Sperm Quality

Donor sperm must be of high quality to ensure pregnancy. The sperm cells must be healthy and above all, the sperm sample must contain millions of motile sperm cells. The sperm cells most important task is their ability to fertilize the egg.

Sperm Analysis to Ensure a High Quality

Sperm quality is the measure of the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. The sperm quality is evaluated by placing one drop of sperm in a counting chamber, and analyzed under a microscope.

What is Analyzed?

  • Density - The Concentration of Sperm Cells per Milliliter
  • Motility - The Amount of Motile Sperm Cells per Milliliter
  • Motility Grade - The Degree of Movement of the Individual Sperm Cells
  • Sperm Volume - The volume of the Sperm Sample in Milliliter

The more normal motile sperm cells the sample contains per milliliter, the higher the probability of achieving a successful pregnancy.

Sperm Quality Fluctuates

A male’s sperm count and motility will fluctuate daily. Over time, there may be extended periods of both good and sub-optimal sperm samples. You may experience shorter or longer periods of time when your sperm count is reduced. This is normal. If it continues, you can take a break as a sperm donor or donate less often, until the sperm quality is back to normal.


One of the main causes of poor sperm quality is the exposure of the testicles to Excessive Heat. If you have been exposed to heat, it can take up to 70 days before your sperm quality returns to normal. This is the time that elapses between the creation of the sperm cells until they are mature.

As a sperm donor, you can maintain a high sperm quality by avoiding:

  • Saunas
  • Hot tubs
  • Solariums (tanning beds)
  • Tight pants or underwear
  • No extreme temperatures, hot or cold
  • Ejaculating for a minimum of 48-72 hours

Read more about Sperm and Sperm cell Anatomy.

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