Sperm Factor Infertility
Over the past 50 years, human sperm counts have fallen by more than 50% around the globe. Beyond that, sperm quality naturally declines after the age of 35.
Although sperm factor infertility is rising, it’s also highly treatable. Most issues with sperm motility or mobility have to do with lifestyle and environmental factors (i.e. diet, smoking, alcohol, cannabis, and certain medications). On average, sperm takes 72 — 116 days to generate (known as the spermatogenesis cycle). With proper support, there can be improvements in sperm health in a few months or less.
Don’t give up on building your family — we’re here to support you every step of the way.
SEED (Sperm Evaluation, Enhancement & Diagnostics) Program
Introducing the SEED Program: short for Sperm Evaluation, Enhancement & Diagnostics.
TRIO has designed a separate wing at our downtown clinic for the SEED Program that is dedicated to sperm health — guaranteeing your privacy, comfort, and confidentiality. Unlike the conventional single room within a general fertility clinic, this purpose-built space redefines the traditionally awkward experience of sperm collection.
You’ll also find the country’s largest andrology and embryology teams within SEED, offering the most comprehensive tests and advancements in sperm factor infertility. TRIO is one of the few clinics that use ZyMōt technology to separate motile sperm from the rest when high DNA fragmentation is a concern.
Most fertility clinics offer only a semen analysis and must send the samples to an external lab for results. However, our specialists, testing, and lab are on site so that you get your results faster and can begin treatment quicker. Speak to a Care Navigator today to learn more.
From Our Team
How the SEED Program Works
Assessment and Testing
Your initial assessment with a TRIO fertility specialist will include a detailed medical history and a series of tests including but not limited to:
- Hormone testing to evaluate levels of testosterone and estrogen. Other hormonal tests, such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and prolactin, may be done, if indicated.
- DNA Fragmentation testing
- Genetic/Karyotype testing (if required)
If your TRIO specialist provides a diagnosis of sperm factor infertility, then you’ll get started on a personalized sperm health treatment plan. This will include:
- A consultation with our on-site fertility naturopaths, Conceive Health, as well as sperm-supportive nutraceuticals, diet and lifestyle changes
- A fast-tracked appointment with an urologist, if needed
- An introduction to TRIO's private online Men’s Support Group
- Follow-up testing 6-8 weeks into your program
Follow Up Visit
After your follow-up testing, you and your partner will meet with your TRIO physician to discuss the next steps. Your medical team will also coordinate sperm procedures with the timing of the egg retrieval (if applicable).
Frequently Asked Questions
How common is sperm factor infertility (male factor infertility)?
Infertility affects one in every six couples who are trying to conceive. On average, when a couple experiences fertility challenges, we see that 30 percent of the time it is sperm related.
How do I prepare for a semen analysis or related testing?
Your physician will ask you to abstain from ejaculation for a period (2-3 days) before your semen analysis. Abstinence that is too long or too short may impact your results, so following your physician’s guidelines is essential. If you are producing your sample at home, it’s critical that you return it to the clinic within 90 minutes of production, as sperm quality steadily decreases post-ejaculation.
What unique tests or tools does the SEED Program use?
TRIO is one of the few clinics that uses ZyMōt technology to help filter the best sperm when high DNA fragmentation is a concern. When used during IVF treatment, this patented approach isolates the progressively motile sperm in the final sample. More motile sperm improves the chances of a successful pregnancy.
What causes issues with sperm health?
When looking at sperm problems, we evaluate both sperm count and sperm quality. A variety of factors can affect sperm health, such as:
- Hormonal issues
- Idiopathic reasons
- Genetic causes
- Urogenital abnormalities (congenital or acquired)
- Immunological causes
- Urogenital infections
- Sexual dysfunction
- Medications or drugs
- Environmental toxins
- Select surgeries
Who should participate in the SEED program?
Individuals or couples may participate in the SEED program for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
- they are planning to conceive or are starting fertility treatment
- they want to improve their sperm health for the future
- they have had a vasectomy or vasectomy reversal
What does a sperm analysis or related testing look at?
We look at several factors that contribute to sperm health, including:
- Semen viscosity: Is the seminal fluid thick or thin so the sperm can swim properly?
- Sperm concentration: How many sperm are available in the semen?
- Sperm motility: How many sperm are moving (the combination of progressive, non-progressive, and non-motile)?
- Total motile sperm count: A calculation of your sperm quantity and quality.
- Sperm morphology: Is the sperm the proper size and shape (heads, tails, bodies)?
- Post-thaw: A small portion may be frozen and thawed to determine if you want to test whether cryopreservation is possible.
Does age affect sperm count?
Yes, advancing age can affect both sperm count and quality since there is a gradual decline in both — particularly after the age of 50. Older age is also associated with an increased risk of genetic abnormalities.
Does poor quality sperm affect IVF?
It takes two (egg and sperm) to have a baby. Therefore, it is not a surprise that low-quality sperm has been shown to contribute to poor reproductive outcomes, even with IVF, such as low embryo yield and pregnancy loss.
Do I need a referral from my family doctor for SEED?
No! You can "self-refer" to SEED. The first step is to book a free phone consultation with a TRIO Care Navigator to ask questions and ensure that you're a candidate for the program. If you choose to proceed, then we will send you the initial health intake forms. Our SEED fertility specialist will review these forms and book an appointment with you if further clarification is necessary.
A requisition for bloodwork and DNA fragmentation (semen analysis) will then be sent to you to complete at TRIO. An appointment will be booked to review your results with one of our Reproductive Endocrinologists. If a diagnosis of sperm factor infertility is provided, then you’ll get started on a personalized sperm health treatment plan.