Poor Sperm Motility

  • Poor sperm motility is also called asthenospermia or asthenozoospermia.
  • Sperm motility is the ability of sperm to move efficiently.
  • This is important in fertility because sperm need to move through the woman’s reproductive tract to reach and fertilize her egg.

How do we assess the motility of sperms ?

There are two kinds of sperm motility, referring to the way the individual sperm swim:

  1.  Progressive Motility:  Progressive motility refers to sperm that are swimming in a mostly straight line or large circles.
  2. Non Progressive Motility: Non-progressive motility refers to sperm that do not travel in straight lines or that swim in very tight circles.

For the sperm to get through the cervical mucus to fertilize a woman’s egg, they need to have progressive motility of at least 25 micrometers a second.Poor sperm motility or asthenozoospermia is diagnosed when less than 32 % of the sperm are able to move efficiently


  • Grade A:- These sperms have progressive motility. They are the strongest and swim fast in a straight line.
  • Grade B:- These sperms have non progressive or poor motility.
  • Grade C:- These sperms travel in a curved or crooked motion.
  • Grade D:- These sperms have no motility at all.

What causes problems in Sperm Motility ?

  • Infection
  • Testicular surgery
  • Undescended testicles
  • Trauma or injury to the testis
  • Varicocele
  • Medications such as anabolic steroids
  • Drugs, such as cannabis and cocaine, as well as some herbal remedies, can also affect semen quality.
  • Excessive alcohol intake and use of tobacco products
  • Excessive Heat through Tight clothes, restricting underwear or holding a portable computer in your lap for long periods of time
  • Excessive stress and poor diet may also cause poor sperm motility.

Can we treat problems in sperm motility ?

With the recent advances in science, most men with poor motility can father a child. The treatment lies in finding the right cause and doing the guided treatment for the same. Here are some ways in which we can improve sperm motility:

Treatment of male accessory gland infections can help improve the sperm counts. There are also some other medical techniques which can help in conception such as improving the levels of Testosterone and reducing the oxidative stress with antioxidants. Along with this, stopping any drugs which may be disturbing the motility also need to be stopped.

In the presence of Varicocele, repair of varicocele can be very beneficial in improving the sperm motility and motility typically rises rapidly in 3-6 months.

Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) by concentrating the sperms during preparation and occasionally In vitro fertilization (IVF) may be needed to assist the couple in achieving pregnancy.

Intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) Etc.

Poor Sperm Motility
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