Low Sperm Count: Symptoms, Prevention And Treatment

by on April 11, 2018

When you notice any abnomality in any part of your body especially, the genitals, do not ignore, but report to a health practitioner. Some issues if not properly handled might end up becoming an infertility issue. Infertility issues in some cases, can be traced only on the man or woman. For the male, one common infertility issue is Low sperm count.

A Low sperm count is when the fluid (semen) you ejaculate during an orgasm contains fewer sperm than normal. Your sperm count is considered lower than normal if you have fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.

A low sperm count is also called oligospermia. A condition when there is total complete absence of sperm is called azoospermia.

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It’s does not necessarily mean that men having a low sperm count, won’t be able to father a child.


For a normal sperm production, the testicles (testes) as well as the hypothalamus and pituitary glands — organs in your brain that produce hormones that trigger sperm production must be in a functioning condition. The hypothalamus, pituitary and testicles produce hormones that are necessary to create sperm. Alterations in these hormones, as well as from other systems such as the thyroid and adrenal gland, may impair sperm production.

Once sperm are produced in the testicles, delicate tubes transport them until they mix with semen and are ejaculated out of the penis.

In some cases, there can be problems of abnormal sperm shape (morphology), movement (motility) or function.

Medical causes

Low sperm count can be caused by a number of health issues and medical treatments. Some of these include:

Varicocele. This is swelling of the veins that drain the testicle. It’s the most common reversible cause of male infertility. Although the exact reason that varicoceles cause infertility is unknown, it might be related to abnormal testicular temperature regulation. Varicoceles result in reduced quality of the sperm.

Infection. Some infections can interfere with sperm production or sperm health or can cause scarring that blocks the passage of sperm. These include inflammation of the epididymis (epididymitis) or testicles (orchitis) and some sexually transmitted infections, including gonorrhea or HIV. Although some infections can result in permanent testicular damage, most often sperm can still be retrieved.

Ejaculation problems. Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder during orgasm instead of emerging out of the tip of the penis. Various health conditions can cause retrograde or lack of ejaculation, including diabetes, spinal injuries, and surgery of the bladder, prostate or urethra.

Drug use. Anabolic steroids taken to stimulate muscle strength and growth can cause the testicles to shrink and sperm production to decrease. Use of cocaine or marijuana might reduce the number and quality of your sperm as well.

Alcohol use. Drinking alcohol can lower testosterone levels and cause decreased sperm production.

Occupation. Certain occupations might be linked with a risk of infertility, including welding or those associated with prolonged sitting, such as truck driving. However, the data to support these associations is inconsistent.

Tobacco smoking. Men who smoke might have a lower sperm count than do those who don’t smoke.

Emotional stress. Severe or prolonged emotional stress, including stress about fertility, might interfere with hormones needed to produce sperm.

Weight. Obesity can impair fertility in several ways, including directly impacting sperm and by causing hormone changes that reduce male fertility.

Sperm testing issues. Lower than normal sperm counts can result from testing a sperm sample that was taken too soon after your last ejaculation; was taken too soon after an illness or stressful event; or didn’t contain all of the semen you ejaculated because some was spilled during collection. For this reason, results are generally based on several samples taken over a period of time.
Taking certain medications
Having a prior vasectomy or major abdominal or pelvic surgery
Having a history of undescended testicles
Environmental causes of low sperm count

Sperm production or function can be affected by overexposure to certain environmental elements, including:

Industrial chemicals. Extended exposure to benzenes, toluene, xylene, herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, painting materials and lead might contribute to low sperm counts.
Heavy metal exposure. Exposure to lead or other heavy metals also can cause infertility.
Radiation or X-rays. Exposure to radiation can reduce sperm production. It can take several years for sperm production to return to normal. With high doses of radiation, sperm production can be permanently reduced.
Overheating the testicles. Elevated temperatures impair sperm production and function. Although studies are limited and are inconclusive, frequent use of saunas or hot tubs might temporarily impair sperm count.
Sitting for long periods, wearing tight clothing or working on a laptop computer for long stretches of time also might increase the temperature in your scrotum and slightly reduce sperm production.


There may be some visible signs on some individuals, while in some, no sign at all. The main sign of low sperm count is the inability to conceive a child.

The main symptoms of Low sperm count include:

Problems with sexual function — (erectile dysfunction)
Pain, swelling or a lump in the testicle area
Decreased facial or body hair or other signs of a chromosome or hormone abnormality

‘Prevention they say is better than cure’. Having read through noting the possible cause(s) of a low sperm count, it is imperative to avoid the triggers. A low sperm count mighrt affect your chance of having a child, it is in your best interest to avoid the following lifestyle.

Don’t smoke.
Limit or abstain from alcohol.
Talk to your doctor about medications that can affect sperm count.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Avoid heat.
ways to boost sperm count and increase fertility in men.
Regularly. Exercise Regularly. …
Get Enough Vitamin C. …
Relax and Minimize Stress. …
Get Enough Vitamin D. …
Take Fenugreek Supplements. …
Get Enough Zinc.
Foods that can make sperm stronger

These Natural sources of this minerals such as eggs, turkey, oysters, seafood, pumpkin seeds, beef, oats, lamb, yoghurt, nuts and barley. Selenium is also thought to be beneficial to sperm motility and health.

Treatment options

Basically, surgery is the most common treatment for men suffering from varicocele. For low sperm count due to infections of the urinary/reproductive tract, antibiotics can be prescribed to help clear the infection.


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