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The Male Room

with Sheldon Marks, MD

Men's health is a growing field. Dr. Sheldon Marks shares advice and information on men's health issues, from prostate problems to hair loss, as well as fitness and nutrition.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sperm: It’s Quantity, Not Quality

Every day when I talk to my vasectomy reversal patients the subject of quality of sperm comes up. “But doctor, my sperm are not all healthy and normal. Does that mean I have a higher risk for birth defects? I am worried about the quality of the sperm. Is this a problem?”

No, no and no. It is very simple – guys work in numbers. Quality is not what we are about. We are driven by quantity not quality. Women on the other hand are all about quality. It’s not just with eggs and sperm.

We know that women put out one egg each month. Not a gazillion, just one perfect, happy little egg. A guy’s purpose is different – distribution of hundreds of millions of sperm. And with that, the quality is not what it is all about. It is numbers. Sheer numbers.

If we provide 100 million motile kicking sperm with each ejaculation, if timed correctly, then maybe a few hundred are likely to get through all the natural barriers and hurdles that exist in the female reproductive tract. It would be reasonable to say that the female tract is designed to kill sperm. So the fact that any get through and end up making a baby still amazes me.

But this is deeper that just sperm and egg talk. Consider all aspects of life. Men are like mosquitoes. Put millions of sperm out there and a few will survive. That is how men look at fertility, and probably sex, too. Lots of sex. Quality is not an issue. Lots of food. More burgers are better than one great sandwich. Not just one good tennis match – give men an entire weekend of football reruns.

Women want things to be just perfect. A single happy moment they can enjoy and relish. A romantic moment rather than a weekend of sex. For them, it’s quality … that is, unless we are talking about shoes. That is the only aspect of quantity/quality with men and women that consistently breaks the rules (probably a sex-linked shoe collecting gene).

So when you are looking at semen analysis results, you can relax as long as you’ve got the numbers. Leave the quality for the women.

Related Topics: Abstinence Makes the Sperm Grow Stronger, Diabetes and Your Sex Life

Technorati Tags: , semen, women’s shoes

Posted by: Sheldon Marks, MD at 1:51 pm

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