The term “sperm count” is defined as the number of sperm cells contained within a milliliter of semen. A normal sperm count will range from 15-200 million or more sperm per ml (milliliter) of semen.
A standard semen analysis can reveal a man’s sperm count, where it can then be classified into one of three categories: Low, low-average, or average (normal).
Low Sperm Count
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that a sperm count of 10-15 million sperm per milliliter is considered to be below the average range.(1) Even though it only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg, a greater number of sperm can increase the chances of sperm successfully reaching the ovum.
For an individual having otherwise healthy sperm, pregnancy can still be achieved even with a low sperm count.
Having a sperm count that’s below 15 million per milliliter falls within the low-average range. This means that although your count may not be in the lowest range, it is still considered lower than normal.
The normal sperm count range is defined as being more than 15 million sperm per milliliter. If you have numbers within this range and have otherwise healthy sperm, it means that your chances of becoming pregnant within the first few attempts are 50/50.
While sperm count is a crucial aspect of male fertility, numbers alone do not tell the whole story. Healthy sperm should also have a normal-shaped head, tail, and midpiece (proper morphology).
Additionally, sperm should be able to swim in a straight-forward motion in order to more easily reach the ovum (proper motility). Together, these three aspects of sperm health – sperm count, morphology and motility – need to be healthy and function together correctly in order to reach and fertilize the egg.
Achieving and Maintaining a Normal Sperm Count
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to achieve a normal sperm count. Just by making a few simple diet and lifestyle changes will support your overall male fertility and reproductive health.
Some of tips for improving and maintaining a normal sperm count include:
- Engaging in regular exercise.
- Avoiding alcohol, smoking, and drug use.
- Observing a balanced diet that includes sperm-healthy foods and eliminates processed foods.
- Not wearing tight-fitting underwear.
- Taking vitamins and supplements that support sperm health.
If you suspect that low sperm count may be causing fertility problems, it is important to see a doctor in order to pinpoint the exact cause.