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Understanding a Below Normal Test Score

Thanks for taking your latest test, your score is in the below normal total motile sperm count range. On this page we’ll take you through what your score means, give you some tips on how to improve your sperm health, as well as explaining further support available to you from our team.

What does a Below Normal Test Score mean?

Understanding the Total Motile Sperm Count.
The ExSeed Home Sperm Test measures the Total Motile Sperm Count (the total amount of sperm cells moving forward per ejaculate). It’s one of the best predictors of male fertility because it measures the amount of sperm cells that could possibly reach the egg after intercourse. We categorise sperm TMSC into 2 bands, below normal and normal. The TMSC figure consists of three measurements: volume, concentration, and motility. A below normal score means the combination of these three parameters equates to a TMSC of less than 7.5 million, which we categorise as below the threshold considered normal. The tables below show the categorisation of the individual parameters, as well as how this affects pregnancy chances.

Below Normal



Semen volume is the total quantity of fluid ejaculated. A normal volume for a single ejaculate is more than 1.5ml. A volume consistently below 1.5ml is called Hypospermia and can, for example, be caused by hormonal abnormalities or ductal blockage.

Below Normal



Sperm concentration is the number of sperm cells per milliliter of semen. A normal concentration is more than 15 million sperm cells/ml. A concentration below 15 million sperm cells/ml is called Oligospermia, or Azoospermia if there are no sperm cells present at all.

Below Normal



Sperm motility is the forward swimming motion of sperm cells, which needs to be strong for the sperm to successfully reach and impregnate the egg. Our algorithm tracks forward motility, also known as progressive motility. If over 32% of sperm cells are motile, this is considered normal, and below this is called Asthenozoospermia.

What causes a below normal test score?

There are a number of factors that can lead to low total motile sperm count. Some of the key causes of this specific male fertility issue


Lifestyle factors including diet, weight, bad habits, medication and even heat affect your sperm health.


Certain medical conditions impact your sperm production or the journey of your sperm from testicles to your semen.


Some men who experience low sperm count and infertility are impacted by genetic defects that can cause sperm count and quality to be abnormal.

What next? How to improve my score

Take a test

Our immediate recommendation is to take a second test after a minimum of 48 hours. There are a number of factors that can create natural variation in sperm samples and by taking additional tests you'll get a more accurate picture of your sperm health overtime (which you can track in the ExSeed app).

Introduce healthy habits

There are a number of lifestyle changes you can start making including exercising more, improving nutrition and limiting bad habits. You can find more by reading our lifestyle blog or heading to general advice with the app.

Start taking supplements

We have a fertility supplement multipack that includes all the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fish oils to improve your sperm health.

Continue testing

It will take time for the changes you make to impact your sperm health so it's important to keep monitoring your sperm. We recommend testing once per month.

Got a question?
Ask the medical team

If you have any questions about your test or upcoming tests our medical team is at hand to help. Whether you prefer a call, email or message, we’ll be here for you.

How your lifestyle affects fertility

Many aspects of your current lifestyle can impact your fertility. here are general recommendations on what you can do to improve sperm count and motility.


With an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry about age as a factor in itself.

Read more


There is a clear association between obesity and reduced sperm quality.

Read more

Cigarette smoking

The exposure to tobacco smoke has significant negative effects on semen quality.

Read more


With an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry about age as a factor in itself.

Read more


Processed foods damage the health of sperm-producing cells and cause oxidative stress, which leads to poorer sperm quality.

Read more

Physical activity

Scientific studies show that men who are physically active have better semen parameters than men who are inactive.

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Direct heat can inhibit optimal sperm production and cause Sperm DNA damage.

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A beer or glass of wine now and then do not really harm sperm quality - but excessive drinking does.

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Cell phone

When you have your cell phone in your front pocket, your testicles are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, which studies have shown to damage the sperm cells.

Read more

Wearing tight pants and underwear

Studies show that men who wear looser underwear have higher sperm concentration and total sperm count compared to men who wear tighter underwear.

Read more