A shock for many women and couples: Infertility diagnosis
Folic acid is important, but no longer sufficient over the age of 30.
The intake of folic acid plays an important role in growth processes and cell division. A sufficient supply of this micronutrient is important for the growth and nerve tissue of the foetus (e.g. neural tube). In the context of pregnancy planning, it should be taken into consideration that the need for folic acid is increased during pregnancy and in the phase prior to conception (at least 4 weeks prior to conception).
Since not only the number of egg cells but also their quality decreases and conversely the chromosomal changes and number of miscarriages increase, the intake of folic acid alone by women aged 30 years and above is not always sufficient to fulfil the desire to have children.
In this context, motility, i.e. the ability of sperm to move, is an important criterion. If the sperm cells are too slow, they will die before reaching the egg cell. If more than 32% of the sperm cells are progressive, this is referred to as normal motility.
Motility is divided into three categories:
- Forward mobility = Progressive motility (PR)
- Local mobility (so-called circle swimmers) = Non-progressive motility
- No mobility = Immotile
The number/concentration of sperm also has a diagnostic and prognostic value.
Another important aspect for assessing fertility is the appearance of the sperm, i.e. the morphology. The morphology is normal if more than 4% of the sperm are normally shaped.