keeping your testicles cooler than the rest of your body is more important than hot sex. At least when it comes to making babies.
- You make sperm every day. Again, true. And again, a big but. While you make several million sperm every day, it takes about 70 days for sperm to become mature enough to fertilize an egg.
- There's more to a sperm than just the head and the tail. The third piece, in the middle contains the energy, powered by mitochondria.
Semen Analysis Results: What are they looking for?
Do you know what is looked for in a semen analysis? Simple answer. Four things.*
- Morphology- shape
- Count- how many sperm a specimen has
- Volume- this refers to the amount of semen (fluid that contains the sperm)
- Motility- how many of your sperm are alive and moving correctly
The semen analysis is among the most basic and important of the testing that is done to figure out why no pregnancy is occurring.** Subscribe to PathToFertility so as not to miss the in-depth blog next week on semen analysis.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.