What Is the “Normal” Sperm Count to Get Pregnant?

Brighid Flynn •Nov 20, 2022

As women, we often take on the brunt of the planning, stress, and guilt when trying to conceive. We wonder what we could be doing differently, why our bodies aren’t doing what we want them to do, and why things aren’t happening for us at the speed we’d like. During these stressful moments, we have to remember that our partners are on this journey with us, too. 

Along with initial fertility tests, your OB/GYN will also want to evaluate your male partner’s medical history and reproductive health, typically starting with a semen analysis. Now let’s take a look at what this means while TTC.

man getting a male fertility assessment

The Male Fertility Workup

If you’re trying to get pregnant, or simply want to know more about your reproductive health, a male fertility workup is recommended as the first step. This includes a semen analysis, which can be done at a doctor’s office, fertility clinic, or with Bastion, the first-ever comprehensive digital men’s health clinic specializing in reproductive health. A semen analysis can determine sperm count, as well as other important sperm parameters like morphology (shape) and motility, or how well the sperm can move. 

With Bastion’s comprehensive male fertility workup, patients not only receive an at-home semen analysis test kit and at-home male fertility hormones test kit, they also get access to a Urologist and a Nurse Practitioner, a comprehensive fertility assessment report, a personalized treatment plan, and more, all from the comfort of their own home.  

What is a ‘Normal’ Sperm Count?

Sperm count is a vital ingredient to conception. A normal count ranges from 15 million sperm to more than 200 million sperm per milliliter of semen—crazy, right? Well, get this. Anything less than 15 million sperm per mL is considered a low sperm count. In other words, anything less than 39 million sperm per ejaculation is low. 

Low sperm count means that the fluid (semen) ejaculated during an orgasm contains fewer sperm than normal. A low sperm count is also called oligospermia, which typically includes other sexual health symptoms, such as the inability to get and maintain an erection and difficulties producing ejaculation. A complete absence of sperm is called azoospermia. 

doctor discussing male fertility factor with a couple

The Importance of Sperm Count

The more healthy and mobile sperm per ejaculation, the better your odds of conception. Male factor infertility, as a result of low sperm count, motility, or morphology is a common cause for couples struggling to conceive. In fact,  as much as 60 percent of infertility cases include a male factor.  

If you’re not trying to get pregnant, a semen analysis can still be beneficial to a male’s overall health, as a low sperm count can be indicative to a larger, overall health condition. For instance, low sperm count has been linked to higher blood pressure, as well as an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.  

The Takeaway

As always, if you and your partner have been trying to conceive for over a year, or you are over 35 years old and have been trying to conceive for more than 6 months, reach out to your healthcare provider, who can help refer you to a fertility specialist to get everyone tested. 

If you’re concerned about you or your partner’s semen analysis results, know that since the lifecycle of sperm is only 2.5-3 months, lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, and/or other treatment options may improve semen quality in a relatively short period of time. 

couple at the beach during sunset

At-Home Resources

If your guy is still reluctant when it comes to getting his fertility checked, Bastion is an incredible at-home ecosystem for men looking to regain control over their reproductive and overall health without ever walking into a doctor’s office. Right from a phone screen, men can meet with real healthcare professionals, have lab tests sent to them and evaluated, receive a treatment plan, access prescriptions, get access to on-demand educational content, and track their progress, all through the Bastion Health app. From sperm tests to prostate-specific antigen tests, it can all be done without even leaving your couch!  

Brighid Flynn is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia where she lives with her husband and puppy. She is just beginning her journey toward motherhood.