Challenges with male fertility and quality of sperm is not a very usual dinner conversation, even though there are many people facing this challenge. What is even more rare is that people may know that sperm quality can be improved, and that a LOW result may be changed and improved over a period of 3 months. It takes app. 3 months for a new sperm cell to fully mature.
Just in Denmark, the ongoing study between 1996-2010 conducted by Rigshospitalet showed that 77% of men did not have optimal sperm quality at the time of testing.The decline in sperm quality is not only a challenge in Denmark, but rather a global challenge and unfortunately there is increasing evidence proving this development. 
But what is it that actually determines sperm quality?
First of all, semen contains of 4 types of sperm cells, dead sperm cells, non-moving sperm cells, morphologically abnormal sperm cells and progressive motile sperm cells (PMSCs).
The PMSCs are the good ones and the only ones that can reach and fertilize an egg and thereby make woman pregnant in a natural way. A PMSCs is thus a sperm cell that can swim all the way up to the egg and penetrate it. Sperm quality means how many of these good swimmers (PMSCs) there are in a semen sample as PMSCs has consistently been seen as the most predictive factor with regard to outcome:
See Tomlinson et al. Human Fertility, 2013; 16(3): 175–193 below:
One can measure sperm quality either at a laboratory, hospital or specialized doctor’s office using a Microscope or by using the SwimCount™ Sperm Quality Test. You can also watch a video explaining the PMSCs here.
What is a NORMAL sperm quality?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a normal sperm quality as being higher than 5 Million PMSCs/mL .TheSwimCount™ Sperm Quality Test can besides NORMAL sperm quality also detect high sperm quality where the concentration of PMSCs is more than 20 Million PMSCs/mL.
But after all, it only takes one cell to fertilize an egg. 😉
Sperm quality can be influenced by many different factors such as occupational factors, lifestyle and stress. So, if you are not a person that enjoys a visit at the doctor, the stress factor can influence the quality of your sperm quality, while taking the test and therefore make it less valid. That is why it is very important to be as comfortable as possible while taking the test, whether it is a home test or a test taken at the doctor. However, it is clear that for most men it is a very stressful and not a very comfortable situation to go the Laboratory and deliver a test which is why an at-home test like the SwimCount™ Sperm Quality Test can be taken in the comfort of your own home.
Lifestyle factors can be many things for many people. For some people it is the clothes they wear, for some it is going to gym 3 times a week, taking steroids from time to time, eating healthy or having a beer for lunch on Fridays and sometimes having a bit too much of beer or being a party smoker. Even though in real life some of these things might not be connected at all, there is one thing that connects them all. All of them have a potential influence on sperm quality.
Over the next couple of weeks, we shall try to explain why these factors influence sperm quality and give simple suggestions on lifestyle changes that will not turn your whole life around but could potentially help to improve the quality of sperm cells, before heading to a doctor.
Of course, every person is different. Every person has a different health stage and we are definitely not trying to talk you out of visiting your general practitioner. If in doubt always visit your doctor.
We do trust and value work of doctors. After all, one of the Co-Founders of the company is an Embryologist.
That is also why we know that sperm reproduction takes up to 3 months and changing your lifestyle can improve sperm quality. Then you might as well just have fun at home performing the SwimCount™ Sperm Quality Test instead of spending time in a waiting room of a hospital and waiting for the results.
We are not saying that there is one solution that solves everything and works for everyone, but in the upcoming weeks we will try to gather useful information in blog posts on the following, most influential factors when it comes to sperm quality such as:
- Anabolic steroids
- Balanced Diet
- Obesity and BMI
- Psychological stress