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Male Infertility: Everything You Need to Know…

Male Infertility: Everything You Need to Know…

Male Infertility is something every couple having problems getting pregnant should think about. When it is difficult to conceive, most couples automatically assume it has something to do with the woman and her reproductive system. Unfortunately, chasing after a preconceived problem in the woman can often delay a couple’s chance of having the baby they desire. If only they had considered the male factor, they may have been parents months (or even years) earlier.

It takes two people to make a baby.  When something goes awry with either, then conception can be inhibited.  For men, problems usually arise in one of these areas:

The Penis
While size has nothing at all to do with a man’s ability to father a child, the form of his penis can.  If the opening of the penis is not large enough to enable the semen/sperm to escape, fertility problems can result.  An unusual curvature of an erect penis can cause either Hypospadias in which the opening is on the underside of the penis, or Epispadias in which the opening is on the very top of the penis. Both can prevent the man’s sperm from getting where it needs to be to fertilize his partner’s egg.

The Testicles
A man’s testicles have two important jobs: to produce and to store sperm.  Since it is important for the temperature in the testicles to remain at a constant 98 degrees for best sperm health, anything that raises that temperature like varicose veins or even fluid retention can inhibit conception. Varicocele are vessels in the scrotum that are dilated which can cause swelling and fluid retention that impair sperm. Undescended testicles or surgery to correct them may factor into fertility

The Sperm
Assuming a man shows no signs of an unusual penis curvature or testicle temperature, the final check should be made on his sperm. This is where most male factor fertility problems occur.

The journey to the egg is long and difficult.  Although more than 200 million sperm are released with every ejaculation, less than half of them survive the first few hours.  Many never make it past the cervix due to an inability to swim or misdirection. Only the strongest have even the slightest chance of making it all the way.

Some things that can affect a sperm’s ability to make it to the uterus for fertilization include shape, mobility and the number of sperm available.

Without a high enough sperm count a man may not be able to father a child.  Luckily, there are many things that can be tried to increase a low sperm count including medications; dietary changes; herbs and supplements as well as certain exercises.

Damaged sperm which are not shaped correctly can also cause infertility, since they are rarely strong enough to make it to the egg, and if one does fertilize the egg, the pregnancy may terminate early due to the sperm’s inability to create a healthy baby. A rounded large head or pinhead is unable to fertilize an egg as is a midpiece lacking enough fructose.

Lastly, mobility can be a real issue for some men.  Unless his sperm has the right shaped and length tale to swim quickly enough to get to that unfertilized egg in time, his journey will be for naught.

According to The World Health Organization, a man’s sperm must meet the following criteria to be considered viable:

The Right Volume: at least 1.5 to 5 ml, or about one teaspoon.
The Right Concentration: more than 20 million sperm/ml, or a total of greater than 40 million per ejaculate.
Proper Motility: More than 40 percent of the sperm should be motile, or moving.
Enough Morphology: More than 30 percent of a man’s sperm should be normally shaped to be considered useable.
The Right Forward Progression: This means that the majority of the sperm move forward adequately.
The Correct Hyper Viscosity: Semen should gel promptly but liquefy within 30 minutes after ejaculation.
Proper Ph Levels: Sperm should be alkaline – this protects sperm from acidic vaginal pH.
A Lack of Antisperm Antibodies: If antisperm antibodies are present, they can attach themselves to the sperm tail, interfering with movement and causing infertility.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that can go awry with a man’s sperm, causing a disruption in his fertility. Luckily, there are plenty of easy tests to take to determine the exact cause of the male factor in order to better treat it.

Experts at Mayo Clinic Laboratories offer the reminder that, “Semen specimens can vary widely in the same man from specimen to specimen. Semen parameters falling outside of the normal ranges do not preclude fertility for that individual. Multiple samples may need to be analyzed prior to establishing patient’s fertility status.”

To learn more about natural fertility herbs and supplements to help increase sperm count and sperm health check out these two guides:

Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull M.D., OB/GYN

Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull is a University-trained Obstetrician/Gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She delivered over 2000 babies and specializes in gynecologic diseases such as menstrual disorders, infertility diagnosis and treatment especially pertaining to tubal blockage and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Dr. Langdon is the inventor of 6 patent pending medical devices, and attended Ohio State University from 1987-1995 receiving her Medical Doctorate Degree (M.D.) with Honors in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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  1. Avatar

    is it possible for a girl to get pregnant without having periods that is almost 30 and over 450lbs?

    • Dear Kelli,

      It would be important to learn if ovulation is happening still in the absence of menstruation. Some women still ovulate without having a period and if so conception may be possible. Regarding weight, it is going to be best to talk to a medical doctor about the implications for your health and the health of the pregnancy and baby.

  2. Avatar

    Hi. I just had my semen analyzed; luckily, the results are within or more than the normal values. My sperm count is at 104 million/ml, motility is at 70%, more than 80% are normal shaped. The noticeable problem is that they were “SLUGGISH”. Would I be able to father a child with such sluggish sperm cells? Thank you.

  3. Avatar

    My husband has a curved penis and we are trying to conceive. What will be our best options to help is become pregnant. We would love to have a child.

    • Hello DeeDee!

      What I know is that this should not hinder conception if your husband’s sperm in healthy and you can have sexual intercourse and he is able to ejaculate.

  4. Avatar

    can a man get pranget gril sprm

  5. Avatar

    i am having a problem I think is the same issue, need more advice

    • Dear Garner,

      We are more than happy to work with you! The very best way to receive advice regarding your fertility health needs is to have a Fertility Consultation.

      Through a Fertility Consultation, you will submit your comprehensive intake form, including information about your fertility history, your 3 detailed questions and overall goal for your fertility and within 5 business days one of our Master Herbalists will review, layout and explain each step of your consultation. Once completed, your Fertility Consultation will be emailed to you as a PDF and you get a live link to an audio recording to save and review as often as you need. You also receive the opportunity to continue your relationship with your herbalist through follow-up email correspondence for a few weeks after receiving your consultation, with any questions you may have regarding your consultation.

      To learn more or book a Fertility Consultation click here…

  6. Avatar

    There is confusion about high fertile days after menstruation. Can you please mention the female fertile days for having baby.

    • Dear Malik,

      A female’s fertile window is considered the a total of 6 days and this be because of the combined lifespan of male sperm and the female egg. These days are the 5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. It is believed however that most pregnancies occur when intercourse is had on the two days before ovulation and day of ovulation (some resources share the day after ovulation as well). Consider watching the video Part I: Ovulation, Fertile Days & Getting Pregnant – Fertility Friend for more information.

  7. Avatar

    Dear sir
    i am wasimur rahman i am 33 years old and passed five years of marriage but still no child my problum is abnormal sperm shape 98% sperm shape is abnormal only 2% sperm shape is normal so can change to cansave in ivf please give me your advise

    • Hello again Wasimur!

      I replied to your original comment on June 9th, 2015, so scroll through the comments on this article to see my reply or double check your email. I hope you did receive that email reply.

      If the articles I shared aren’t helpful and you are still unsure of where to begin, or how to proceed, please consider working one on one with our fertility herbalist who can lay out an entire natural fertility program for you based on your specific fertility health needs. This if offered through a Fertility Consultation.

  8. Avatar

    Dear Sir,

    I am Wasimur R., age 33 years and my wife age is 24 years. I have passed 5 years of marriage, but still do not have a child. My sperm shape is not good 98% of sperm shape is abnormal, only 2% sperm shape is normal. We try normal way, but not success. I want to go IVF. Is there a chance to get pregnant. Please give me your best advice.

  9. Avatar

    Hello! Please advise me about my semen analysis…
    Quantity: 5ML
    Count 80Million/ML
    viscosity :normal
    Liquification : 30 Min

    Active 25%
    Sluggish 30%
    Non motile 45%
    Pus Cells 3-4
    Spermatogeric cells 3-4

    abnormal 10%

    Is this normal or will it cause a problem for becoming a father?

    • Dear Mohamed,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      I am sorry, I can not interpret medical or semen analysis results. It would be best to ask your healthcare provider to interpret them for you. If you learn there may be a sperm-health concern, I can share any information we have about naturally supporting sperm health.

      I hope you are able to contact your doctor.

  10. Avatar

    I have a question that how i can check that my sperm is strong for make a baby ?

    • Dear Kunal,

      SpermCheck Fertility is an easy-to-use at-home test for checking the concentration of sperm in semen, sperm count. Learn more about this test at the Natural Fertility Shop. To determine sperm motility and morphology, it would be best to have testing done by your healthcare provider.

  11. Update 2014 – We are back! We have been away for a while and we sure have missed all of your wonderful questions and thoughts on our articles. Moving forward, one of our staff herbalists will be here to respond to comments! We look forward to connecting with our readers once again!

  12. Avatar

    Plz advise me,i did semen analysis since one month as following:
    High viscosit
    progressive: 25%
    non-progressive : 45%
    non-motile : 30%
    my doctor advice my with the following medicein :
    Royall Jelly 2000 M
    L.carnitin + Zinc
    Mucosolvan 30 mg
    plz advice
    thank you in advance

  13. Avatar

    My husband and I are trying to be as proactive as we can, getting our bodies healthy and ready to have kids. I see you reccomend the 100% whole food vitamin – Baby and Me for women. Is there a 100% whole food multivitamin that you would reccomend for men? Or just any 100% whole food multivitamin from a suppliment store?


  14. Avatar

    my husband is over weight and has a colestrol problem is it safe for him to take CO Q10? and is it safe for him to take maca along with Tribulus?

    • Dear Sherry,

      Without knowing more about your husbands health history and lifestyle it is hard to guide you in the right direction. If you would like to ask more detailed questions please email me at info [at]



  15. Avatar


    Thanks so much for your help! As far as the lubricant, I do seem to have plenty of cervical mucus before ovulation. Should we still start using a lubricant to help with the liquifaction?

    Thank you!


    • Hi Sue,

      If you feel you have plenty of cervical mucous you may not need the extra lubrication, but the idea is to help there be enough fluid to help the sperm reach the egg and survive the journey. A natural lubricant may help do this while you are working in other ways to improve liquifaction through herbs, supplements and nutrition.

      All the best,


  16. Avatar

    Thanks for all the great information. I’ve started the fertility diet along with supplementing with both maca and royal jelly.

    Is there anything we can do to improve liquifaction and survivability? My husband’s results just came back, and his count has improved, but his liquifaction and viscosity are incomplete and borderline, and his survivabilty has decreased to just 10%.

    Any recommendations would be much appreciated.


    • Dear Sue,

      Some ideas:

      vitamin c – Vitamin C protects sperm from oxidative damage. It will help to increase the quality of sperm in smokers and rescues sperm agglutination (when they clump together).

      l-carnitine – It is a necessary nutrient for sperm cells to function normally. In studies supplementing with L-carnitine helps to normalize sperm motility in men with low sperm quality.

      CoQ10 – Acts as an antioxidant protecting the sperm cells from damage. Studies have shown a connection between coQ 10 levels and sperm health. COQ10 has also been shown to increase sperm motility.

      Using a sperm friendly lubricant to increase chances when you do try to conceive.

      Learn the best supplements for him here: Men’s Fertility

      Best Wishes,


  17. Avatar

    So is there only a solution for sperm count, not for sperm quality? When you say sperm has to be alkali does that mean an alkali diet for him would help the sperm be alikali? When you say it needs fructose does that mean having lots of fruit would help?

    • Hi Ahuva,

      Many supplements and lifestyle changes can help increase sperm quality. You can learn about them at our Men’s Fertility Guide at this link:

      The man does not have to eat an alkali diet, but if he has a tendency to eat more acidic foods it may be helpful. A nutrient dense whole food diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains would be best.

      All the best,


  18. Avatar

    hello i am wondering if royal jelly is safe to take while breastfeeding?