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What You Should Know About Male Fertility

June 20, 2023

According to research, 40-50% of infertility issues in all couples are due to the male reproductive system. This may sound contrary to mainstream thinking—that because conception happens in women, who carry the fetus, fertility issues reside with them—but the numbers speak for themselves. Most men today have a sperm count that is considered “sub-optimal.” If you’re experiencing fertility issues, it’s important to know that you’re not alone, and there are ways to combat it.


When it comes to men’s reproductive health, there are a number of factors that determine your fertility. Here are three reasons why you may be experiencing fertility issues—and what you can do to help.


Know how your age plays a huge factor


Typically, men don’t have to worry as much about their age when trying to conceive. However, their sperm concentration, sperm motility and sperm morphology all naturally decline by 1-2% per year after the age of 30. For couples trying to conceive, age does become a barrier for both partners, especially considering recent trends to delay childbearing.


Ultimately, your age gives you the first piece of vital information you need to start improving your fertility odds. It’s also important to speak with your healthcare provider about your fertility health at recommended health screenings based on your age.


Learn what makes sperm healthy


Educating yourself on what makes your sperm healthy is an active way to improve your fertility, which in turn improves your chances to conceive. Sperm health is determined by three main factors: concentration, movement (“motility”) and structure (“morphology”). Conception is more likely if your semen:

  • Contains at minimum 15 million sperm per milliliter (concentration)
  • Includes at least 40% of sperm that’s high-moving (motility)
  • Carries sperm with oval heads and long tails (morphology) These three factors contribute to healthier sperm, and certain lifestyle choices contribute as well.


Improve certain lifestyle habits


Male fertility chances can be improved by health and lifestyle factors such as:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Managing stress
  • Getting regular, moderate exercise
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Limiting alchohol intake
  • Staying away or protected from toxins like pesticides and lead in short, what’s good for the rest of your body is probably good for your sperm and fertility. And, if the issue is due to health, lifestyle or environmental factors, it may actually be reversible or treatable.


Take an easy to perform, rapid fertility test


When fertility issues arise, women often get tested first and often go through extensive—and expensive—medical evaluations before a male partner has been tested. Fortunately, male testing is much easier and often much, much cheaper. With one quick sample in the privacy of your own home, you can discover a lot about your sperm and whether or not you may have fertility issues before you spend even more money.


Labcorp OnDemand’s Men’s Rapid Fertility Test (MFRT) can help you learn about and manage your reproductive health—this FDA-cleared test measures two key factors: sperm concentration and semen volume, giving you and your healthcare provider valuable information in assessing your fertility health.

Labcorp is your trusted partner in fertility. Check out our extensive suite of other OnDemand tests and screenings available—and read our Men’s Fertility Health Guide to learn even more about your own fertility journey.