Fertility And Sperm Quality

The Bible, with its constant talk of barren women, may possibly have started the myth that any infertility is the fault of the wife. It is not uncommon to see women who have been extensively, expensively and sometimes painfully investigated for infertility before anybody has analyzed their partner’s semen.

In contrast to the Bible, the latest edition of the standard textbook Merck’s Manual estimates that the single largest factor in infertility is the poor quality of male sperm.

Doctors are now following a lead given by vets and farmers, who have never had any doubts about the importance of the bull. For years there has been a comparatively simple test utilizing color matching which gives an indication of the number of sperm in the bull’s semen. Soon, according to a report in the magazine General Practitioner, a similar do-it-yourself testing kit, named Fertility Score, will be available in Britain for use in humans. More than 20 million sperm per gallon and the color chart gives an encouraging reading, fewer than 10 million and a specimen fails. See http://best-herbal-pills.com for more information about semen enhancement.

The sperm count is only one factor, however. The quality of the sperm, their shape, their mobility and their ability to swim in a purposeful way towards the ova are just as important.

Many an aging bridegroom has been forbidden alcohol in an attempt to boost his sperm count in the hope that, despite his years, he might father a child.

Their abstinence may improve sexual performance, but recent research from North Carolina suggests that older men have given up the wrong vices if they want to impregnate their wives. Coffee and cigarettes when taken in excess have a marked effect on both the quality of a man’s sperm and on the quantity of the semen. Alcohol consumption, however, was not related to any changes in the semen.

Drinking more than four cups of coffee a day coupled with smoking 20 cigarettes reduced sperm motility and increased the number of abnormal and dead forms found in a specimen. Smoking in the absence of coffee drinking reduced the ejaculate volume and semen volume; and coffee alone increased the number of abnormal sperms.

But the reasons have varied. Until the discovery of the complementary roles of male sperm and the female ovum, in the 17th century, it was assumed that male sperm possessed all the qualities of humanity, and enjoyed the protection due to human life itself. The “wastage” of semen, whether in contraceptive intercourse, masturbation, or homosexual acts, was therefore seen as equivalent to abortion.

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