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Low Sperm Count- Signs, Causes And Treatment

Most often when a woman is not able to conceive or is not getting pregnant, then it is predicted that the women are infertile. However, men play an equally important role in the process of fertilization. Around 1 in every 5 infertile couple, the reason is the fertility issue of men. Low sperm count in men can be one of the major reasons for this infertility.  Around 90% of the times, the reason for male infertility is the problem of low sperm count. As a couple, struggling to conceive for one’s own child is really a frustrating experience and a concern.

Facts to know:

  • The condition when your sperm counts are low, i.e., less than 15 million sperm/ml are medically termed as oligospermia.
  • In case sperms are found totally missing and your semen sample is tested to have no sperms at all, then that condition is medically termed as azoospermia.
  • During your struggle to conceive or having a child, knowing the count of your sperms that you ejaculate during the process may be quite important.
  • A total sperm count of 20 million or more is a healthy count.
  • 40% or more of your total sperms moving in the forward direction indicates a healthy percentage of mortality rate.
  • Shapes of sperms that consists of an oval head of around 5 to 6 micrometres long and having only one long tail are as healthy sperms.

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Signs & Symptoms of Low Sperm Count:

  • Not able to conceive
  • Incapability in having a baby
  • Hormonal problems or abnormalities like having reduced body or facial hairs
  • Lifestyle preferences
  • Reduced sexual desires
  • Issues or difficulty in sustaining the erection (erectile dysfunction)
  • Reduced or low sex drive
  • Sexual problems

Causes of Low Sperm Count:

  • Heat can be one of the causes that may affect the production of normal sperm count.
  • Obesity can be one of the cause because fat may overheat the testicles.
  • Men who sit continuously for long hours like in office sitting jobs, or who work as long-distance lorry-drivers may also get affected due to increase in heat production in the genital areas.
  • Too frequent intercourse practices may also cause lack of supply of the sperms.
  • Smoking too much like more than around 20 cigarettes per day.
  • Consumption of excessive alcohol.
  • Few antibiotics also harm the sperms
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Infected semen
  • Bacterial infections
  • Tumours
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Shortage of tubes that carry and transfer the sperms
  • Medical history like prostate problems, swelling or pain in the testicle area, penis or testicle surgery, scrotum, groin
  • Prior surgeries
  • Exposure or contact with certain heavy metals like lead
  • Radiations or x-rays may also alter the sperm count

Treatments & Preventions for the Low Sperm Count:

The treatment process depends on the cause and level of complications associated with the problem. However, few of the common treatments are listed below:

  • Surgery
  • Medications like anabolic steroids, etc. as prescribed by the doctors
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed
  • Hormonal treatments as per the prescribed medications or drugs
  • Regularizing the sexual intercourse process
  • Avoiding usage of lubricants
  • Maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle
  • Keep away from excessive heat
  • Stay away from excessive smoking and alcohol consumptions
  • Try to manage your stress levels

It is to be noted that both you and your partner must get yourselves tested for fertility even if you already show the symptoms of low sperm count. Later, in case it is detected that you have a low sperm count, still, you should not lose your hope because at times the sperm counts may also get boosted with the right intake of vitamins and other supplements. Otherwise, if the cause of low sperm count is the presence of some hormonal problem in your body, then going for a surgery or a replacement therapy can be helpful.

Apart from this, today there are various other options also available for infertile couples who are unable to increase their sperm count. They may anytime opt for an In vitro fertilization (IVF) or go for an adoption process. Whatsoever is the situation, consulting with your doctor is always the best option to pamper yourself and your partner.

Read: Causes and Symptoms of Male Infertility

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