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Sperm Quality - 4 Influencing Factors

Dr. Sharath Kumar C 93% (1351 ratings)
Ph.D (Male Infertility), M.S (Infertility), D.G.L.S, D.R.C.O.G, C.Sc., D.M.R.D, M.B.B.S
Sexologist, Mysore  •  42 years experience
Sperm Quality - 4 Influencing Factors

Though the world population seems to be increasing by leaps and bounds, there is a general concern about the dropping fertility rates in men. So, is the sperm quality of men today really at a risk?

To understand whether the sperm quality is on a decline or not, one must understand what sperm quality is and what affects it.

What defines Sperm Quality?
The ability of the sperm to accomplish fertility is known as sperm quality. Both quantity and quality of semen is important when it comes to measuring the male fertility rate. Any decrease in the sperm quality, irrespective of the quantity, can result in infertility. One can do a number of tests, such as semen analysis test, to find out their sperm quality, in turn getting an idea of how fertile they are.

Factors that cause a decline in sperm quality:
There are a large number of factors that can easily affect the sperm quality in men. Some of the major determining factors are:
1. Age - Though there is no age limit for a man to father a child, but as men grow older, there is a significant drop in sperm quality as sperm motility decreases with age.
2. Heat - Sperms are highly heat sensitive, so at high or very low temperatures, the quality of sperms decline.
3. Diet - Having an unhealthy diet based on junk food does decrease sperm quality dramatically, primarily due to the unhealthy levels of chemicals added to the food.
4. Smoking - Smoking tobacco, as well as cannabis, reduces sperm quality.

5. Chemicals - Chemicals, whether taken intentionally or unintentionally, can cause a decline in sperm quality. Chemicals such as endocrine disruptors can cause severe hormonal changes that can change the sperm quality in any healthy male.

Apart from these major factors, an excess of physical and mental stress also influence sperm quality.

What is the Sperm Quality today like?
From the factors that affect sperm quality, one can get an idea of whether their sperm quality is good or bad. Your lifestyle can be responsible for your semen quality as well. The diet you have and the amount of exercise you get directly affects your sperm quality. The chemicals that you allow into your body also affect the semen quality. At the same time, research shows that even among healthy men, sperm quality is on a steady decline.

Is it about the everyday plastics?
Not always can you be in charge of your environment. Everyday plastic like phthalates, which are used to make daily use products such as shower curtains, car dashboards and cleaning materials, affects sperm quality. Even the chemicals in sun skin lotions can have a degenerative effect. So, the sperm quality in men is truly on a steady decline today due to chemicals in the environment as well as unhealthy lifestyle choices that most men make today.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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