Read on to learn more about sperm quality and how Cryos tests sperm in our laboratory.
What is good sperm quality?
Sperm quality is defined as the ability of spermatozoa to fertilise an egg. In general, the greater the number of normal sperm cells with good motility that are present, the greater the chances of making a female pregnant. A normal sperm count is more than 15 million sperm cells per millimetre. However, top-quality sperm can have a sperm count of more than 200 million sperm cells per millimetre. It is also generally accepted that for sperm to be considered of good quality, more than 40% of the sperm cells must be living and moving.
Donor sperm – how we test it
If you want to be a sperm donor, you must start by providing one or two sperm samples in our department in Nicosia. As a sperm donor, it is very important that you have good sperm quality so that the receiver of your sperm has the best possible chances of becoming pregnant.
We examine sperm quality by placing a drop of sperm in a counting chamber. We then analyse the sperm using a microscope, checking among other things, sperm count per millimetre, the number of spermatozoa that move, the degree of movement and the sperm sample’s total amount in millimetres.
In addition, it is also important that spermatozoa can survive being frozen. They must be able to survive at temperatures as low as minus 196 °C in a cryo tank, where they are stored. The ability of the sperm cells to survive freezing varies from man to man. Some men produce sperm cells that cannot tolerate freezing while some men produce sperm cells that retain good quality after freezing and thawing – and these men can become sperm donors.
Reduced sperm quality
There are several parameters that can indicate that a man has reduced sperm quality. In general, if a man has a sperm count of fewer than 15 million sperm cells per millilitre and if less than 40% of the sperm cells are alive and moving, he has reduced sperm quality.
There can be many different reasons for why a man has reduced sperm quality, for example, age, illness, medical treatment (e.g. chemotherapy) and above all, lifestyle. Click here to get some tips about how you can personally improve your sperm quality.
Sperm quality varies
The male body constantly produces new sperm, and therefore your sperm quality can change over time. Most men will experience shorter or longer periods where their sperm quality is good or less good. It is absolutely normal and can be due to, for example, temporary illness or stress.