How is Sperm Motility Rate Determined?

Sperm Motility

The meaning the term motility is the ability of an organism to move fluidly and smoothly. SpermMotility refers to the movement of the sperm and if the sperm does not move fluidly enough, it could lead to male infertility. Poor sperm motility is also known as asthenozoospermia.

Why is Sperm Movement or Motility Important?

It is important for the sperm to move on its own in the male for the female to get pregnant. Sperms have so designed by nature that it will reach the ovulated egg on its own. When the egg in the female is moved along from the ovary to the fallopian tube with the help of the cilia- the tiny hair like projections- the egg does not swim in itself but is rather propelled by the cilia. Sperm, however, can move themselves and they swim up from the cervical canal and into the uterus. The sperm needs to move here as well so as to be able to fertilize the egg. It has been found that a sperm could take between 2 to 10 minutes to reach the fallopian tubes.


Hence, sperm motility can be used to determine a lot of factors and it can point to overall semen health as well. Often it is recommended to seek professional Doctor’s consultation in terms of Sperm Motility. That is why, a doctor can denote overall semen analysis:

  • Semen volume can be determined and reveal the amount of ejaculation there is
  • The total semen count, which can be around 33 to 46 million sperm on an average
  • Sperm concentration- that denotes how much sperm is present in one ml of ejaculate
  • Vitality or the percentage of live sperm
  • Sperm morphology or the shape of the sperm
  • The Semen pH that determines whether it is too acidic to kill a sperm.
  • The presence of white blood cells and a very high number can denote an infection

Also Read: 4 Things That Can Help With Fertility

Few Causes of Sperm Motility

The reasons and causes for low sperm motility are varying and can be due to many reasons, some of them being:

  • Testicular Cancer
  • Infections
  • Hereditary
  • Issues at birth
  • Undescended testicles
  • Injury
  • Use of steroids
  • Narcotic abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Smoking

Also, a man’s habits and lifestyle can often be the cause due to stress in the workplace and exhaustion.

What role does motility measurements play in a semen analysis:

  • The percentage of all the sperm in a single ejaculate is the percentage motile and the percentage motile concentration is the percentage of sperm that are moving in one measurement of semen.
  • The TMSC or the Total Motile Sperm Count is the number of sperm swimming in a single ejaculate. This finding is vital to show the male fertility prognosis.
  • Average path velocity or the VAP is the speed with which sperms are moving.

Another area that needs to be analyzed is not just how many sperms are moving but also determining how they are moving.

  • Progressive motility is when the sperms are moving in straight line or in very large circles.
  • Non progressive motility is when the sperms do not move forward much and move in tight circles instead.

As far as the count is concerned, the count of over 20 million is considered normal while less than 5 million is considered poor. At Portea Medical Services, the right sperm analysis will be conducted for a man with accurate results that reveal his sperm count and sperm motility. There are also other tests, like VDRL tests, which are similar Sperm Motility Test. The tests are conducted in a very hygienic manner and full precautions are taken to ensure that the condition of the sperm from ejaculation to testing remains as true to its natural state as possible.


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