What I mean is, what do fertility tests tell you? A lot of gobbledegook to start with to be quite honest. Let’s try and break it down.
Volume – how much man juice did you generate? Not exactly relevant to any fertility discussion except that all calculations are done as a function of total spunk. You need to provide the whole sample and nothing but the sample or else the results won’t help anyone. 1-4 mL is normal*.
Sperm Count – how many sperm are swimming in that man juice. More is good as then there are more which can win any egg and sperm race. BUT only one needs to win it…20 million/mL is normal*.
Motility (Progressive) – this is getting important now. How many of your spermatozoa are moving and doing so with purpose? The more the better. After all a chap who spurts 100 million swimmers but only 5% of them move has less chance of fertilising the love of his life than a chap with 50 million, where 11% of them can be arsed moving. Normal* (that word again) is 32-100%.
Motility (non-progressive) – These are the crazies. They move but probably not where they need to go. The ones who are still too shy, perhaps?
Total Motility – Combine the two numbers above as you never know, anyone of them could make it. Probably depends on the position you’re in, and your partner. During, and after. Normal* here is 40-100%.
Morphology – The personal crux. Are the sperm shaped normally? You’ll have heard the description that they look like tadpoles. With a very lovely shaped head (oo-er) and wriggly tail. It’s all designed to get that DNA in the head efficiently to the bloody egg. Swim and swim alone to win that race. So many sperm are made and so very few ever, ever complete the job. Evolution has a funny way of saying ‘this job is really rather hard and as such I haven’t been able to devise a clever and elegant way of making it happen. So, instead I’m gonna just brute-force it. Make a shed-load of these things and play the numbers game’. Normal* morphology? 4-100%. Four to 1-bloody-hundred percent.
Look at the sexy clay beast
I started with 1% morphology. I’ve impregnated my wife twice. In a row. How blooming good is that?
* – Definition of Normal:
“Conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal;regular; natural.”
Not abnormal. This is really the meaning of the word normal in all the above. Specifically, statistically normal.
Asterisk* (* – Asterix)
This is why I put an asterisk after every use of the word normal above. Any number or range does not mean fertile – any test result outside of that range does not mean infertile. All it means is the chance of fertilising an egg is greater, or lesser than it could be. Across many, many men a normal range has been determined. Using statistics. Using a normal distribution. That means most people who get their long-suffering partner up the duff have a range that is matching up with what’s normal. Each normal distribution will have an average. 68% of people will fall within a certain amount of that average (the standard deviation). 97% will be within two times that and 99.7% within three times that. If you keep going you will get to 100%. It’s much less likely those folk will make the magic happen – but not impossible. Not really even if you have an actual zero read as sperm are 74 days in the making so 75 days after a test different factors will have been in play. The number might be >0 now.
Bottom line: Lack of pregnancy is multi-factorial. The job of men and women is to do what you can to minimise the risk that nothing will happen, and maximise the chance it will.
This is what’s inside your sperm. It’ll get there.
This can be fun. It can also be hard work. We’ll get to that.