Can I get pregnant with 40% sperm motility?

For successful fertilisation to occur, a healthy male sperm needs to be able to swim and pass through the fallopian tubes of the female and meet the egg. This phenomenon is what is called sperm motility. Sperm motility is one of the top three crucial factors for natural pregnancy besides sperm count and sperm shape (morphology). So it is natural to wonder: Can I get pregnant with 40% sperm motility? In this blog, your question will be answered, and you will also know what lifestyle changes can improve it.

Why is sperm motility important?

To facilitate a sure-shot pregnancy, the sperm needs to move. The movement is in a wriggling way, also known as swimming motion. Motility helps it go through a woman’s cervix, uterus, and fallopian tube to reach the egg. When the term sperm motility is used, it is about how well the individual sperm swims and mainly its movement and speed.

How to know if sperm motility is 40%?

A fundamental lab test of the semen known as Basic Semen Analysis (BSA) gives a picture of the sperm’s health, like sperm count, sperm concentration, and sperm motility. 

For the BSA, two semen samples are needed, usually obtained via masturbation. One has to refrain from intercourse or masturbation for 48 hours before the sample is collected, and abstinence from sex or masturbation is not more than seven days. If the sample is collected at home, ask your doctor the best way to collect the sample and do not use a condom or lubricant while collecting the sample. The sample should be warm, i.e., maintained at body temperature, for the sperm to survive. The sample must be delivered to the testing facility or lab within an hour of ejaculation.

Based on the BSA results, one can reveal what percentage of the sperm moves and how. Post the analysis, sperm motility could fall into these different types:

Progressive motility: This is an indication that the sperm is swimming progressively, mostly in a straight line or large circles.

Non-progressive motility: This is an indication that the sperm is moving but not progressing forward; for example, this type of sperm does not travel in straight lines or may swim in tight circles.

Total motility: This is the number of sperm cells that are moving.

Immotile sperm: This number indicates sperm cells that are not moving at all. Usually, there is a small percentage of immotile sperm in every specimen. For natural pregnancy to occur, the total motility must be at least 40%, with progressive motility of 32% or more.

What happens if the sperm motility is not up to 40%? 

The condition where the sperm motility is low is known as asthenozoospermia, and it could be due to:

  • Though the exact cause is unexplained in many cases, age and damage to the testicles can also be a reason. 
  • Exposure to solvents or other toxins. 
  • Any testicular surgery and the reason for the risk are uncertain. 
  • Undescended testicles are the more likely cause of reduced fertility.
  • Wearing tight underwear which causes the scrotum temperature to rise. Men who wear loose underwear like boxer shorts can help keep the testicles cool and hence are at lower risk of having low sperm motility. 

Can I get pregnant with 40% sperm motility?

In most cases, male infertility is a result of low sperm count, but poor sperm motility is an essential factor. Achieving pregnancy with low sperm motility is difficult since the sperm cannot swim to the egg, and as a result, fertilisation does not occur.

Can I improve my sperm motility with lifestyle changes to more than 40%?

After diagnosis with low sperm motility, check with your doctor to see if there is any underlying medical condition like varicocele. If any such underlying cause exists, then treating that condition will improve your sperm motility.

  • Maintain The Testicles Cool With Loose Underwear
  • Getting Regular Exercise 
  • Maintaining A Healthy Weight
  • Reducing Alcohol Consumption
  • Quitting Smoking
  • Managing Stress

Options for achieving pregnancy with low sperm motility

If the sperm is otherwise healthy, i.e., in terms of count and morphology, then one can try ART methods such as IVF or an IUI. In an IVF, fertilisation happens inside a lab where the egg and sperm are combined in a petri dish. So the sperm does not swim a lot. 

In an IUI, the sperm is directly inserted into the uterus around the time of ovulation time of the female. Both these methods are beneficial since the barriers, such as the cervix, fallopian tubes etc., are bypassed.

Having low sperm motility is not a reason to lose hope for anyone who wishes to have their biological children. With advances in the field of fertility, we are happy to tell you that you have a pretty good chance of fathering a child. We at Ziva fertility clinics have decades of experience in helping men deal with infertility. We also offer counselling services so that you can understand your condition much better and make an informed decision. Ziva fertility clinics are now conveniently located at all prime locations in Hyderabad. For all details, please visit our website Fertility Hospital Hyderabad | Fertility Clinic Near me | Ziva IVF Center ( or contact us at +91-9100002737, +91-9392834024 or