Fertility Q&A with Dr. James Goldfarb

Sperm Count Q&A with Dr. James Goldfarb

What defines low sperm count, and what are common motility issues?
The current thinking is that a fertile sperm count can be as low as 15-20 million sperm per cc. Motility issues can be of two types. One is a low percentage of motile sperm (generally considered to be less than 40%. The other issue with motility can be the quality of the motility. While the percentage of motile sperm is very important, just as important is the question of whether the sperm is moving in a progressive manner and not in a slow, sluggish manner.

How many days does it take for a lifestyle or diet change to affect his sperm?

Only extreme lifestyle issues or diet issues would have an effect on sperm. If there is such an effect, it generally takes at least 3 months for the change in diet or lifestyle to have an effect.

Should we abstain from intercourse a couple days before ovulation?

Some men’s sperm counts do decrease if there is ejaculation on a daily basis. Thus it is often recommended that couples have intercourse every other day around the time of ovulation, rather than every day.

Want to learn more about sperm and male infertility? Check out these resources: 

Tips for Getting Pregnant

Male Factor Infertility

Male Fertility Testing

The Complete Guide to Exercise and Fertility

About Dr. James Goldfarb, MD, MBA

Dr. Goldfarb is currently the Director Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at University Hospitals of Cleveland. He is also a Clinical Professor of Reproductive Biology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.  Dr. Goldfarb earned his medical degree from The Ohio State University School of Medicine in Columbus, Ohio and his master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from CWRU Weatherhead School of Management.

On a national level, Dr. Goldfarb is Past President of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SART), SART is the national professional group that provides leadership to the country’s In Vitro Fertilization Programs. Dr. Goldfarb has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and has been a member of the National Coalition of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (NCOART)


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