Improving Sperm

Anai Rhoads's picture

by Anai Rhoads.

These techniques are designed to improve the odds by improving sperm quality.

Improving Volume

When there is more semen than sperm, getting past the cervix is clearly a problem, since most sperm is in the first few drops of ejaculate. Men with poor sperm volume or viscosity are encouraged to withdraw from the vagina just after ejaculation starts. Or they may withdraw prior to ejaculation, collect their semen, and drop it off to a lab for the artificial insemination procedure.

Filtering

Spun-glass fibers are put into a syringe with the sperm, where the sperm are required to pass through the fibers. In theory, the dead sperm should stick to the filter and not make it through. This is a highly experimental procedure with unconfirmed success rates thus far.

Washing

Washing is a now a standard procedure in any IVF/GIFT-like procedure. The sperm are separated from the semen by being spun in what is called a centrifuge. This removes the proteins and enzymes that protect the sperm's head, enabling it to enter the petri dish or fallopian tube fully capacitated.

Normal Ranges for a Semen Analysis

Parameter Normal Ranges
Colour Translucent/Grey
Volume (mL) 2 to 6
Viscosity (1,2,3,4) 1
pH 7.5 to 8.1
Motility % Greater than or equal to 50%
% of 3-4 + Forward Motile Sperm Greater than or equal to 50%
Sperm Concentration (x 1 Million per mL) 20-200
Total Sperm Count (x 1 Million per mL) Greater than or equal to 40
Total Motile Sperm (x 1 Million per mL) Greater than or equal to 20
White Blood Cells (x 1 Million per mL) Less than or equal to 1
Agglutination (0,1,2,3)  
Clumping of sperm to sperm 0
Clumping of sperm to round cells 0
Normal Morphology % Greater than or equal to 30%
Penetrak Score (mm) Greater than or equal to 30

Chorionic gonadotropin is not normally used alone as a fertility drug -- it is normally administered after administration of menotropins or urofollitropin.

Anai Rhoads is a medical and political researcher/writer with a particular interest in the sanctions on Iraq and the wider effect of racism's influence in the Middle East. A vegan since 2000, she is a dedicated supporter of activities which promote animal and human rights. Originally from Greece, she now resides in Virginia, USA with her husband and their two dogs, Bijou and Eva.

Copyright © Anai Rhoads. Permission to publish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.