Infertility is often mistakenly seen as a problem affecting women. However, male factor infertility is a common problem that can greatly decrease a couple’s chances of becoming pregnant. At the Center for Fertility and Gynecology, our fertility specialists work with our male patients to determine the most likely cause of infertility, as well as to determine a treatment option that is most likely to be effective in helping the couple achieve their dream of parenthood. Sperm motility is one problem affecting many of our Los Angeles patients. Here we discuss some of the most likely causes of sperm motility, as well as possible treatment options.
What Is Sperm Motility?
Many men have heard of low sperm count, but sperm motility is another possible problem that can affect male fertility. Sperm motility refers to the movement of the sperm. In the case of men with poor sperm motility, the sperm lack the ability to move in a forward motion. This makes it greatly difficult for the sperm to travel past the cervix, and then through the fallopian tubes, in order to fertilize an egg.
Causes of Sperm Motility
The cause of sperm motility varies by patient. There are many factors that can cause the sperm to lack the speed or forward motion to make it past the vaginal canal. Below are some of the many causes that could result in sperm motility:
- A lack of sufficient vitamins and minerals
- Exposure to heavy metals (typically from foods)
- Overheating the body
- The use of certain medications
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Having sex too frequently
Depending on the cause of sperm motility, some patients may have success with natural, home remedies, or simply by avoiding the conditions that caused the problem to begin with. However, in many cases, professional fertility treatment is necessary.
Sperm Motility Treatments
If sperm motility continues to be a problem for patients and they have not been able to conceive over a prolonged amount of time, it may be a good idea to consider fertility treatment. When it comes to male fertility problems such as sperm motility, there are two primary treatment options that will be considered: IUI and IVF. Below is a little information about each of these options:
- IUI: IUI, or intrauterine insemination, is a procedure in which prepared sperm is injected directly into the uterus. This places the sperm in direct proximity to the eggs and makes it easier for the eggs to be fertilized. This is a fairly simple procedure and is typically the first treatment option to be considered when sperm are unable to make the journey out of the vaginal canal.
- IVF: IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is a more complex procedure. This treatment involves stimulating the ovaries, retrieving eggs, and then fertilizing them outside of the body (using prepared sperm or the sperm of a donor). Once fertilized, the egg(s) are inserted back into the uterus. IVF is an excellent option for patients who have not had success with IUI treatment, or those experiencing additional infertility problems.
Schedule an Appointment
If you and your partner are having difficulty becoming pregnant and would like to learn if there are underlying causes to this problem, schedule an appointment with one of our fertility specialists at your earliest convenience. Our doctors can determine the most likely cause of infertility and discuss the fertility treatments that may prove successful in helping you realize your dream of parenthood. We look forward to working with you!