Fertility is a human aspect that correlates with reproduction. In male fertility, the health of the sperm is the marker of the ability to conceive a child and raise a family. A sperm analysis will generally give an overview of information related to sperm condition. This discussion focuses specifically on sperm motility and how it affects fertility. It also explores the potential causes of poor sperm motility and shares helpful strategies to help you cope with this condition.

The Role of a Semen Analysis

The first step your doctor may do to evaluate your fertility is to order a semen analysis. This laboratory procedure examines the volume of your ejaculation, the health of your sperm, its count, morphology, and motility.

Ejaculation volume measures how much semen you produce when you ejaculate. Sperm count quantifies the sperm per measured semen and sperm morphology detects the size and shape of the sperm. Healthy sperm cells have an oval head and a long tail featuring a straight overall structure.

Depending on the scope of the test, the report analyzes specific sperm cells[1] in your semen sample. These data help your doctor whether your sperm condition is within the healthy and normal range.

What Does Sperm Motility Mean?

Having a high sperm count and good morphology doesn’t necessarily mean you can conceive. Other factors such as sperm motility may hinder your ability to reproduce. A sperm motility test determines how well your sperm can move and swim through your partner’s reproductive system to meet and fertilize the egg.

Your sperm motility rating essentially gives you a better idea of how your sperm can move after you’ve ejaculated. The goal is to get a sperm motility rating between 32% and 75%. This is considered an adequate level for fertilization to happen.

However, it’s still important that you understand how sperm motility contributes to fertility.

If your sperm cells don’t move fast enough, they can’t get to the ovum (egg) to fertilize it. Fertilization of the eggs is an essential step of conception, and without this step, pregnancy won’t happen.

Low Sperm Motility Causes

If your lab results show low sperm motility, your sperm cells are not moving efficiently to perform fertilization. Some factors can contribute to low motility. Men should be able to identify the possible reasons as these are references in determining how their condition can be treated.

In this section, we’ll look at the most common reasons for low sperm motility. Each case of low sperm motility is unique. Work with your doctor to identify your case and discuss treatment options.

  • Substance Use: Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, or the use of illicit drugs are factors that can have an impact on your fertility. These habits can affect your sperm motility. Apart from these substances, anabolic steroids can have a major impact on your sperm health[2] in general, not just reduce sperm motility.

  • Testicular Damage: Suffering damage to your testicles can affect your sperm motility[3]. Your testicles store sperm. If the testicles are damaged, the amount of sperm produced daily is also affected.

  • Hormone Imbalance: abnormal hormone levels may affect your ability to produce healthy sperm which could also potentially cause low sperm motility.

  • Genetics: In some cases, low sperm motility rate is caused by genetic factors. If you have infertility cases in your family, then this might put you at a higher risk.

Varicocele is also counted as a potential cause. This is a condition where veins located in your scrotum become enlarged. It’s a common problem in men who are infertile.

However, varicocele doesn’t manifest symptoms, so it’s hard to know if this is the real issue that’s causing your infertility.

Can You Increase Your Sperm Motility?

If sperm motility prevents you from having kids, your doctor may advise you to consider strategies to increase your sperm motility rate.

Let’s have some of these options:
  • Weight management: Obesity is a potential risk factor for infertility[4]. If you’re not physically active and have excess weight, you will likely be advised to reduce your body weight. This may include changing your diet and exercising more. If this is the case, you should consider foods good for sperm production.

  • Lifestyle: You may also be advised to stop drinking alcohol or at least regulate your consumption. Your doctor is more likely to order you to avoid smoking as this is detrimental to your health in general.

  • Medical treatments: If your sperm count and morphology are good, your doctor may suggest intrauterine insemination. This procedure collects sperm directly from your testicles and then introduces it into your partner’s uterus. Another fertility procedure is to fertilize an egg outside the uterus and place it back in to develop.

Semen retention is the practice of not ejaculating for long periods. It is known as an old practice that can potentially improve fertility and increase testosterone.

Semen retention doesn’t seem to have any long-term complications. However, research regarding this method and sperm motility or increased semen volume is limited.

There are cases where people report more intense orgasms after a few days or even weeks without ejaculating. You should note, though, that your body breaks down and absorbs excess sperm if you don’t ejaculate.


A low sperm motility rate means your sperm doesn’t move fast and efficiently enough to reach the egg in a woman’s uterus. Several factors can cause this fertility issue. Lifestyle changes and losing excess weight can help increase your chances of conceiving.

It is always recommended to see a fertility doctor for proper advice and to learn about possible treatments and procedures.


1] https://iris.who.int/bitstream/handle/10665/44261/9789241547789_eng.pdf
2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10841926/
3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8863560/
4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7695350/



Amr Adel Helmy is a 29-year-old pharmacist who has established himself as an experienced medical content writer. He holds a bachelor's degree in pharmacy from the esteemed Faculty of Pharmacy at Alexandria University. Amr's passion for writing stemmed from his interest in healthcare, and he combined his knowledge of the medical field with his creative flair to become a proficient content writer. Throughout his career, Amr has worked on various projects, including medical articles, research papers, and informative blog posts for clients in the healthcare industry. He has a comprehensive understanding of medical terminology and can translate complex medical jargon into easily understandable language for the general public. Amr's dedication to his craft is reflected in the quality of his work, and his attention to detail ensures that each piece of content he writes is accurate, informative, and engaging. When he's not working, Amr enjoys reading about the latest advancements in healthcare and spending time with his loved ones.


  • Bachelor of pharmacy from Alexandria university
  • 2012-2017

Work Experience

  • Pharmacist - Al Azaby Pharmacies 2012-2014
  • Pharmacist – Khalil Pharmacies 2014-present
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Written by Amr

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