For much of human history, infertility was considered a female problem. However, we now know that male fertility can be an issue. The breakdown for difficulties related to getting pregnant fall to 40 percent female and 40 percent male, with 20 percent “unexplained.”

To that end, there are things every man should know about male fertility. Here are a few of them:

Male fertility is measured by analysis of three factors: morphology (shape), motility (movement) and count. has a helpful list regarding the semen analysis and what specialists want to determine from it. From the overall count to the forward progression of the sperm to the total semen volume, the analysis will determine if male fertility is a factor in infertility challenges a couple is experiencing. Some parameters to bear in mind are as follows:

  • Sperm count: 40 million to 300 million sperm is considered a normal range. However, if motility and morphology are good, then 20 million would be considered normal as well. A count under 10 million is low or poor.
  • Motility: Experts look at both the number of cells that are active (at least 50 percent should have activity) and the how well they move (they rate them on a range of 1 to 4, and anything over 2 is OK.)
  • Morphology: The World Health Organization has determined that healthy morphology requires that at least 30 percent of the sperm in the sample have the usual shape.

There is an additional analysis of the semen, which includes a closer look at the overall volume of the fluid, as well as the chemical balances of it. They might also look for STDs or other harmful bacteria in the sample.

Men’s age affects their fertility, too.
Although it is not as dramatic as the effect age has on female fertility, age affects male sperm health. Their male fertility decreases as they age due to the increase in DNA damage in the sperm cells. These chromosomal abnormalities can increase the risks associated with pregnancy, e.g., miscarriage, birth defects, genetic diseases, mental health issues and increased rates of autism. The father’s age can also affect the success rates of IVF.

His lifestyle greatly affects his fertility health.
From diet to exercise to smoking and alcohol, how you live your life has an impact on fertility. It’s important for men to eat healthy, nonprocessed foods with lots of vegetables and fruits. It’s also important to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Overweight men should try to get down to a healthier weight, as obesity has been linked to male fertility problems. And when it comes to smoking and drinking, it’s time to quit when you are trying to conceive.

The Man is always tested first.
Doctors always want to check the man first. Why? It’s noninvasive and gets quick answers before you start the complicated process of trying to treat female infertility. Once the male fertility analysis is cleared, then you can pursue a female fertility analysis.

For more information on male fertility, feel free to visit the HRC Fertility site or schedule a consultation.

Male fertility is more common than most men think. It’s important when you are trying to get pregnant that you know whether infertility is an issue. Remember these important points when you decide it’s time to start the family you always wanted.


Gurevich, Rachel. “7 Thing Every Man Should Know About Fertility.” Web. 11 January 2016. .

“Male Workup.” Web. 11 January 2016. .