Infertility Spazz Out

Sperm quality may be effected by avoidable exposures

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Infertility appears to be an equal discriminator: 50 percent is related to a man's sperm quality, and the other 50 percent is related to woman's fertilty.

With men, studies have shown that quantity, quality and motility determine sperm health. Most fertility treatment centers initially screen couples by examining the male's sperm. Sperm can get an A+ grade in motility if more than 40 percent are moving, indicating the man is likely fertile.

Studies conclude that men should limit their exposures to harmful environmental and lifestyle elements as they can jeopardize sperm quality. Some exposures could possibly affect a man’s ability to father a child by changing the shape, quantity and motility of his sperm.

"Men can promote sperm health by limiting exposure to harmful elements."

Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, professor of pediatrics and director of the California Teratogen Information Service (CTIS) Pregnancy Health Information Line, which is part of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. explains that paternal exposure is anything the father of the baby is exposed to before his partner’s pregnancy.

Previous research studies have found associations with the following risk factors that may altered sperm quality. All of these elements can be minimized by men. Recommendations for men include:

  • Lifestyle: Quit smoking cigarettes.
  • Infection: Use condoms to protect against Chlamydia trachomatis,
  • Occupational: Avoid jobs where exposure to solvents, heavy metals and fumes (welding fumes) is involved.
  • Physical agents: Avoid heat, vibration, extremes in temperature and pressure.
  • Radiation: Be aware that limiting cell phone use may preserve sperm quality.
  • Pollutants: Limit exposure to PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls). These were banned by the EPA in 1979, but still exist in the some landfills, lakes and streams.
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 18, 2011
Last Updated:
June 29, 2011