It’s hard to define “normal”, especially when it comes to your body. But after getting a semen analysis,the question of what’s normal can seem like a constant companion. So where do your results fall? Do you have a normal sperm count?
“Average” vs “Normal”
Doctors try to avoid the phrase “normal” when they can. That’s because there’s really no such thing as a normal body. Average is frequently used instead, especially in academic studies. With your sperm count, things are further complicated by the sheer range of what average is, and how normal is defined.
Do you consider normal to be the mathematical average of a large group of men? Or do you consider normal to be the number at which successful pregnancies start becoming likely?
The Low End
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines “the lower range of normal” as 10-15 million per milliliter. While it only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg, a higher amount of sperm in an ejaculate, the higher the odds that one of your swimmers will go for the gold and actually fertilize an egg. The range of 10-15 million/ml, while not technically subfertile, is the lowest end of normal.
So why is your count low? Check out our detailed article on low sperm count for more detailed information about causes, treatment options and things you can do to improve.
A sperm count ranging between 15 million and 60 million is the low-average range of sperm count, meaning that while your count isn’t necessarily “low”, it is still slightly below average. In general, if sperm count is in this range, but all other semen parameters are average or above (if the sperm that you do have are generally healthy), this count shouldn’t cause problems with conceiving although several studies have shown that monthly chances of conception increase with sperm count up to around 40-50 million. If you are in the below average range, you may want to explore some of our tips for boosting sperm count. Chances are cutting back on alcohol, eating a little better or dropping a few pounds could do wonders for your swim team.
A count ranging between 60-80 million is considered to be the average range for men aged 18-35. In a study of 4867 Danish men aged 20-45, the average sperm count was 60 million/ml. This study has been pretty groundbreaking in its findings, and the results from it have been used to define the new “normal” for men. The WHO conducted a different study of around 2,000 recent fathers which defines the 50 percentile (basically the exact middle of the range) as 73 million/ml.
Top of the Class
The top 25% of the male population had a sperm count between 80 million/ml and 200 million/ml. Congratulations, you just made the sperm count honor roll.
A count above 200 million indicates an above average count. This is awesome news for your fertility, since higher sperm counts have been linked with more successful conception.
Regardless of your number, your sperm isn’t the only factor in your fertility. A low sperm count could have very little impact if the overall sperm quality is exceptional, and a high count could mean very little without motility and morphology to help it along.
Do you have a low sperm count? We’ve got good news. Sperm counts change from day to day and there are lifestyle factors that can help boost you count. For more info, check out our tips on increasing your sperm count.