Yes, you can get pregnant even if you have misshapen or abnormal sperm morphology! These natural tips on how to get healthy sperm are inspired by a reader’s question about the results of his abnormal semen analysis.
“My wife and I have been trying to get pregnant for three years,” said Orville on How to Increase Male Fertility and Keep Sperm Healthy. “I finally took a sperm health test, and found out that not only do I have a low sperm count I also have abnormal sperm morphology. The urologist told me to do another semen analysis in two months, and see if anything has changed. He said that misshapen sperm can be fixed. Do you have any suggestions on how to make abnormal sperm normal? Can I get my wife pregnant if I have abnormal sperm? The urologist said it’s possible but I’m curious what you think.”
When I researched “what is abnormal sperm”, I was dismayed to see it defined as a “severe problem with male fertility.” The truth is that while you can’t get pregnant easily if your sperm is misshapen or abnormal, you can get healthy sperm! So if you are like Orville and you’re worried about the abnormal results of your semen analysis, you can rest assured that there are ways to increase your fertility levels and get pregnant.
“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation,” said Michael J Fox. “Acceptance means understanding that something is what it is and there’s got to be a way through it.”
Take a deep breath, and accept that you have abnormal sperm. This doesn’t mean you will never get pregnant. It just means you need to find a way to improve your fertility and normalize your sperm.
How to Get Healthy Sperm – for Men With Abnormal Sperm Morphology
“Sherry and her husband, Daniel, had been trying to conceive for two and a half years,” writes Mary Wong in Pathways to Pregnancy: Personal Stories and Practical Advice For Your Fertility Journey. “In addition to having a low sperm count, Daniel’s sperm had low motility and poor morphology, meaning they were poor swimmers and were misshapen. His semen analysis showed he would have little or no chance of impregnating Sherry naturally.”
Guess what? Sherry and Daniel did get pregnant naturally because they learned how to get healthy sperm. Here’s how they coped with abnormal sperm morphology – they were guided by a natural health practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. Mary Wong has helped thousands of couples to conceive; here, I share her tips on how to get healthy sperm after an abnormal semen analysis.
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1. Know what poor sperm morphology is (misshapen sperm)
What is abnormal sperm? A normal sperm looks like a tadpole: it has a head, a mid-piece, and a tail – all of which perform specific functions. The enzymatic protein in the sperm’s head penetrates the egg; the mid-piece contains mitochondria, which fuels the cell; and the tail’s whip-like action propels it upstream to the egg.
“Morphology” simply means “shape.” Misshapen sperm have poor morphology and thus may not be able to swim or to penetrate the egg. An abnormal sperm doesn’t have the proper tools to fertilize the ova (egg), which is why men with poor morphology have problems getting pregnant.
Read How to Understand the Results of Your Semen Analysis to learn more about abnormal sperm size and shape.
2. Work through the emotional issues of having abnormal sperm
The more anxious, stressed, or depressed you feel about not having normal sperm or male fertility levels, the harder it will be to get healthy. You may feel uncomfortable or even less of a man after finding out that your semen analysis is abnormal. This is a natural, normal feeling for men. You are not alone. You may have assumed all your life – like my husband did – that you have perfectly healthy and normal sperm in terms of counts and morphology. In fact, you may never have thought twice about the shape or morphology of your sperm!
But now things are different. That’s why I started these tips on how to get healthy with Michael J Fox’s quote about acceptance. One of the most important tips for getting healthy physically is to make sure that you are healthy emotionally and spiritually. So when you find yourself stressing or anxious about learning how to get healthy and increasing male fertility and fixing your abnormal sperm and trying to get pregnant…take a deep breath. Find ways to work through your feelings of fear and anxiety. Don’t suppress your feelings; accept and process them. How? One way is to write about how you feel and what you fear. Feel free to share in the comments section below. Better yet, write in your own private journal – and share your fears and concerns with your wife.
3. Learn what causes abnormal sperm morphology
If you can identify what made your sperm misshapen, you’ll have an easier time getting healthy sperm.
For example, if you smoke a lot of pot then your sperm is more likely to be abnormal then if you don’t do recreational drugs.
Here’s a list of factors that contribute to male infertility:
- Vasectomy reversal.
- Chemotherapy or radiation.
- Genetic problems.
- Any acute or chronic inflammatory disease.
- Cystic fibrosis.
- Varicose veins in the scrotum (varicoceles).
- Swelling and inflammation of the testicles (orchitis).
To find out what caused then caused your abnormal sperm morphology, you need to talk to a registered medical health practitioner, urologist, or fertility doctor. This is extremely important if you want to learn how to get healthy male fertility! Why? Because if your abnormal semen analysis was caused by chemotherapy or radiation, then the solution would be much different than if your fertility problems are caused by a vasectomy reversal.
4. Control the things you can
The above causes of abnormal sperm morphology are not in a man’s control. However, the following factors in male infertility are very much within your control.
Alcohol consumption. The more you drink, the lower your sperm count and quality. Drinking alcohol also causes DNA fragmentation.
Drug use – including prescription, some over-the-counter medications, and street drugs. Cannabis, for example, can reduce sperm motility and decrease its ability to penetrate the egg. This is abnormal sperm morphology, and it directly relates to getting pregnant.
Cigarette smoking. Tobacco can cause oxidative stress, which can damage genetic material.
Weight. A man’s high body mass index can lower semen volume, as well as sperm concentration, sperm counts, and sperm motility – though weight appears to be no effect on sperm morphology or shape. But men, that doesn’t mean you can keep drinking beer and eating pizza for a snack!
Diabetes. This disease can alter and often function, increase oxidative stress, impede blood flow to the testicles, and therefore damage sperm. While some diabetes is type I, and beyond the individual’s control, more commonly these days diabetes is the result of poor diet.
Increased scrotal temperature. This can result from being sick with a fever, which may be beyond your control, although fever-reducing medications can help. But using a laptop can cause sperm problems if there is nothing to nothing to absorb the heat. Sitting in saunas, whirlpools,, or hot tubs for extended period of time and wearing tight briefs or cycling shorts can also raise scrotal temperature and affect sperm production.
All of these factors that decrease male fertility and increase the chances of abnormal sperm morphology are within your control. Look through the list again. What can you do – today – to get healthy and increase your chances of getting pregnant? One small change can make a big difference in male fertility levels.
5. Learn about the surprising causes of misshapen sperm
“Male factor infertility can also be immunological,” writes Mary Wong in Pathways to Pregnancy. “Sometimes a man produces sperm antibodies that prevents his sperm from penetrating an egg. Normally, sperm is isolated and produced within the testes away from the rest of the man’s body without contact. But if there is a break in the barrier, as can happen after trauma to the gonad (like being kicked hard) or surgeries such as a vasectomy reversal (which is the reconnection of the male reproductive tract after sterilization), the body produces antibodies to sperm. These antibodies fight the sperm and kill them as if they are foreign invaders.”
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“Try finding a male supplement that contains antioxidants and nutrients good for sperm formation,” writes Wong. “A male fertility supplement should include:
- Vitamin C (1,000 mg/day)
- L-Carnitine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine (145 mg/day and 64 mg/day)
- Selenium (80-200 mpg/day)
- Zinc sulfate (10 mg/day)
- CoQ10 (200 mcg/day)
- Folic acid (200 mcg/day)
- Vitamin B12 (1 mcg/day)
- Lycopene (6 mg/day)
Wong adds that male infertility can also be idiopathic, which means that it happens spontaneously for no reason and without an identifiable cause. For example, hormonal issues due to a problem in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis can cause a breakdown anywhere from the brain to the gonads (such as low testosterone), which can impede sperm production however. While this can seem like it’s happening for no reason, it can also be related to lifestyle issues and is therefore sometimes possible to treat.
6. Book an appointment with a medical health practitioner, urologist, or fertility doctor
You will be in the top 5% of men if you simply call for an appointment and see a male fertility specialist! Talk to a doctor about how to get healthy fertility levels. If you’ve already seen one doctor for a semen analysis, get another sperm health test. Learn what the specialists say about your specific case of abnormal sperm morphology.
“Male factor infertility accounts for approximately 40% of fertility issues,” writes Mary Wong in Pathways to Pregnancy. “Female infertility accounts for another 30 to 40%, and 20% can result from the combined fertility issues of both partners. Although men are as likely to have fertility issues as women, male patients account for less than 5% of the fertility treatments in my traditional Chinese medical practice. Even when there is a male factor issue, it’s usually the female partner who seeks help while the male stays at home. I reached out to 30 traditional Chinese medicine practitioners around North America and found they all had similar statistics. One traditional Chinese medical practitioner in San Francisco says she sees virtually no men for fertility issues.”
My husband and I coped with male infertility for years – that’s why I started this website! He doesn’t have misshapen sperm because he doesn’t produce sperm at all. I talk about it in When Your Husband Has Azoospermia.
7. Know that you CAN get healthy sperm – even if they are currently abnormal
“Grown in the right environment, sperm parameters can change,” says Wong. “Our external and internal environments, and the way we react to them, can have a huge impact on our body. What we eat, how we move, and the way we think can all affect the physical environment in which sperm are produced.”
She shares the story of a female patient and her husband. Both had fertility testing done and were shocked to learn that while his sperm count and motility were normal, 89% of his sperm were abnormally shaped. His sperm morphology made it impossible for them to get pregnant because while the sperm were getting to the egg, they couldn’t penetrate it. This man typically smoked two personalized joints per day for 10 years, to help him unwind and relax. Dr Wong suggested an obvious but difficult tip on how to get healthy: she suggested that he quit smoking and see if this might affect his semen analysis.
“A month later he had his sperm retested,” says Wong. “His parameters were completely normal and Cindy became pregnant naturally a few months later. Changing something that’s been an important part of your lifestyle for a decade is never simple, yet this was a case where one difficult change by the male made a huge difference in them getting pregnant. This change also saved his wife from going through this stress, trauma, and cost of fertility treatments that usually focus on the woman.”
I welcome your thoughts on how to get healthy male fertility or increase low sperm count below. I can offer no advice on how to fix abnormal sperm morphology, but you may find it helpful to share your story. It’s important for men to talk about their fertility struggles and successes because it gives other men freedom and hope! So please, feel free to share how you are coping with the journey towards getting pregnant.
Help for Men With Abnormal Sperm Morphology
In Pathways to Pregnancy: Personal Stories and Practical Advice For Your Fertility Journey, Mary Wong explains the central principles of fertility treatment by both Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and Western doctors – and she uses real stories of hope and humor.
Wong also shares practical advice on how to get healthy and improve male and female fertility levels. She knows first-hand the pain and joy of the fertility journey, and shares tips and advice from her own experience.
Don’t forget to eat healthy! Better nutrients provide more fuel and, hence, faster sperm. Read 5 Foods to Help Increase Your Sperm Count, Motility, and Production.
May you find unsurpassed and surprising amounts of wisdom, guidance, and faith! May you find the right resources and help for getting healthy male fertility, and may abnormal sperm morphology be a thing of the past. May you learn how to get healthy, may you get pregnant quickly and easily, and may your family be blessed with peace and joy.