Donor sperm must be healthy, of high quality, and must contain millions of motile sperm cells to achieve pregnancy. Each sperm cell’s most important task is to beat all the other sperm cells in its ability to break through the cell membranes and fertilize the egg.
Sperm Analysis to Ensure a High Quality
Sperm quality is the measure of the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. The sperm quality is evaluated by placing one drop of sperm in a counting chamber and analyzing it under a microscope.
What is Analyzed?
- Density - The concentration of sperm cells per Milliliter
- Motility - The amount of motile sperm cells per Milliliter
- Motility Grade - The degree of movement of the individual sperm cells
- Sperm Volume - The volume of the sperm sample
The more normal motile sperm cells the sample contains per milliliter, the higher the probability of achieving a successful pregnancy.
Sperm Quality Can Fluctuate
A male’s sperm count and motility can fluctuate daily. Over time, there may be extended periods of both good and sub-optimal sperm samples. You may experience shorter or longer periods of time when your sperm count is reduced. This is normal. If it continues, you can take a break as a sperm donor or donate less often, until the sperm quality is back to normal.
The Effects of Heat and Sperm Quality
One of the main causes of poor sperm quality is the exposure of the testicles to Excessive Heat. If you have been exposed to heat, it can take up to 70 days before your sperm quality returns to normal. This is the time it takes between the creation and maturity of sperm cells.
As a sperm donor, you can maintain a high sperm quality by avoiding:
- Hot tubs
- Tanning beds
- Tight pants or underwear
- No extreme temperatures, hot or cold
- Ejaculating for a minimum of 48-72 hours
Read more about Sperm and Sperm cell Anatomy.
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