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"Motility" is the ability of an organism or fluid to move. Sperm motility refers to the movement of sperm. Sperm motility is a component of sperm health. Sometimes the speed of sperm movement becomes very low and other motility related problems like slow or no movement can have a negative impact on the fertility of men. Low sperm motility is also known as asthenozoospermia.

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A man's sperm health is an important factor in a married couple's ability to conceive. The following are the main criteria for healthy sperm:

  • mobility
  • size

  • Ability to pass through the cervix and reach a woman's reproductive organs

  • acrosome reaction

  • zona pellucida binding

For successful pregnancy, sperm must also have the right number of chromosomes. If any one of these reasons is not corrected, the fertility of men gets affected. According to an estimate, 15-20 percent of couples worldwide are unable to become parents and about 30-40 percent of them are deprived of this happiness due to low sperm mobility.

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  1. Why Do Sperm Swim
  2. Sperm Motility Affect Pregnancy
  3. Rapid Progressive Motility, Non-progressive motility and total Motility of Sperms
  4. What Affects Sperm Motility
  5. How to Improve Sperm Motility
  6. Reason for Low Sperm Motility
  7. Treatment of Low Sperm Motility
  8. Summary
Doctors for The Role of Sperm Motility in Fertility: Insights and Solutions

Sperm are motile cells in the body, which is important in terms of fertility. To conceive, sperm need to enter the body from the female vagina through the cervix and travel up the fallopian tubes to meet the female eggs. During intercourse, semen enters the vagina and is ejaculated near the cervical canal. If men's sperm motility is normal, any semen ejaculated near the vaginal area makes its way through the vagina to the cervix. Sperm are programmed to swim in such a way that they reach the female egg as they move. Sperm travel from the cervix, into the uterus and ultimately, into the fallopian tubes and this is where the reproductive process is completed.

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Healthy sperm speed should be at least 25 micrometers per second or more. There are a variety of sperm motility issues, including:

  • slow or sluggish pace
  • Non-progressive motion, less than 5 micrometers per second

  • no mobility

(Read more: What is sperm, its role, and importance)

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How the sperm moves is also important. In progressive motility, sperm are mostly swimming in a straight line or over a very large area. In non-progressive motility, sperm move but do not move forward or are swimming in a very small area. In total motility a sperm that simply vibrates in place would be considered motile, but non-progressive. A sperm that zigzags but moves forward would be considered progressive. Sperm require progressive motility to swim to the female reproductive tract.

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Usually, when sperm motility is low, other problems are found in sperm health. For example, in people with low sperm motility, sperm do not form properly and cannot swim properly. Apart from this, sperm motility can also be harmed by exposure to harmful chemicals, disease, exposure to heat or cold, lifestyle habits like smoking or abnormalities of the male reproductive tract. Sperm motility may be reduced if a man is less sexually active.

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Apart from treating any medical conditions or genetic factors that affect sperm motility, there are also some lifestyle changes you can adopt to improve sperm motility. Like regular exercise, nutritious diet, limited alcohol. Exercising consistently and eating a nutritious diet can also improve sperm motility. You can improve sperm motility by including nutrient-rich foods in your diet. One study found that foods rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and vitamin C may contribute to increased healthy sperm count. Focusing on diet holistically is the best way to improve fertility.

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The causes of low sperm motility can vary. Some men may have a genetic condition, while others may have a medical condition. Lifestyle and environmental factors also play a big role in sperm motility. For example, smoking has been linked to decreased sperm motility, especially if a man smokes more than 10 cigarettes per day. Low sperm motility is also seen in men who work in the army or do jobs that involve frequent injuries to the pelvic area.

(Read more: Low Sperm Count symptoms, causes, prevention )


Sperm motility can be tested if semen health is analyzed regularly. For testing, at least two semen samples must be provided. The sample should be kept at room temperature and transported for testing within 30 to 60 minutes. If the sperm is less than 40 percent motile, sperm motility is considered low. Lifestyle changes can help increase sperm motility-

  • exercise regularly
  • healthy weight

  • reduce alcohol

  • not smoking

Some other complementary medicines may also help improve sperm motility. For example, one study found increased sperm motility in men who took 200 micrograms of selenium along with 400 units of vitamin E for at least 100 consecutive days. Talk to your doctor before taking supplements. If there is a medical problem causing sperm motility problems, the doctor may recommend surgery.

(Read more:Sperm DNA fragmentation test)


Many factors can affect male fertility. If the sperm is healthy then pregnancy can occur even with low sperm motility. Using reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination (IUI) can help increase your chances of conceiving. This is because in this technique the need for the sperm to swim on its own is eliminated. These changes alone may not completely solve the problem, but they can help you improve your sperm motility. And, even if their impact may be marginal, you're at least taking steps to improve your health. It's also important to talk to a health care provider.


Dr. Zeeshan Khan

Dr. Zeeshan Khan

9 Years of Experience

Dr. Nizamuddin

Dr. Nizamuddin

5 Years of Experience

Dr. Tahir

Dr. Tahir

20 Years of Experience

Dr. Ajaz  Khan

Dr. Ajaz Khan

13 Years of Experience

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