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Spotlight on Sperm

When you are having trouble conceiving and schedule a fertility doctor consultation, make sure your husband/male partner is part of the process. In about half of the cases of couple's infertility, male infertility plays a role.

Men should have a semen analysis, which measures the amount of semen a man produces and determines the number and quality of sperm in the sample. The test will look at such things as:

  • Sperm count, the number of sperm present per milliliter of semen in one ejaculation
  • Sperm morphology, the measure of the percentage of sperm that have a normal shape, and
  • Sperm motility, the measure of the percentage of sperm that can move forward naturally

However, a semen analysis can't tell you everything you need to know about sperm. Sperm DNA may be damaged from environmental factors such as toxins or lifestyle factors such as smoking or obesity. This damage is called sperm DNA fragmentation, and if you have unexplained infertility or recurrent miscarriages, you may want to ask your fertility doctor about testing for it.

Click here to learn more about sperm DNA fragmentation.

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