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Factors That Affect Sperm Motility

By Padmapreetham Mahalingam

As a prospective dad, taking care of your health is very crucial. Trying-to-conceive (TTC) couples have to make a variety of positive life changes if they are badly trying for a baby.

Positive life changes are important in improving fertility. If you and your partner are planning a pregnancy, you need to understand about the healthiness of your sperm.

It is important for you to know the various factors that can affect male fertility and then consider the steps that you need to take for your sperm to be healthy and a great performer.

The prominent cause of infertility in men is due to the presence of abnormal sperms. Sperm is usually affected by lifestyle factors. So what affects a sperm's motility?

Some of facts that have a bad effect on sperm quality are smoking, excessive drinking, weight and body mass index, acute viral illness, street drugs and hernias.

When sperm have defects, they turn out to have mis-shapen heads or crooked tails. This could possibly affect a sperm’s ability to reach and fertilize an egg.

In order to increase the sperm quality and the potential to conceive, it is imperative for men to increase the sperm's motility.

Sperm motility is about the way in which the sperm is able to traverse in the reproductive tract by smoothly wading forward through the vagina, which is past the women's cervix, and then getting a hold into the fallopian tubes.

So let’s find the various factors that affect sperm motility.


Avoid Heat

Working in a hot environment such as bakery or sitting for long hours has been associated to pump up the testicle temperature. Hot tubs and saunas can provisionally lower the sperm count. Extreme heat on the testicles would lead to a low sperm motility. It can never allow the sperm to mature. It would try to slow down sperm motility. If the temperature of the testicles reaches 98, the sperm production begins to cease.


Poor Diet

Poor diet is one of the factors that have an effect on sperm motility. Poor diet and poor lifestyle can deteriorate and worsen the sperm's quality in young individuals. Even eating too much junk food would lower the sperm count. Men who diet high in saturated fat, in all probability, have 43% fewer sperms as well as 37% dwindle in the application of sperm.



Maintaining a healthy weight helps to keep your sperm in a good condition. If you are overweight with a BMI of 30 or higher, there is a chance of lessening the quantity as well as quality of your sperm.



Ageing can have an adverse effect on the sperm count and sperm motility. The quality of sperm diminishes as a man ages.


High Fever

High fever can affect sperm motility. High fever has the same effect as overheating on a man's sperm. It is proven that in the sperm production process, the sperm concentration begins to lessen by around 35% following a high fever.


Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamin deficiency happens to be one of the major factors that can affect sperm motility. It clearly leads to a lower sperm motility. Some vitamins and mineral deficiencies like zinc, selenium, vitamin B-12, folate and antioxidants can have a bad impact on the quality of the sperm.



Heavy drinking is harmful for a sperm. Men who drink heavily on a daily basis have lesser sperm counts as well as testosterone levels. If you have two drinks per day, it can have an unfavourable effect on the sperm production. Even stress and an unhealthy lifestyle can be an impediment for those waiting to boost the motility of their sperm.



Men who smoke regularly can injure the quality of their sperm. Smoking, in particular, affects a man's sperm motility. Moreover, it can even take longer for your partner to conceive, especially when you smoke quite heavily.

Story first published: Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 21:00 [IST]
Read more about: sperm basics
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