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Houston Fertility Center

The Causes of Low Sperm Motility and How It Can Be Treated

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on June 16, 2015

Egg and spermThe team at Houston Fertility Center has helped countless men and women with infertility issues. When it comes to helping men at the practice, this typically involves sperm analysis, which determines the causes of male infertility.

One issue that comes up when assessing sperm quality is motility. Let's address the issue of sperm motility right now.

What is sperm motility?

Sperm motility refers to the ability for a man's sperm to swim properly. While many people consider the importance of sperm count when it comes to male fertility and infertility, sperm motility matters just as much in many cases.

Why Sperm Motility Is Important for Male Fertility

If a man's sperm is unable to swim effectively, it makes natural conception much more difficult. The sperm is simply not able to reach the egg because of its poor motility, often barely passing the vaginal canal. A man may be otherwise fertile save for this particular issue.

Common Causes of Low Sperm Motility

Some of the most common causes of low sperm motility include the following:

  • Excessive Stress - Stress can have a number of negative health effects, including issues with fertility

  • Excessive Heat - If a man's genitals are exposed to excessive heat, this can result in many problems with the sperm; sources of this heat may include constricting undergarments and clothing, saunas, hot tubs, and laptops

  • Side Effects of Medications - Some medications can actually cause problems with sperm motility as a side effect of regular use

  • Poor Diet - A lack of certain vitamins and minerals can result in problems with fertility, particularly deficiencies in vitamin C and vitamin B12

In addition to the above, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to problems with sperm motility and general male fertility.

Fertility Treatment Options for Low Sperm Motility

There are many different treatment options to consider for low sperm motility. The following are some of the most common and most popular:

  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) - In vitro fertilization involves the fertilization of an egg with sperm in a controlled lab setting, increasing the chances of successful pregnancy

  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) - Intrauterine insemination is a method of artificial insemination that introduces a man's sperm into a woman's uterus, reducing the amount of swimming the sperm must do to reach the egg

  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) - Intracytoplasmic sperm injection takes place during IVF treatment; this involves the injection of a man's sperm directly into a woman's egg in a lab to ensure fertilization takes place

  • Use of a Sperm Donor - Sperm donors can be selected and used if a man cannot produce any viable sperm himself

Which treatment option would be best for me?

Given all the options above, the best option for you and your needs will be determined during a consultation at our practice. A fertility specialist can provide you with all the information you need so you can make the ideal choice with you and your partner.

Schedule a Consultation at Houston Fertility Center

For more information about treating male infertility and addressing issues with sperm count and motility, be sure to contact our team of fertility specialists today. The team here at Houston Fertility Center looks forward to your visit and helping you start the family that you have always wanted to have.

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