Understanding Low Sperm Morphology

What is low sperm morphology? 

The semen a male produces with each male ejaculation contains an average of 69 million individual sperm. When less than 4% of these sperm are a normal shape, a male is considered to have a sperm morphology problem. Having some unusually shape sperms is not an issue until it reaches this low point, and this is only a health concern if a couple is trying to get pregnant.

A normally shaped sperm should have a head, middle connection and long tail. If too many have abnormal shapes with pin heads, double-heads, absent tails than there is a problem for couples trying to get pregnant.

How Do I Know if I have Sperm Morphology? 

The only way to find out if there is any issue you with your sperm is to go in to see a doctor. At the appointment you will be asked to ejaculate into a cup. After this the doctor will examine your semen for any problems under a microscope. They will check for the sperm motility, sperm morphology, semen volume, the total sperm count and sperm concentration. All of these tests will ensure that you know what is wrong or not wrong with the sperm, which can be a relief to a couple trying to conceive.

Some patients feel extremely uncomfortable with this appointment for a variety of reasons. Talking about sperm, semen and other substances of an intimate nature isn’t something most of us want to talk to everyone about. Just keep in mind that to your doctor it is just another day in the office, and this isn’t the first time they’ve looked at semen under a microscope.

Can We Still Get Pregnant?

When a doctor diagnoses a patient with sperm morphology the general course of action is to first wait and see if the couple will get pregnant without treatment. The reason for this is even with abnormally shaped semen there is still a chance that a male can get their partner pregnant, it just may take a little longer than usual.

If pregnancy still doesn’t happen after the suggested waiting period, the doctor may offer various other treatments including looking into various fertility treatments. A couple does not to give up hope of naturally conceiving right away if you guys have gotten this far without getting pregnant.  Instead you can try some of the following natural treatments that have great success rates in producing healthy semen by nourishing and revitalizing the male reproductive system.

Avoid Heat- Exposure to extreme temperatures, especially heat, can lead to abnormally shaped sperm. If you participate in activities that have the scrotum exposed to heat, if at all possible stop these activities for the time being. That means avoiding hot tubs, saunas, long-distance bicycling and wearing briefs. Once these activities are halted sperm morphology always decreases.


Eat Food that Support Sperm Health- Vitamin E, zinc and selenium are all nutritious additions to your diet that help boost hormonal and reproductive health in male patients. You can find these in tuna, beef, chicken, walnuts, eggs, Brazil nuts and cheese.


Dietary Supplements- If you think you aren’t getting all the vitamins and minerals listed above into your diet at daily recommend amounts, consider fortifying your diets with dietary supplements. You can also add B12, folic acid, Vitamin C and L-Carntine to improve the health of your sperm.  Make sure to take the right amount of supplements, because taking too much can cause harm to your body.


Take Antioxidants– Sperm morphology is caused by the DNA not making sperm correctly due to the decreased integrity of the DNA systems. To help increase DNA’s ability to generate correctly formed sperm taking antioxidants can be useful. You can either take antioxidants in pill form, or fortify your diet with yogurt, berries, artichokes and other antioxidant rich foods.


Eliminate Environmental Toxins- Our body suffers from smoke, pesticides, chemicals, alcohol and cigarette smoke. These toxins are part of the reason our DNA can’t function at full capacity. Try to eliminate these toxins to the best of your ability.


Participate in Activity to Cleanse Your Body of Toxins- Yoga, exercise, detox and acupuncture are all ways to help get the toxins out of your body. Even just drinking tea and cutting down sugar will assist your body of cleansing itself. Remember after performing any of these activities to drink a lot of water to help your body further cleanse itself of these nasty things in the body. 


Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D. Male Fertility. Web MD. 

How To Treat Abnormal Sperm Morphology Naturally. Natural Health for Fertility.


Debra Gerson

All stories by: Debra Gerson