Understanding your test score

Thanks for taking your latest test, your score is in the 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 normal test score mean?

Understanding the Total Motile Sperm Count.

The ExSeed Home Sperm Test measures the Total Motile Sperm Count. This is the total amount of sperm cells moving forward per ejaculate. This number is one of the best predictors of male fertility because it measures the amount of sperm cells that could possibly reach the egg after intercourse.

The number is made up of the three measurements: volume, concentration, and motility. A below normal score means that your sperm had a low reading for one or all of the measurements.

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

What affects your sperm health?

There are a number of factors that affect your total motile sperm count. Below are…

Lifestyle

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

Medical

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

Genetic

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

What next? How can I 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 our 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.

Age

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

Read more

BMI

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

Stress

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

Read more

Nutrition

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.

Read more

Heat

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

Read more

Alcohol

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

Read more

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

Age

Studies show that women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance of getting pregnant. Men can produce sperm cells almost through their entire life, but the sperm cell DNA is more fragile and prone to damage after the age of 40.

As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer resulting in a decline in sperm quality and production. These changes are partly because of an age-related decrease in testosterone level, which plays a very important role in sperm

production. Higher male age (>40 years) is not only associated with a decline in sperm production but also with increased sperm DNA fragmentation and worsened morphology (shape) and motility (movement). These negative effects make the sperm cells less qualified for egg fertilization.

CONCLUSION: with an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry much about age as a factor in itself. However, studies have shown a slow decline after the age of 30-35 years

and if you are above 40 years of age, your sperm quality can be affected due to increased sperm DNA damage resulting in a decrease of sperm motility and concentration. Remember that you cannot evaluate the quality of a sperm sample by just looking at it – this requires a sperm analysis.

BMI
There is a clear association between obesity and reduced sperm quality. At least part of the reason for this is that obese men may have abnormal reproductive hormonal profiles, which can impair sperm production and lead to infertility. 
A BMI higher than 30 can lead to several processes in the body (overheating, increase in oxidative stress in the testes, sperm DNA damage, erectile dysfunction) that can have a negative impact on male fertility. This can result in problems when trying to conceive.  
CONCLUSION: BMI is one of the risk factors that influence semen quality and, for example, sperm motility.  
Cigarette smoking
The exposure to tobacco smoke has significant negative effects on semen quality. The damage of cigarettes and nicotine of course depends on how many cigarettes you smoke per day and for how long, but even low usage (up to 10 cigarettes / day) can inhibit healthy sperm production.  
CONCLUSION: Stay as far away from cigarette smoking as possible if you care about your general health and your fertility. Read more here.
Stress
Besides higher mortality rate and various diseases, stress is associated with low sperm quality. Stress is known to be associated with lower testosterone levels and oxidative stress with both playing an essential role in producing and maintaining healthy sperm cells.
CONCLUSION: If you feel stressed, we recommend you get some help so you can have a balanced mental health. For a stress management guide, download the ExSeed app for free and start your personalized action plan today.
Nutrition
Fast Food
Processed foods damage the health of sperm-producing cells and cause oxidative stress, which lead to poorer sperm quality. Heavy consumption of junk food (every week) can increase the likelihood of infertility since men who consume vast amounts of unhealthy food are at risk of having poor sperm quality. Besides harming your fertility, junk food enlarges your waistline, harms your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and more.
Vegetables
Eating more fruit and vegetables can increase your sperm concentration and motility. It’s important that you consume a healthy diet filled with antioxidants and that you eat vegetables every day. Foods such as apricots and red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which improves male fertility by nurturing healthier sperm. Men who are deficient in this vitamin tend to have slow and sluggish sperm.
Sugary snacks/beverages: several times a week
Excessive consumption of high sugar items can lead to oxidative stress, which negatively impacts testosterone levels and sperm motility. Sugary snacks and beverages are also highly associated with obesity and low fertility.
CONCLUSION: To boost sperm quality, stay away from fast food, processed food, and sugary snacks or beverages. You need to implement a healthy prudent diet filled with necessary superfoods needed for good sperm production. Check out our guide to Male Fertility Superfoods. For personalized guidance and support on how you can start improving your sperm health, check out the Bootcamp.
Physical activity

Scientific studies show that men who are physically active have better semen parameters than men who are inactive. Fertility specialists also state that regular physical activity has beneficial impact on sperm fertility parameters and such a lifestyle can enhance the fertility status of men.

Prioritizing exercise can help improve your overall health and result in healthy, fast swimming sperm cells that have good chances of fertilizing an egg.

CONCLUSION: Try incorporating exercise in your weekly schedule to you ensure exercising at least twice weekly. We recommend a combination of cardio training and strength exercise. Read more about exercise and male fertility on our blog.
HEAT
Direct heat can inhibit optimal sperm production and cause Sperm DNA damage. Sperm cells like environments that are a couple of degrees lower than body temperature. Avoid overheating from warm blankets, seat warmers, heat from your laptop, hot showers, and saunas. 
Alcohol
A beer or glass of wine now and then do not really harm sperm quality. But excess alcohol drinking (more than 20 units per week) can reduce the production of normally formed sperm needed for a successful pregnancy. 
CONCLUSION: If you want to stay safe, stay under 14 units of alcohol per week. For more information on how alcohol can affect male fertility, take a look at our blog: “Alcohol and Sperm Quality”.
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. Put your phone in the back pocket of your pants or in your jacket pocket.
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. So, lose the tight clothes and wear something loose to give your testicles some air.
CONCLUSION: learn more about how heat can affect sperm quality here.