Is it time to have 'that talk'?

Is it time to have 'that talk'?

June 12, 2018

You might think that it is never the right time to talk about your fertility!

Often it is so, that we learn to focus on how not to get pregnant, that we forget that there is something called infertility. It is not something we talk about being kids, teens or even adults, because most of us think that pregnancy is something that just happens naturally, when we decide to the make the choice of having a baby. But science shows that it is not always as easy as it may sound. 

10 – 15 % of couples will not be able to get pregnant in a natural way after one year of unprotected intercourse. The following statistics on the cause of infertility generally applies:

 

What is male infertility?

Male infertility is when a man has a LOWER chance of making his female partner pregnant in a natural way. It usually depends on the QUALITY of his sperm cells. Fertility refers to people's ability to reproduce by natural means. Infertility can have multiple causes and may depend on genetics, general health, fitness, diseases and dietary contaminants etc.. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle and diet are very important, and some foods and nutrients are associated with greater fertility benefits than others.

Read more


How to test male (in)fertility?

It is quite simple to diagnose male infertility, and it is usually done by a semen analysis, also called a spermiogram

The man provides a semen sample for the lab to evaluate. In the lab they will, among others, typically look at the following parameters:

1. Semen volume: the amount of milliliters of sperm released per ejaculation during masturbation or sexual intercourse.

2. Total number of sperm cells (total count): is the total amount of cells in a semen volume e.g. non-motile, motile, dead and morphologically abnormal sperm cells, as well as any other cells as white blood cells. This parameter does not have prognostic value in determining male fertility if the amount of Progressive Motile Sperm Cells (also called PMSCs) are not known (see below).

3. Sperm vitality: sperm vitality is the percentage of vital cells - how many cells are alive

4. Sperm motility: The level of sperm motility is an important factor for the efficient movement in the female reproductive tract. When sperm cells are not fast enough they will die off before reaching the egg.

4.1. Motility is divided into three categories:

      • Progressive Motility: forward movement through PMSCs - THE single most important factor for determining the male fertility potential (and this can stand alone!).

        *According to the WHO, Motility is classified as normal if more than 32 % of the total number of sperm cells are PMSCs (calculated as 15 million total sperm cells/mL x 32 % = 5 million PMSCs/mL)

      • Non-progressive motility: local circular movement
      • Immotile: no movement at all

 

5. Morphology: the appearance of the sperm is crucial for the assessment of the fertility. Various criteria are used to assess human sperm morphology with different classification systems for head, mid-piece and tail defects identified under the microscope. Morphology is classified as normal if the average number of sperm with normal shape is 4 % or more.

6. pH: informs whether your prostate and vesicle function is normal

 

BUT! It is well known that men generally do not want to go to the doctor, and much less if the matter is concerning 'the lower parts of the body'. Now with SwimCount you can take a sperm quality test in the comfort of your own home, as SwimCount offers a valid at-home test focussing on PMSCs and QUALITY of the sperm. In other words, it exclusively focuses on how many PMSCs/mL (THE single most important factor for determining the male fertility potential), and thereby indicating whether the man can make a woman pregnant or not in a natural way within a period of 12 months. The SwimCount Sperm Quality Test will indicate 3 levels of PMSCs e.g. whether the quality of the sperm is LOW, NORMAL (Mid) or NORMAL (high), which indicates the following:

  • LOW = Your progressive motile sperm count is below the normal level for fertile men according to the World Health Organization (Read more: WHO). Men with a LOW level of PMSCs/mL have been shown to have a lower chance of making their partner pregnant in a natural way compared with men with a normal motile sperm count (Read more: here and here). 

*Remember: it only takes ONE PMSC to fertilize the egg and that sperm cells are reproduced over a period of 90 days!

  • NORMAL (Mid)Your level of PMSCs/mL is at or above the normal level for fertile men according to the World Health Organization (between 5 - 20 million PMSCs/mL) (Read more: WHO). Men with PMSCs/mL in the range NORMAL (mid) range have been shown to have a good chance of making their partner pregnant in a natural way within 12 months (Read more: here and here).
  • NORMAL (High) = Your level of PMSCs/mL is above 20 million meaning that it is above the normal level for fertile men according to the World Health Organization (Read more: WHO). Men with PMSCs/mL in the NORMAL (high) range have been shown to have a high chance of making their partner pregnant in a natural way within 12 months (Read more: here and here).
     

Men, it is important that you test in time! Be responsible towards yourself and your partner. Take a SwimCount Test if you do not want to go to the clinic to get tested.

SwimCount can only do so much, and therefore it is important that you test in time. If you know you want to have children, now or some time later in life, SwimCount can help you to take action and be prepared when the time comes. Take charge of your own fertility - sooner than later. Therefore we will recommend all men in ages from 19-39 to take this test, so that when you (and your partner) decides to try to get pregnant you will be well prepared. 

 



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