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Improving sperm quality, is it possible?

By Dr. Jesús Alberto Félix Atondo

In recent years, changes in lifestyle and diet have been related to a decrease in semen quality. Male infertility has many possible causes: such as congenital problems, birth defects, accidents, hormonal changes, and lifestyle habits that reduce sperm quality.

Today we´ll tell you what seminal quality is and how it is assessed. We´ll answer the question of whether it is possible to improve it and increase the probability of achieving pregnancy.

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What is sperm quality?

The quality of the spermatozoa is defined from certain parameters that allow evaluating how healthy they are:


Semen concentration or volume refers to the amount of sperm found in the ejaculated semen. The normal thing is that between 2 and 5 milliliters are produced per ejaculation with more than 15 million per milliliter. Therefore, a low sperm count is considered a concentration less than the mentioned amount per milliliter, or less than 39 million sperm per ejaculate.


More than 40% of the sperm must have the ability to swim through the female reproductive system to fertilize the egg. This is known as motility, and motility is the normal movement that spermatozoa make to move towards the egg.


The morphology or shape of the spermatozoa is very diverse and can change from one man to another. However, to consider that a spermatozoon is of good quality, it must have an oval head, a robust neck, and a mobile tail.

PH and fructose content

Citric acid and fructose in semen indicate the secretory capacity of the prostate and seminal vesicles, and it is normal to have a pH between 7.2 and 8, which is why an acid substance per week is considered.


This characteristic means that the spermatozoa are alive, and at least 58% are required to be alive to fertilize the egg.

How is the quality of spermatozoa assessed?

The quality of the semen is carried out through a test called a seminogram or spermiogram. It consists of a detailed study of the sperm to analyze the quality parameters, which are microscopic (concentration, mobility, vitality, morphology) and other macroscopic such as volume, liquefaction, viscosity, and color.

The results obtained in the analysis are evaluated with the reference values established by the World Health Organization (WHO) to determine if there are seminal alterations.

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Can sperm quality be improved?

Yes. In some cases, it is possible to improve the quality of the sperm, although it is essential to see a fertility specialist to find out what condition affects the sperm. General recommendations are:

Maintain a healthy diet

Diet has a direct impact on sexual health, male fertility, and sperm. It is recommended to follow a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, legumes, omega 3 fatty acids, selenium, and zinc.

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Exercising regularly

The combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise helps control body weight. And this is relevant to fertility because overweight and obese men are more likely to present alterations in semen, such as oligozoospermia (low sperm count) or azoospermia (total absence of male gametes). In addition to having a less active sex life.

Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption

Alcohol and tobacco are two causes of low seminal quality. Although the effects vary depending on consumption, lower sperm quality has been detected in men who smoke and who drink alcohol on a daily basis, since these are substances that fragment sperm DNA, affect the volume and morphology of spermatozoa, and decrease testosterone and sperm production.

Avoid temperature rise in scrotum

The scrotum´s purpose is maintaining the ideal temperature of the testicles so that the spermatozoa are formed correctly. This temperature should be two to four degrees below body temperature. The use of tight clothing, the mobile phone in the front pockets and resting the laptop on the lap causes an increase in temperature and if it exceeds 35°C it could cause scrotal hyperthermia and alter sperm production.

Medical treatments to increase sperm quality

The specialist can resort to specific treatments to improve sperm quality, such as:

  • Hormone treatment that stimulates spermatogenesis.
  • Antibiotics to treat infections that cause a low sperm count or low semen quality.
  • Surgical treatment for some alterations.

If you have been trying to get pregnant with your partner for more than a year and have not succeeded, this is the time to see a fertility specialist Tijuana. At The Fertility Center Mexico we have the specialists you need to make your dream of starting a family come true. Write us via WhatsApp or leave us your phone number and email so that our specialists can contact you and provide you with the information you need about sperm freezing, preimplantation genetic test in Tijuana, cost of IVF in Tijuana, timed intercourse cycle, egg freezing Mexico and IUI in Mexico.

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Dr. Jesús Alberto Félix Atondo

Gynecology, Obstetrics and Biology of Human Reproduction Surgeon at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, specialist Biologist of Human Reproduction by the Mexican Institute of Infertility.

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