In contrast to women, in whom all the eggs are already laid down at birth, sperm are not formed in men until they reach puberty. It is only at this time that sperm begins to develop in the testicles. In healthy men, sperm are formed throughout the rest of life.
Sperm formation and maturation
When puberty begins in boys, the two hormones FSH and LH are activated. Sperm are formed and mature in interaction with the sex hormone testosterone.
From sexual maturity, millions of sperm are produced daily in the testicles, which mature 10-12 weeks.
When is the sperm quality good?
The most common cause of fertility problems in men is insufficient production of normally shaped, motile sperm.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has established limits within which a semen sample is considered normal. Below are the lower limits, d. h. the minimum values are given:
– Ejaculate volume 1.5 ml – Total sperm count: 40 million per ejaculation – Sperm concentration: 15 million per ml – Total motility: 40 % – Progressive motility: 30 % – Proportion of live sperm: 60 %
Male fertility is not quite as dependent on age. Only from ca. 40-50 years, age gradually has an effect on sperm quality. With a sperm concentration of less than 40 million. sperm per ml of ejaculate, the semen quality is reduced in about 40 % of all Danish men.
A sperm concentration of less than 15 million./ml is defined by WHO as decreased sperm count. But already with less than 40 million./ml is often a prolonged period until pregnancy occurs.
Source: WHO laboratory manual for the examination and processing of human semen. World Health Organization, 5th ed., 2010
Before starting fertility treatment we always make a spermiogram. Here, the sperm production. The sperm quality examined. Based on the results, we recommend the optimal fertility treatment for you.
Why is the sperm quality reduced?
In about one third of couples who have difficulty getting pregnant, the cause lies with the man. This can have genetic causes as well as be due to a disease. But also the environment. Lifestyle plays a role.