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How to Improve Sperm Motility

If a baby is the plan, you already know that sperm quality is going to have a starring role. The quality of a man’s sperm is measured a few different ways, but spoiler — motility is critical. It’s the ability each sperm cell has to move. And move it must, in order to navigate the vaginal canal and cervix, all the way up into the uterus and fallopian tube to ultimately, triumphantly fertilize the egg. It really is miraculous. Read on for a deep dive into this aspect of sperm quality, plus how to improve sperm motility.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

    • Sperm quality plays a huge role on male fertility and the chances of a healthy conception.
    • It’s possible to improve sperm quality with the right nutrients.
    • There are multiple parameters for sperm health, including quantity, morphology, motility, and DNA fragmentation within the sperm.
    • Sperm motility refers to a sperm cell’s ability to move, and deficiencies here are usually an indication of other sperm health issues.
    • Male fertility health can be influenced by genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
    • Studies show that supplementing with key vitamins and minerals, like those in Beli Vitality for Men, can significantly improve all facets of sperm health, including sperm motility.

Sperm Quality 101

First, a couple of basic truths. One, sperm quality has profound implications on men’s fertility and the chances of a healthy conception. And two, decades of scientific research prove that it is possible to improve sperm quality and even the quality of the DNA within the sperm with the right vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. That’s fantastic news, because increasing sperm quality means increasing your chances of conceiving — naturally or with assisted reproduction, such as IUI or IVF — and reducing the risk of miscarriage and birth defects.

As mentioned, sperm quality is measured in several dimensions:

  • Sperm quantity, or the count and concentration of sperm in semen. A healthy male’s ejaculation has around 55 million sperm. Low sperm count is 39 million sperm or fewer.
  • Sperm morphology, or the shape and the size of the sperm. While well-formed sperm should have oval heads and long tails, some can get a little… weird. Abnormally-shaped sperm are associated with lower fertility rates. Poor lifestyle habits are often a reason for poor sperm morphology.
  • Sperm motility, or the manner and speed with which sperm swim. Interestingly, a man qualifies as fertile if 40% of his sperm are motile.

So, What Exactly is Sperm Motility?

If you think of sperm as motivated little swimmers, you’re picturing motility in action. Healthy sperm are designed to swim forward with enough strength for that truly epic journey — a trek that takes an average of 2 to 10 minutes after ejaculation. It’s a long way to go for a microscopic cell, and the better the mobility, the better the chances for success.

Sperm motility analysis is a part of routine semen analysis, a test your doctor can order to assess your fertility. Motility is assessed in two ways: 

    • total motile sperm count, or TMSC, which is the number of sperm cells that are moving out of all the sperm available in a sample
    • average path velocity, or VAP, which how fast these guys are moving

Then there’s the progress sperm make in their efforts to get where they’re going:

    • Progressive motility refers to sperm that move in a straight line or very large circles. Progressively motile sperm are the most likely to successfully complete the long journey to the egg. These are the go-getters.
    • Non-progressive motility describes sperm that swim in tight circles, or wiggle in one place. Think of this group as the slacker type and/or a little confused.

In a normal-range semen sample, there are at least 20 million motile sperm. Poor sperm motility occurs when there are fewer than five million motile sperm in a sample.

Conception is largely about increasing your odds, so the significance of motility really can’t be overstated. The more strong swimmers present in semen, the better the chances that one of them will reach the egg and fuse successfully.                                               

What Affects Sperm Motility?

beli-vitality-prenatals-for-men

Most people know that men produce millions of sperm every day. But that doesn’t mean they’re ready for action. Actually, new sperm need around three months to fully mature. When they’re first formed in the testicle, sperm can’t really do much — they have zero ability to swim forward, nor could they successfully fertilize an egg. Every day is important in the life of sperm, and the right vitamins and minerals during this critical window are key to their healthy development. Side note — sperm motility begins to decline around age 35 (yes, it’s the male version of the biological clock), and age also negatively impacts sperm count and morphology.

Usually, when sperm motility is poor, there are other problems sperm health issues. For example, men with poor sperm motility may also have low sperm counts or poor sperm morphology. It makes sense — sperm that aren't formed properly can't swim properly.

So what’s happening here? Why does some sperm just, well, suck? There are a few things at play. Men’s fertility health can be influenced by a range of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, and it’s also common for the causes of infertility and subfertility to remain unexplained. Still, specific causes of sperm motility issues can include: 

  • Poor diet
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Age
  • Damage to the testicle from injury, cancer, infection, or surgery
  • Long-term use of steroids, cannabis, alcohol or cocaine
  • Smoking
  • Varicocele, a condition where the veins in the scrotum become enlarged
  • Working with chemicals and machinery
  • Environmental factors, including exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), which include parabens, pesticides, and other chemicals

When it comes to sperm health and conception in general, many factors really are beyond our control. But science has proven it’s possible to improve sperm motility without medicine using the factors we can control — and that incudes ensuring you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals that fuel optimal sperm motility. 

Vitamins & Minerals to Improve Sperm Motility

Fueling sperm health cross every parameter was the goal when we began formulating Beli Vitality for Men, and we referenced the most current research. That’s why our men’s prenatal contains evidence-based levels of vitamins and minerals shown in clinical studies to help strengthen sperm motility and increase the chance of conception: 

  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant that helps protect the body’s cells from damage and oxidative stress and free radicals. Vitamin C is one of the most abundant antioxidants found in semen and it’s one of the biggest contributors to protecting the sperm’s DNA from free radical damage.
  • Vitamin D. The benefits of vitamin D have been well established — and it’s just as important for men’s fertility. Studies show that increasing your vitamin D levels can have a positive impact on improving your sperm motility. 
  • Vitamin E. Oxidative stress can lower sperm parameters. One recent study found that vitamin E helps protect the sperm’s cell membrane and ward off oxidative stress and free radicals. 
  • Zinc. When it comes to male fertility, zinc is one of the most important trace elements. 
  • Selenium. Selenium functions as an antioxidant when supporting sperm motility. Selenium is important for reproductive functions such as testosterone metabolism and is a constituent of sperm capsule selenoprotein. The administration of selenium to subfertile patients induced a statistically significant rise in sperm motility. In one cornerstone study, researchers saw improvement in sperm motility, morphology, or both in 52% of the participating infertile men who took both selenium and vitamin E for at least 100 days.
  • CoQ10. CoQ10 helps improve sperm motility by combating oxidation and protecting sperm from radical damage.
  • N-acetyl-l-cysteine. Studies show that supplementing with NAC in comparison to a placebo can significantly improve sperm motility. 
  • Shilajit. Beli Vitality for Men is the only men’s prenatal that includes all-natural Shilajit, an ancient Ayurvedic adaptogen that has been clinically proven to improve sperm motility, boost sperm count, and improve sperm quality. What’s more, this key ingredient has been used for centuries as a safe, potent way to improve energy and enhance vitality. In our blend, it has the extra benefits of of improved athletic performance, improved focus and brain health, and more.

The Bottom Line

The single most important thing you can do to improve sperm motility and overall quality is get the right vitamins and minerals. But there’s a cumulative effect here too, so don’t overlook the importance of generally cleaning up your lifestyle — improve your diet, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, try to minimize stress, all that good stuff.

First, though, swap the multivitamin for a men’s prenatal vitamin you can trust — one that has been formulated with nutrients clinically proven to improve sperm motility. And yes, we’re talking about Beli for Men.

Additional Resources

Men really do benefit from specialized nutrition in the form of a prenatal vitamin that’s formulated to support sperm health. Here’s what that looks like, and how specific nutrients can impact a man’s fertility health before fatherhood.

Read More

Shilajit is finally getting the credit it’s due, and we’re proud to point out that our proprietary formula was the very first to include this powerful Ayurvedic compound. Here’s why shilajit is rapidly becoming the darling of the male fertility world–and what you’re missing if you’re skipping it.

Read More

Ever wondered why men produce so much darn sperm, especially if only one of them will ultimately fertilize the egg? There are millions of sperm in normal ejaculate because it increases the likelihood that one will reach the egg and seal the deal. It begs the question, what exactly happens on the journey to the egg?

Read More

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Just as women’s bodies need to be prepared for pregnancy, men’s bodies need to be ready to contribute healthy sperm for conception. Nutrients are the foundation that support the normal structure and function of sperm and men's fertility health. Taking Beli’s male prenatal supplement is a proactive way to strategically fuel your body to optimize fertility contributing to your overall chances of conceiving and supporting a healthy pregnancy.  

Read More

A shot to the balls may be played for laughs on screen, but testicular impacts really aren’t a joke. Worse case scenario, getting hit in the balls can affect fertility thanks to complications like sexual dysfunction, low testosterone and other issues. Let's discuss.

Read More

With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024. But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.

Read More

Research shows that the overall health of both biological parents during the preconception window plays a huge role in everything from conception to pregnancy health to the lifetime health of their baby. Luckily, there are simple steps you can both take to improve your health together.

Read More

When it comes to becoming parents, good habits really will take you where you want to go. Now, new science is giving us insight into exactly how long it takes to form those good habits. We're breaking down all the ways you can build healthy habits to boost your chances of conception. Think of it as life-hacking, but for grown-ups.

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Here at Beli, we’re working hard to raise awareness of the important role men play in the baby-making equation, which brings us to today’s topic of men’s preconception health and specifically, sperm health. Knowing what you’re working with can save you a lot of time, but is at-home sperm testing considered an important part of men’s preconception health? Let’s break it down.

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You’re clear on the mechanics of making a baby, but how much do you really know about conception and fertility? There are a lot of wild stories, downright falsehoods and notions that are actually rooted in a kernel of truth out there. In the interest of sticking to the facts, we’re debunking 15 of the most common myths about conception and fertility.

Read More

When you’re knocking boots in an effort to get knocked up, timing is everything. Your best chance of conceiving is during the most fertile time of your menstrual cycle—when you ovulate. The key is figuring out exactly when that happens. Fortunately, you have a few ways of detecting ovulation. Here’s what to know about understanding ovulation and timing sex for pregnancy.

Read More

You have big plans for parenthood in 2024, which means this is the time to start laying the groundwork for everything to come. While so much of conception is beyond our control, there are actionable steps you and your partner can take right now to support and nourish your fertility.

Read More

Is there anything worse than the two-week wait? All the listicles out there sensibly advise keeping busy and journaling and talking it out, but we’re sharing more specific recommendations collected from the Beli community. Read on for seven tips for surviving the two-week wait without losing your mind.

Read More

Heard the one about ice baths and testosterone? Spoiler: there's little to no research behind that idea. Here’s what to know about cold plunges and male fertility, according to the research, plus where you should really focus your efforts if you’re trying to improve sperm health.

Read More

As a society, we’re an impatient bunch, and that applies to pregnancy, too. The second you decide it’s time to try for a baby, you’re ready to see those two pink lines. If you’ve recently tossed the birth control and you’re wondering how long it should take to get pregnant, here's what to know.

Read More

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Read More

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Read More

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Read More

Here at Beli, we’re staunch advocates of supporting men's fertility health in anticipation of fatherhood. In fact, our men’s prenatal vitamin, Beli Vitality for Men, is actually our flagship product. Today, we’re diving into the obvious and unexpected benefits of prenatal vitamins for men, starting with what actually happens when you start taking them.

Read More

Forbes Health recently reviewed our men's prenatal vitamins and we love author Leigh Weingus' take: "Beli Men Vitality Multivitamins first caught my eye because while I often see supplements that claim to improve fertility outcomes for women, I rarely see the same thing for men." We hear you, Leigh! Check out the full review here and read on for some highlights.

Read More

Everyone responds to supplementation (not to mention pregnancy!) differently, which is one reason that how you feel isn’t a clue into whether or not your prenatal vitamin is actually working. Instead, you need to be confident about the prenatal vitamin itself, and there are a few things you’ll want to look for.

Read More

We’re back with our second post in our “It Starts With The Sperm” mini series on the key roles sperm plays in conception, pregnancy and baby, and this time, we’re talking DNA. When it comes to male fertility, it’s not enough to have a high sperm count and top marks for motility and morphology. Without low levels of DNA fragmentation, a man’s fertility—along with his ability to successfully conceive with a partner—is affected.

Read More

Men really do benefit from specialized nutrition in the form of a prenatal vitamin that’s formulated to support sperm health. Here’s what that looks like, and how specific nutrients can impact a man’s fertility health before fatherhood.

Read More

Shilajit is finally getting the credit it’s due, and we’re proud to point out that our proprietary formula was the very first to include this powerful Ayurvedic compound. Here’s why shilajit is rapidly becoming the darling of the male fertility world–and what you’re missing if you’re skipping it.

Read More

Ever wondered why men produce so much darn sperm, especially if only one of them will ultimately fertilize the egg? There are millions of sperm in normal ejaculate because it increases the likelihood that one will reach the egg and seal the deal. It begs the question, what exactly happens on the journey to the egg?

Read More

Just as women’s bodies need to be prepared for pregnancy, men’s bodies need to be ready to contribute healthy sperm for conception. Nutrients are the foundation that support the normal structure and function of sperm and men's fertility health. Taking Beli’s male prenatal supplement is a proactive way to strategically fuel your body to optimize fertility contributing to your overall chances of conceiving and supporting a healthy pregnancy.  

Read More

A shot to the balls may be played for laughs on screen, but testicular impacts really aren’t a joke. Worse case scenario, getting hit in the balls can affect fertility thanks to complications like sexual dysfunction, low testosterone and other issues. Let's discuss.

Read More

With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024. But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.

Read More

Research shows that the overall health of both biological parents during the preconception window plays a huge role in everything from conception to pregnancy health to the lifetime health of their baby. Luckily, there are simple steps you can both take to improve your health together.

Read More

When it comes to becoming parents, good habits really will take you where you want to go. Now, new science is giving us insight into exactly how long it takes to form those good habits. We're breaking down all the ways you can build healthy habits to boost your chances of conception. Think of it as life-hacking, but for grown-ups.

Read More

Here at Beli, we’re working hard to raise awareness of the important role men play in the baby-making equation, which brings us to today’s topic of men’s preconception health and specifically, sperm health. Knowing what you’re working with can save you a lot of time, but is at-home sperm testing considered an important part of men’s preconception health? Let’s break it down.

Read More

There’s a certain magic to the holiday season, whether you’re all-in on the decorations and the family time or a self-proclaimed Scrooge from mid-November to the New Year. But when you’re trying to conceive, it can be a challenging time.  We’re sharing five tips for managing the holidays when you’re trying to conceive.

Read More

Everyone knows that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix. But what about before you’re pregnant, during the trying-to-conceive stage? There’s no evidence that the occasional drink—i.e. one or two a week—is going to torpedo your chances of parenthood. But it is true that the more you drink, the greater the likelihood it will have an effect on your health. Here’s what the research says about alcohol and your fertility.

Read More

You’re clear on the mechanics of making a baby, but how much do you really know about conception and fertility? There are a lot of wild stories, downright falsehoods and notions that are actually rooted in a kernel of truth out there. In the interest of sticking to the facts, we’re debunking 15 of the most common myths about conception and fertility.

Read More

When you’re knocking boots in an effort to get knocked up, timing is everything. Your best chance of conceiving is during the most fertile time of your menstrual cycle—when you ovulate. The key is figuring out exactly when that happens. Fortunately, you have a few ways of detecting ovulation. Here’s what to know about understanding ovulation and timing sex for pregnancy.

Read More

You have big plans for parenthood in 2024, which means this is the time to start laying the groundwork for everything to come. While so much of conception is beyond our control, there are actionable steps you and your partner can take right now to support and nourish your fertility.

Read More

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Read More

Is there anything worse than the two-week wait? All the listicles out there sensibly advise keeping busy and journaling and talking it out, but we’re sharing more specific recommendations collected from the Beli community. Read on for seven tips for surviving the two-week wait without losing your mind.

Read More

Heard the one about ice baths and testosterone? Spoiler: there's little to no research behind that idea. Here’s what to know about cold plunges and male fertility, according to the research, plus where you should really focus your efforts if you’re trying to improve sperm health.

Read More

As a society, we’re an impatient bunch, and that applies to pregnancy, too. The second you decide it’s time to try for a baby, you’re ready to see those two pink lines. If you’ve recently tossed the birth control and you’re wondering how long it should take to get pregnant, here's what to know.

Read More

Jimmy Fallon. Hugh Jackman. Mark Zuckerberg. Keith Urban. Gordon Ramsey. Kyle Busch. Besides immediate name recognition, what else do these men have in common? They’ve all struggled with infertility issues—and it’s something they’re all talking about publicly. Here's why that matters.

Read More

While it’s true that popular hair loss meds work minor miracles on that receding hairline and back-of-the-head bald patch, it’s also true that it can come with side effects—some of them sexual. So, what does that mean in terms of male fertility? Here’s what couples should understand about the effects of popular hair-loss medications on sperm health.

Read More

A few years ago, the keto diet was all the rage—a high-fat, low-carb way to shed pounds quickly. While it’s lost a bit of its luster, as all diet trends do, interest in the keto diet remains. Specifically, those hoping to become parents wonder whether following this way of eating could support fertility. Is a diet high in fat and low in carbs the answer? It’s possible. Here’s what to know about the keto diet and whether it might help support fertility.

Read More

When you’re pregnant, of course, you’re told to limit your caffeine consumption. But what about when you’re trying to conceive? Can too much caffeine affect your chances of conception as a couple? It's a good idea to cut back—which means you need to be really clear about sneaky sources of caffeine in your diet.

Read More

Here at Beli, we’re staunch advocates of supporting men's fertility health in anticipation of fatherhood. In fact, our men’s prenatal vitamin, Beli Vitality for Men, is actually our flagship product. Today, we’re diving into the obvious and unexpected benefits of prenatal vitamins for men, starting with what actually happens when you start taking them.

Read More

Forbes Health recently reviewed our men's prenatal vitamins and we love author Leigh Weingus' take: "Beli Men Vitality Multivitamins first caught my eye because while I often see supplements that claim to improve fertility outcomes for women, I rarely see the same thing for men." We hear you, Leigh! Check out the full review here and read on for some highlights.

Read More

Everyone responds to supplementation (not to mention pregnancy!) differently, which is one reason that how you feel isn’t a clue into whether or not your prenatal vitamin is actually working. Instead, you need to be confident about the prenatal vitamin itself, and there are a few things you’ll want to look for.

Read More

We’re back with our second post in our “It Starts With The Sperm” mini series on the key roles sperm plays in conception, pregnancy and baby, and this time, we’re talking DNA. When it comes to male fertility, it’s not enough to have a high sperm count and top marks for motility and morphology. Without low levels of DNA fragmentation, a man’s fertility—along with his ability to successfully conceive with a partner—is affected.

Read More