5 factors that affect the quality of sperm

Last updated date: 16-Jul-2021

Herzliya Medical Center

4 mins read

The quality of male sperm directly affects conception. Therefore, many men around the world are asking “how to improve the quality of sperm”. Based on the accumulated experience, we identified 5 main factors that affect the quality of sperm.


Scientists have long proven that alcohol directly affects the quality of sperm. In men who often drink, the composition of the seminal fluid changes, and the spermatozoa become less mobile. Their output decreases. And if you drink regularly, it can lead to oligospermia. In other words, the number of active spermatozoa that is capable of fertilizing a female egg is reduced.

Alcohol also adversely affects the testes. As a rule, their weight falls, the channels for the withdrawal of fresh spermatozoa are getting narrow. These are the channels that pass the sperm during the ejaculation. Vessels in the body degenerate, in particular – in the testicles. This leads to a violation of blood circulation in the genitals, and this leads to a deterioration in the supply of spermatozoa, which only ripen.

With frequent alcohol consumption, the ratio of anomalous spermatozoa to normal changes. Usually, these so-called anomalous spermatozoa make up a quarter of the total volume. Alcohol increases their number at least twice. If you fertilize a female egg with abnormal sperm, this can lead to very serious consequences. For example, a child may have malformations.


A scientist at the University of New Mexico, Jeffrey Miller has proved that the factor of intelligence also directly affects the quality of sperm. He noticed that the men tested at the university who have high IQ have more healthy sperm in the ejaculate compared to those with lower intelligence. In the latter, the spermatozoa were less mobile. “The level of intelligence is a good indicator of the general health of a man”, – the scientist added. When Miller talked about the results of his research at a special lecture at Harvard University, the audience applauded loudly. And it’s not strange, nerds got another reason for pride.

Weight and workout

Iranian scientists conducted research, the results of which showed that the quality of sperm can be improved by workout. Initially, they took a group of men from 20 to 40 years old with normal sperm counts.
They were divided into 4 groups:

  • The first group succumbed to high-intensity loads (10 runs for 1 minute at a very fast pace).
  • The second group was suggested that the sport be practiced sparingly – running three times a week for 30 minutes for 8 months.
  • The third one also practiced three times a week, but more intensively.
  • Men in the fourth group did not engage in sports at all.

As a result, all who were involved in physical training dropped their weight. In all three “sport” groups the amount of sperm became larger, and its quality improved. The best results were demonstrated by men from the second group – those who did sports moderately. Also, scientists noticed that if you quit exercising, the effect disappears within a month. According to them, in order to improve the quality of sperm, it is enough to practice at least half an hour three times a week.
And on the contrary – if a person is overweight, this negatively affects fertility. According to scientists, more abnormal spermatozoa were seen in fat people. The excess weight does not affect their concentration and activity.

Ecology and Chemistry

The environmental situation also affects the quality of sperm. This conclusion was shown by scientists from the University of Utah. According to the results of their study, contaminated air affects the activity of spermatozoa. In regions with poor ecology, they are less mobile than in places where the ecological situation is normal.

The negative effect is also observed due to exhaust gases. Household chemicals also affects the sperm.

According to experts at Cleveland Clinic, it’s better to beware of mobile phones. In accordance with their research, if you use the phone more than 4 hours a day, this greatly impairs the quality of sperm. In this case, the viability of spermatozoa significantly decreases. Experts advise not to carry a mobile phone in the front pocket of trousers but to use wireless headsets instead.


As the Israeli scientists found out, spermatozoa have a seasonal factor. Studies have shown that the quality of men’s semen is much higher in the spring season. According to scientists, during this period spermatozoa show the greatest activity. Due to the fact the light day increases, the structure which is responsible for the endocrine and nervous system, responds to this. Also in the spring, the risks of having a child with various genetic diseases are reduced. Therefore, it is best to plan the conception of a child in the spring.


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