For a couple to have a baby, the man's sperm must be healthy enough to swim through the cervical fluid and fertilise an egg released by the woman's ovaries. This sperm is released and transported through semen. The semen can be described as whitish-grey liquid ejaculated from the penis.
Is Reduced Ejaculate Related to Male Infertility?
Most men ejaculate between 2 to 6ml of semen at a time. When it comes to fertility, it does not matter whether a man releases more or less than this amount of semen. Every millilitre of semen can contain millions of sperm. What matters is the quality and quantity of sperm in this semen.
Each millilitre of semen should contain at least 15 million sperm. Less than this can reduce the couple's chances of conceiving. The sperm must also be properly shaped with an oval head and long tail to be able to swim through the cervical fluid and reach the egg. This is known as sperm motility.
Reduced ejaculate volume if associated with low / zero sperm counts then it may be related to the following causes and needs to be evaluated thoroughly:
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Ejaculatory duct obstruction
- Congenital (± seminal vesicles or vas anomalies)
- Agenesis or aplasia of the seminal vesicles, prostate
- Seminal vesicle disease (infection, cysts etc.)
A man with low semen volume but a high concentration of sperm that is well-shaped with high motility may be more fertile than a man with high semen volume but low sperm concentration.
Can Semen Volume be Increased?
A number of factors contribute towards the amount of semen being produced by the seminal vesicles. Some factors like age and genetics cannot be controlled, while others may be controlled by lifestyle changes. Drinking more water can help increase semen production.
Abstaining from sexual intercourse can also help increase ejaculate volume. It has often been seen that men who have frequent sexual intercourse ejaculate less semen each time as compared to men who have sexual intercourse less frequently. To improve sperm health, you should eat a healthy diet that is rich in antioxidants and wear loose clothing that keeps your genitals cool.
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