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    Sperm Motility and Male Fertility: What You Need to Know


    Sperm Motility and Male Fertility: What You Need to Know

    Updated on 28 February 2024

    Sperm motility is a critical factor in male fertility. It refers to the ability of the sperm to swim and move towards the egg for fertilization. Low sperm motility can result in infertility, which affects about 15% of couples. In this article, we will discuss what sperm motility is, the causes of low sperm motility, factors affecting sperm motility, how sperm motility is measured, and how to increase sperm motility.

    What is Sperm Motility?

    Sperm motility refers to the ability of sperm to swim and move forward. Sperm cells are produced in the testes and stored in the epididymis, where they mature and gain the ability to swim. Sperm motility is essential for fertilization, as it allows the sperm to travel through the female reproductive tract and reach the egg.

    Sperm motility is classified into three categories: progressive motility, non-progressive motility, and immotility. Progressive motility refers to the percentage of sperm that are swimming forward in a straight line. Non-progressive motility refers to the percentage of sperm that are moving, but not in a straight line. Immotility refers to the percentage of sperm that are not moving at all.

    Causes of Low Sperm Motility

    Low sperm motility can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

    1. Genetic defects

    Genetic defects can affect the structure and function of the sperm tail, making it difficult for the sperm to swim.

    2. Hormonal imbalance

    Hormonal imbalances can affect the production of testosterone, which is essential for sperm production and motility.

    3. Lifestyle choices

    Lifestyle choices, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use, can also affect sperm motility.

    4. Other factors

    Other factors that can contribute to low sperm motility include exposure to environmental toxins, such as pesticides and heavy metals, and certain medical conditions, such as varicocele and infections.

    You may also like: Do Antibiotics Affect Fertility: Debunking Common Myths and Misconceptions

    Factors Affecting Sperm Motility

    Several factors can affect sperm motility, including age, diet, exercise, stress, and exposure to environmental toxins.

    1. Age

    As men age, their sperm motility decreases, making it more difficult for them to conceive.

    2. Diet

    A diet that is low in nutrients, such as vitamin C, zinc, and folic acid, can also affect sperm motility.

    3. Exercise

    Exercise can improve sperm motility by increasing blood flow to the testes and improving overall health.

    4. Stress

    Stress can affect sperm motility by increasing cortisol levels, which can decrease testosterone production.

    5. Environmental exposure

    Exposure to environmental toxins, such as pesticides, heavy metals, and radiation, can also affect sperm motility. It is important to minimize exposure to these toxins to improve sperm motility and overall fertility.

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    Sperm Motility Index: What it is and How it's Measured

    The sperm motility index (SMI) is a measure of sperm motility that is used to assess male fertility. It is calculated by multiplying the percentage of sperm with progressive motility by the total sperm count. A higher SMI indicates better sperm motility and overall fertility.

    Sperm motility can be measured using several methods, including computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA), which uses specialized software to analyze sperm movement. Other methods include manual semen analysis and sperm penetration assays.

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    How to Increase Sperm Motility?

    Several methods can be used to increase sperm motility, including dietary changes, supplements, and lifestyle modifications. You can also consume ayurvedic medicine for sperm motility. Let us now understand three different approaches men can adopt to improve their sperm motility:

    Food to Increase Sperm Motility Fast

    A diet that is high in nutrients, such as vitamin C, zinc, and folic acid, can improve sperm motility. Here are some foods that can increase sperm motility:

    1. Whole grains

    Whole grains such as brown rice, oats, quinoa, whole wheat and barley are great sources of selenium, an antioxidant that helps protect sperm from damage.

    2. Fish

    Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that can improve sperm health and motility. Some examples of Omega-3-rich fish include salmon, mackerel, and sardines.

    3. Walnuts

    Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve sperm motility. They also contain antioxidants that can protect sperm from damage.

    4. Colorful fruits and veggies

    Colorful fruits such as oranges, strawberries, and kiwis are rich in antioxidants that can improve sperm motility. And vegetables like leafy greens and tomatoes can also help improve sperm quality.

    5. Nuts and seeds

    Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats, protein, and vitamins like vitamin E which can improve sperm health and motility. Incorporate foods like almonds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds and walnuts in your diet.

    It's important to note that while consuming food to increase sperm motility fast can help, a balanced and healthy diet overall is important for optimal fertility. Additionally, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice on improving sperm motility.

    You may also like: How To Make Sperm Stronger For Pregnancy

    Ayurvedic Medicine for Sperm Motility

    Ayurvedic medicine offers several herbs and remedies that can improve sperm motility. These include:

    1. Ashwagandha

    Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that can help increase sperm count, motility, and volume, and improve reproductive hormone levels.

    2. Shatavari

    Shatavari is an effective spermatogenic agent that can enhance sperm motility and increase sperm count, making it an ideal herb for male fertility treatments.

    3. Gokshura

    Gokshura also known as Tribulus Terrestris can improve sperm motility and increase testosterone levels, which can help with male fertility.

    4. Ginseng

    Ginseng may improve sperm count, motility, and morphology, and may also help to increase testosterone levels.

    5. Fenugreek

    Fenugreek or methi is another herb that can help to increase sperm count and motility and improve overall reproductive health.

    Medicine to Increase Sperm Count and Motility

    Several medications can be used to increase sperm count and motility. These include:

    1. Clomiphene citrate

    Clomiphene citrate or Clomid is a common medication that improves sperm count, morphology, and motility.

    2. Anastrazole

    Anastrazole or Arimidex is another medication that can improve sperm production.

    3. hCG injections

    hCG injections can also increase testosterone levels in men with low levels of the hormone, which is essential to maintain testicle size and sperm production.

    4. Gonadotrophins

    Gonadotrophins and letrozole are other fertility drugs that can stimulate hormonal production, normalize blood sugar levels, stimulate blood flow, and increase libido, improving fertility.

    It's important to note that these medications may have side effects and should only be taken under the guidance of a doctor or fertility specialist.

    Men looking to boost their fertility can also try Mylo's Potenmax Testosterone Booster Capsules that are an effective blend of Omega-3 fatty acids, safed musli, ashwagandha, fenugreek and kaunch beej, among others. These ingredients can help improve sperm motility and quality, increase testosterone levels, enhance physical performance and boost energy and stamina.

    Common Misconceptions about Sperm Motility and Male Fertility

    There are several common misconceptions about sperm motility and male fertility. Let us understand some of these common myths and the truth behind them:

    Myth #1: Tight underwear can decrease sperm motility

    While tight underwear may increase scrotal temperature, which can affect sperm production, there is no evidence to suggest that it affects sperm motility.

    Myth #2: Frequent ejaculation can decrease sperm motility

    Many men believe that ejaculating frequently can decrease their sperm count and motility. While frequent ejaculation can decrease sperm count, it does not affect sperm motility.

    Myth #3: Cycling is bad for fertility

    There is no strong data to support the idea that cycling is bad for fertility. But exposure to high temperatures, like in hot tubs, hot baths or saunas, can cause damage to sperm. Heat from laptops has also been shown to damage sperm count and quality.

    Closing Thoughts

    Sperm motility is a critical factor in male fertility. Low sperm motility can result in infertility, which affects about 15% of couples. However, there are several methods that can be used to increase sperm motility, including dietary changes, supplements, and lifestyle modifications. If you are struggling with infertility, it is important to consult with a medical professional to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan.


    1. Dcunha R, Hussein RS, Ananda H, Kumari S, Adiga SK, Kannan N, Zhao Y, Kalthur G. (2022). Current Insights and Latest Updates in Sperm Motility and Associated Applications in Assisted Reproduction. Reprod Sci.

    2. Salas-Huetos A, Rosique-Esteban N; et al. (2018). The Effect of Nutrients and Dietary Supplements on Sperm Quality Parameters: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Adv Nutr.


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    Written by

    Anupama Chadha

    Anupama Chadha, born and raised in Delhi is a content writer who has written extensively for industries such as HR, Healthcare, Finance, Retail and Tech.

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