Male Fertility: How to Improve Sperm Quality

by Physician Aileen Chua
22 August 2022

Conceiving involves both the father and the mother, so the father’s sperm quality is as important as the mother’s egg quality. If you have been trying to conceive naturally for 6 months but to no avail, it is advisable to have both parties checked. For men, you can do a seminal analysis to check out your sperms’ condition.

What is Seminal Analysis?

A general seminal analysis usually includes these main components: Seminal volume, Sperm Concentration, Sperm Count, Time for Liquefaction, pH, Motility (Progressive & Non-Progressive), Morphology. It costs around $120.

In this article, we will focus on how to improve the Sperm Count, Motility and  Morphology

It takes about 3 months for changes to the sperms to become noticeable, so do start making the necessary lifestyle or food changes as early as possible 😊

Sperm Count

Sperm count is the total amount of sperms collected during the ejaculation. It is calculated by multiplying the sperm concentration with the volume of semen collected. A low sperm count is referred to as Oligospermia

Normal range: Total Sperm Count >40 million, ideally >150 million, combined with >3ml of sperm volume to conceive naturally. To conceive naturally, although it only takes one sperm to successfully fertilize an egg, a large number of sperms will increase the chances of fertilization as millions of  sperms may be lost along the way.

Suggested Lifestyle:

OTC Chinese Herbs*:

Sperm Motility

Sperm motility is the ability of the sperm to move and swim efficiently. This is important because the sperms need to move through the woman’s reproductive tract to reach and fertilize her egg. In the seminal analysis report, sperm motility is usually classified into 2 categories: Progressive Motility and Non-Progressive Motility. Progressive motility refers to sperms that are swimming mostly in a straight line or in large circles. Non-progressive motility refers to sperms that do not travel in straight lines or that swim in very tight circles. Only sperms with progressive motility can swim to reach and fertilize the egg. Poor sperm motility is referred to as Asthenozoospermia

Normal range: Total Sperm Motility >40% (Includes Progressive and Non-Progressive Motility); Total Progressive Motility >32%

Suggested Lifestyle:

OTC Chinese Herbs*:

Sperm Morphology

Sperm morphology refers to the shape of the sperm (shape and size of the sperm head), the midpiece appearance and the structure of the tail. The head shape of a sperm is important because it can affect the sperm’s ability to penetrate and fertilize an egg. Sperm morphology is assessed by examining the sperms under a microscope. Having a large amount of abnormally shaped sperm is referred to as Teratozoospermia.

Normal range: 

There are 2 commonly used criteria to assess sperm morphology.  

Stricter and consider minute irregularities as abnormal. 

      >14 percent of sperm have normal morphology – high probability of fertility

       4-14 percent – fertility slightly decreased

       0-3 percent – fertility extremely impaired

More lenient and do not classify as many sperms as abnormal.

       >4% of normal sperm morphology

Suggested Lifestyle:

OTC Chinese Herbs*:

知柏地黄丸 Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan(知母 Anemarrhenae Rhizoma、黄柏 Amur Cork Tree Bark、熟地黄 Rehmannia Root、山药 Chinese Yam、山茱萸 Common Macrocarpium Fruit、牡丹皮 Peony Bark、茯苓 Indian Buead、泽泻 Oriental Waterplantain Rhizome)

*The OTC Chinese herbs recommended are for reference only. It is advisable to consult a TCM Physician before consuming them as every individual is different, so not all herbs are suitable for everyone.

Food that Helps with Improving Sperm Quality

Food rich in Protein/L-Arginine, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Folate, Omega 3, Selenium.

How can TCM Help to Improve Sperm Quality