sperm morphology – can the shape really hinder fertility?

Written by: Angela Heap

June 3, 2021

Abnormalities in shape make it more difficult for sperm to penetrate and fertilize an egg. However this is not impossible and in my clinic I have seen many people go on to have a healthy pregnancy with 4% or lower morphology.

If there has been a morphology issue at an early stage before working together from last years test –  one of the next things I suggest is a DNA fragmentation test https://examenlab.com/for-men/your-results-explained/ 

In my experience this seems to be the largest anomaly in most the sperm tests I see. And in my opinion relates to physical and environmental reasons.

The sperm shape it vital to a successful pregnancy. Often if there are zero morphologies this can be down to an illness, virus and heating the testicles too much, or chemical exposure Please read the ground breaking book by Dr Shanna Swan ‘ Count down’ about chemicals that can affect sperm if this is the case as there are some changes that need to happen on an environmental level taking out everyday chemicals. When you take these things out of the equation things may improve.  Also there is a blog I have written about this for more information here. ( link to blog on chemicals) 

Taking out the things suggested below will help this immensely

Heating the testicles is a sure way to mutate sperm so no lycra pants, saunas or steam rooms and cycling and sitting for long periods of time can boil thing a bit!

Things we can do to improve the shape of sperm:

  • Reduce caffeine
  • Reducing Alcohol
  • Taking out Tobacco and marijuana 
  • Maintaining some form of exercise three times weekly as obesity reduces chances of well functioning sperm


Diet wise these things can help

Vitamin C – studies looking at increasing fruit and veg containing vitamin C as well as vitamin E two key antioxidants helps to boost morphology

CoQ10 – works at an energy and mitochondrial levels so will also improve motility and energy of sperm https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26500895/ 

Lycopene- used alongside zinc and folate helped improve semen parameters and pregnancy as well as reduce oxidative stress https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32111479/ 


A marine pine bark and full of antioxidant possibility has helped not only with morphology but all parameters and also erectile issues https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25531191/ 

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