What is sperm count?

Summary: A normal male produces 12 billion sperm in a month. Each ejaculation contains 300 million sperm. To maintain a healthy reproductive cycle every man must know how to keep his sperm quality good and how to increase sperm count naturally.


Pregnancy is the fertilisation of the female egg with a male sperm. If the quality of a male sperm is not good it is not able to penetrate the female egg. The inability to make a woman pregnant is termed as infertility and poor quality sperm is often the cause of male infertility.

Sperm count is the concentration of sperm that is found in an ejaculate. A normal sperm count is between 40 million to 300 million sperm per millilitre of the semen.

Low sperm count

A sperm count of 10 million and below is considered as a very low sperm count. The drawback of a low sperm count is that you cannot plan for a natural pregnancy. If you have a sperm count below 20 million you are considered infertile.

There is no need to fear there are still ways to sire a child even with a low sperm count. Doctors recommend IVF treatment for couples who want to have a baby and have a low sperm count. The most common IVF treatment for low sperm count is Intra Uterine insemination. The semen sample is cleaned, washed, the healthy sperm selected and this is artificially injected into the female partner’s uterus.

Fertility problem due to low sperm count is quite common now days. Almost 20% of the infertile men suffer from a low sperm count. Usually men with low sperm count are not able to make their female partner pregnant naturally due to the low concentration of sperm.

How are sperm produced?

Sperm is made in the testes. But the seminal fluid is made in a number of other surrounding glands.  It takes new sperm about 90 days to mature from a germline stem cell. Hence for a fresh new supply of healthy sperm a man has to wait. This is the reason smokers are advised to quit at least 3 months before the IVF treatment for better quality sperm.

Maintaining and improving sperm quality

Maintaining a good sperm count results from following a few simple tips. Wearing loose fitting underwear plays a significant role in maintaining good fertility. Avoid alcohol and smoking as both of these can negatively affect your sperm count and sperm production. Avoid sitting on hot surfaces or putting your mobile phone in your pant pockets.

A healthy diet with vitamin and mineral supplements can help to improve the sperm count. It has been found that zinc and folic acid is also very good and that they play a vital role in the production of healthy sperm.

Some FAQ’s

What qualifies as low sperm count?

When your sperm count is under 20 million per millilitre it is considered as a low sperm count.

How can I get my sperm count checked?

A semen analysis test at any hospital will tell you your sperm count

How can I have children with low sperm count?

IUI treatment has been very successful in enabling men with low sperm count to make their female partner pregnant.

What can I do to improve my sperm count?

A good nutritious diet with vitamins including zinc and folic acid are good. It is important to avoid smoking and alcohol.

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