Sperm Count, Morphology and Motility

After some time of trying to conceive with my girlfriend at the time, now my wife, we thought it would be beneficial if I had a Sperm Count Test to see if I had any problems with male infertility. So my doctor organised a sperm test at my local hospital, so I could provide a sample for analysis.

When I got to the hospitable to give my sample I was coldly given a plastic container through a hatch in a corridor by the nurse and when I asked where to go she pointed to the nearest public toilet. There was no thought or empathy shown by the nurse of how embarrassing and dirty this might make me feel. I was asked to do my sperm sample in a smelly, filthy, toilet cubicle and then bring the container back to the hatch afterwards for analysis. This public toilet was used by all males in the hospitable, so when I was in the cubicle I could hear numerous men coming in and out of the toilet. I felt like an animal carrying out an unsolicited act that was totally undignified. I think it is disgraceful and horrendous in the 21st Century not have a private place to carry out such a test.

Approximately two weeks later we were asked to go back to the hospitable for the results. We saw a doctor who didn’t seem to care and showed no compassion. The results weren’t explained to us properly, so we left the hospitable still not knowing what the figures represented or what morphology or motility was. All I was given was a card with the results on, which meant nothing at all to me. The doctor just told us that the chances of getting my partner pregnant, was slim to impossible.

I have since found out that a Sperm Count Test, also known as a Semen Analysis, measures three major factors of sperm health:

  1. Sperm Count (The Number / Concentration) - How many Sperm are in each ml of semen?
  2. Sperm Morphology (The Shape of the Sperm) - What percent of them are normally shaped?
  3. Sperm Motility (The Movement of the Sperm) - What percent of them are swimming forward?
  4. Having done some extra research for WCW I have found out the following Male Infertility Statistics:
  • 2 to 3 percent of all men are completely infertile, producing no sperm at all.
  • 10 to 20 percent of all men have low sperm counts.
  • Infertility affects at least 15 percent of the reproductive age population, with roughly 35 percent of the cases attributable to men.
  • The quality and quantity of a man’s sperm begin to decline after the age of 40 and even further after the age of 50.

Prior to the test my doctor didn’t give me any advice regarding best practices prior to giving the sample. There was no mention of refraining from drinking caffeine, abstaining from alcohol, or staying away from taking herbal remedies such as Echinacea. I also wasn’t given any advice by the doctor on how to improve my sperm health.

Looking back makes me feel extremely angry and massively let down. Perhaps some simple lifestyle changes, diet, supplementation etc could have made the difference, perhaps not, but now I’ll never know.