There are more misconceptions about sperm than any other part of reproduction.
- “Manliness” has NOTHING to do with sperm count. While testosterone is NECESSARY for sperm production, it is not the only important factor.
- Men do NOT need to “SAVE UP” to have a good sperm count. Sperm motility and function are BEST when a man ejaculates EVERY DAY.
- External Androgens can help male fertility. Actually, using steroids or any supplement to increase muscle mass in men can DRAMATICALLY REDUCE sperm counts and should be AVOIDED. Especially testosterone injections (it must be made by the testes to work).
- Vitamins improve sperm counts. This is true with a few anti-oxidant vitamins. BUT, these vitamins DID NOT improve pregnancy rates, so using them is unlikely to help a man’s fertility.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI) treats low sperm counts. Although this seems logical, IUI alone has NOT been shown to appreciably improve pregnancy rates. This is due to the “bullet and target” problem. If the target (the egg) is small, increasing the number of bullets (sperm) doesn’t improve the bulls-eye rate by very much. BUT, if the target is doubled in size (release 2 eggs) it is easy to hit with the original, lower number of bullets. In other words, treating the woman to release extra eggs (combined with IUI) has a much better outcome for male infertility than IUIs alone. (this is why the arcade games at the fair sell extra balls for a few extra dollars but do NOT increase the size of the milk can!)