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17What Is Male Fertility?

Male fertility is a complex issue, requiring many discrete processes. In order to impregnate a woman, many things must occur without a hitch. The post-puberty male must be capable of producing healthy sperm. This involves the maturation of the male reproductive organs (penis and testis) during puberty. This requires at

least one functional testicle, and his body must produce testosterone and other hormones to trigger and maintain sperm production/maturation. Sperm has to be carried into the semen (acts as carrying agent for sperm). Once spermatozoa are produced in the testicles, delicate tubes transport them until they mix with semen and are ejaculated out of the penis.

There needs to be enough sperm in the semen to bring the odds of conception to a particular level of efficacy (survival). If the number of sperm in your semen (sperm count) is too low, it decreases the overall odds that a single sperm will fertilize his partner's egg. A sperm count numbering lower than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen or fewer than 39 million per ejaculation. These levels of motile (living/healthy/moving) sperm are not likely to result in conception. Sperm must be functional and fully able to move. If the movement (motility) or function of your sperm is abnormal, the sperm may not be able to reach or penetrate your partner's egg.

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