Important Sperm Factors For IUI
The success of intrauterine insemination is influenced by many factors. Some of the factors are consistent in all types of fertility treatments and include such things as age of the female, ovarian function and diseases which cause blockages of the fallopian tubes or pelvic adhesions.
Successful IUI Requires Healthy Sperm
One very specific factor which affects the success of IUI is the amount of motile sperm that is inserted into the uterus. There have been many studies done which indicate that if there is not an adequate number of motile sperm after the wash, then the chances for successful IUI treatment is reduced significantly and the chances for pregnancy are lowered.
Even though a man cannot control all of the factors which affect the production and motility of his sperm, there are things he can do to improve fertility and sperm health. When the sperm is healthy, the chances of pregnancy through IUI are increased. There are three factors linked to healthy sperm and they are quantity, quality and motility.
Quantity, Quality And Motility
A man is most likely to be fertile if he has more than 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen. However, even if there is an adequate number of sperm that may not be enough. Research is now indicating that the quality of the sperm is every bit as important as the quantity. Of the millions of sperm that are in semen that is ejaculated, only about 200 actually make it to the fallopian tube where the egg is waiting to be fertilized. The good news is that it just takes one sperm to fertilize the egg.
As mentioned, having enough sperm is not the only necessity. The morphology, which is the shape and structure of the sperm, is just as vital as the numbers. As long as about one-third of the sperm is normal in both shape and structure, a man is considered fertile. Normal sperm has an oval head and a long tail which moves it forward. Sperm that have large or small, tapered or crooked heads or tails that are kinky, curly or if there are two tails, are less likely to fertilize the egg.
In order to reach the egg, the sperm have to be able to move. Semen will carry sperm to a certain level, but after that they have to make the trek on their own, swimming upstream in a bid to reach the egg. Sperm motility is a very important part of sperm health and if at least half of the man's sperm is in motion, then he is considered to be fertile.
A Few Things A Guy Can Do To Help The Process
To help ensure healthy sperm there are a few things a man can do. The basic and probably most obvious is to take good care of his body. A healthy diet which includes a lot of antioxidant rich foods like fruits and vegetables, as well as taking a good multivitamin, is an excellent start. Keeping weight at a healthy level with neither too much nor too little body fat and exercising regularly also help to contribute to healthy sperm. Stress can interfere with certain hormones which are necessary to produce sperm, so keeping stress under control is important as well.