The real story about those ranges!
I was prompted to write this after seeing the second lot of fertility clients in a week who had been told the male sperm was “fine” because the measures were in range.
DO YOU KNOW HOW THOSE ‘FINE’ RANGES CAME TO BE?
Since 1987 the World Health Organisation has published guidelines standardizing procedures for assessing human semen and proposing reference values according to data from men around the world.
In 2010 the WHO came out with a set of reference ranges that were lower than previous. Data came from 1,953 samples, 5 studies, 8 countries on 3 continents and were based on a time to-pregnancy up to and including 12 months measure.
The results were ranked from lower and upper percentiles ranges – 2.5% through to 95%.
THE RANGE THAT IS USED IN SERM ANALYSIS RESULTS CURRENTLY REPRESENTS THE LOWEST PERCENTILE of 5%. ‼️‼️
To say that again – those lab ranges used that are labelled “fine” are the bare minimum that could be considered of quality to achieve pregnancy.
When discussing fertility there are very few couples who are happy with “bare minimum”
Most couples that I speak to are looking to optimise every chance they have. ❤️
Let me give you some examples of the vast difference between the 5th percentile and the 50th percentile according to the WHO ranges;
👉 Semen volume – 5th perc = 1.5 (ml) whereas the 50th perc = 3.7 (ml)
👉 Sperm concentration – 5th perc = 15 (10⁶ per ml) whereas the 50th perc = 255 (10⁶ per ml)
👉 Progressive motility (sperm that are swimming mostly in a straight line. We all know direction is important 🤣 ) – 5th perc = 32 (%) whereas the 50th perc = 55 (%)
👉 Normal forms (important as abnormal sperm are less likely to fertilise) – 5th perc = 4 (%) whereas the 50th perc = 15 (%)
And of course there are lots of factors involved in fertility, sperm health is just one but my philosophy is why not try to increase your chances?
The great news is that sperm quality can respond really quickly to diet and lifestyle changes plus essential nutrients.
Book an appointment with me if you want to go over this in more detail!