- Low Sperm Count: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment - DaOptimistic


Low Sperm Count: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Low sperm count refers to the number of sperm in the fluid (semen) you ejaculate following an orgasm.

A low sperm count is known as oligospermia (ol-ih-go-SPUR-me-uh). azoospermia refers to a complete lack of sperm. Your sperm count is considered poor if it is less than 15 million sperm per milliliter of sperm.

Low sperm counts make it less likely that one of your sperm will fertilize your partner's egg and result in pregnancy. Even so, many men with low sperm counts can still have children.


The most common sign of low sperm count is difficulty to conceive a child. There could be no other observable signs or symptoms. An underlying problem, such as an inherited chromosomal abnormality, a hormonal imbalance, dilated testicular veins, or a disease that prevents sperm from passing through, may cause signs and symptoms in some men.

Symptoms of a low sperm count include:

Low sex drive or difficulties sustaining an erection are examples of sexual function issues (erectile dysfunction)

In the testicular area, there may be pain, swelling, or a lump.

Reduced face or body hair, as well as other chromosomal or hormone abnormalities

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For sperm to be produced, the testicles (testes), as well as the hypothalamus and pituitary glands – brain regions that release hormones that activate sperm production — must all function appropriately. When sperm is produced in the testicles, it is transported through delicate tubes until it combines with semen and is discharged from the penis. Any of these systems has the potential to affect sperm production.

Anomalies in sperm morphology, motility, or function can also arise.

Low sperm count is frequently caused by unknown factors.

When should you see a doctor?

Consult a doctor if you haven't been able to conceive after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse or if you're experiencing any of the following symptoms:

Erection or ejaculation problems, a lack of sex drive, or other sexual function concerns

There may be pain, discomfort, a lump, or swelling in the testicular area.

Previous testicular, prostate, or sexual issues

groin, testicles, penis, or scrotum surgery

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Medical reasons

A low sperm count can be caused by a variety of medical conditions and therapies. These are some of them:

Varicocele. A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins draining the testis. It's the most prevalent and treatable reason of male infertility. Although the exact cause of varicoceles-related infertility is unknown, it may be linked to poor testicular temperature regulation. Sperm quality suffers as a result of varicoceles.

Infection. Some illnesses can affect sperm production or health, or induce scarring that prevents sperm from passing through. Inflammation of the epididymis (epididymitis) or testicles is caused by some sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea or HIV (orchitis). Despite the fact that some infections could result in irreversible testicular damage, sperm can typically be retrieved.

Problems with ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder instead of leaving through the tip of the penis during climax. Diabetes, spinal injuries, and bladder, prostate, or urethra surgery are just a few of the health problems that might cause retrograde or absent ejaculation.

Certain medications, such as alpha blockers for high blood pressure, might produce ejaculatory problems. Some ejaculatory problems can be fixed, while others are permanent. In most cases of permanent ejaculation problems, sperm can still be retrieved directly from the testicles.

Sperm antibodies are antibodies that assault sperm cells. Anti-sperm antibodies are immune cells that misinterpret sperm for dangerous invaders and attempt to destroy them.

Tumors. Cancers and nonmalignant tumors can damage male reproductive functions directly, or indirectly through tissues that release hormones related to reproduction, such as the pituitary gland. Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy used to treat cancer can all damage male fertility.

Testicles that haven't descended. During fetal development, one or both testicles may fail to descend from the abdomen into the sac that normally contains the testicles (scrotum). Men who suffer from this condition are more likely to be infertile.

Hormone imbalances are a common problem. Sperm generation requires hormones produced by the brain, pituitary, and testicles. Changes in these hormones, as well as hormones produced by other organs such as the thyroid and adrenal gland, might decrease sperm production.

Tubule defects that carry sperm. Sperm is transported in many tubes. They can become obstructed for a variety of reasons, including surgical error, previous infections, trauma, or abnormal development, as in cystic fibrosis or other genetic illnesses.

The testicle, the tubes that drain the testicle, the epididymis, the vas deferens, the ejaculatory ducts, and the urethra can all become blocked.

Celiac disease is a type of gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is a digestive ailment characterized by gluten sensitivity that can lead to male infertility. Adopting a gluten-free diet may help with fertility.

Defects in the chromosomes. In inherited diseases like Klinefelter's syndrome, when a guy is born with two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome instead of one X and one Y, the male reproductive organs grow improperly. Other genetic syndromes associated to infertility include cystic fibrosis, Kallmann's syndrome, and Kartagener's syndrome.

Medications in particular. Male fertility and sperm production can be harmed by testosterone replacement therapy, long-term anabolic steroid use, cancer medications (chemotherapy), certain antifungal and antibiotic medications, some ulcer medications, and other pharmaceuticals.

Surgical procedures performed previously Vasectomy, inguinal hernia repairs, scrotal or testicular surgeries, prostate surgeries, and big abdominal surgeries for testicular and rectal tumors, among other procedures, may prohibit you from having sperm in your ejaculate.

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The effects of the environment

Overexposure to some environmental components can alter sperm production or function, including:

Chemicals used in industry. Low sperm counts may be caused by prolonged exposure to benzenes, toluene, xylene, herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, painting pigments, and lead.

Exposure to heavy metal. Infertility can also be caused by exposure to lead or other heavy metals.

X-rays or radiation. Sperm production can be reduced by exposure to radiation. It can take several years for sperm production to return to normal. Strong doses of radiation can permanently decrease sperm production.

The testicles are overheated. High temperatures damage sperm production and function. Although evidence is sparse and inconsistent, frequent use of saunas or hot tubs has been shown to temporarily lower sperm count.

Sitting for long periods of time, wearing tight clothing, or spending long periods of time on a laptop computer can all raise scrotal temperature and reduce sperm production.

Causes include health, lifestyle, and other factors.

Other factors that contribute to a low sperm count include:

  • The usage of drugs. Anabolic steroids, which are used to increase muscle strength and growth, can shrink the testicles and reduce sperm production. Cocaine or marijuana use may also affect the quantity and quality of your sperm.
  • Use of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol consumption lowers testosterone levels and reduces sperm production.
  • Occupation. Certain jobs, such as welding and those that require extended sitting, such as truck driving, may increase the chance of infertility. However, the evidence for these connections is inconclusive.
  • Tobacco consumption. Men who smoke may have lower sperm counts than men who do not smoke.
  • Emotional tension. Severe or long-term emotional stress, such as anxiety over fertility, may interfere with the hormones required for sperm production.
  • Depression. Depression can have a deleterious impact on sperm concentration.
  • Weight. Obesity can affect male fertility in a variety of ways, including directly affecting sperm and generating hormone changes that lower male fertility.

Sperm testing difficulties Testing sperm that was taken too soon after your previous ejaculation, too soon after an illness or stressful event, or that didn't contain all of the semen you ejaculated because some was spilled during collection can result in sperm counts that are lower than usual. As a result, the majority of results are based on several samples collected over time.

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