What can I do to help avoid abnormal sperm?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
You wouldn't think appearances count with sperm, but looks matter. Abnormal-looking sperm (bumpy heads, kinky tails) aren't always the best at zooming upstream or fertilizing eggs.

Sperm count and motility are also important. Having many abnormal sperm isn't uncommon and doesn't mean that a couple won't get pregnant. It just may take a while (a year or longer), so be patient.

For some men, getting more normal sperm is as simple as switching from briefs to boxers. Being overheated below the belt can cause abnormalities, though so can anything from genes and smoking to drugs (Rx or the other kind). You should keep your computer off your lap and not inhale anything, including secondhand smoke. You should also keep your cell phone out of your pants pocket. Consider DHA supplements. Daily doses of 1,500 mg for 10 weeks are promising.

If fertility is still a problem, the doctor may look for an underlying problem, such as a removable varicose vein in the scrotum. Couples could also consider artificial insemination.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.