What Cause A Low Sperm Count, Symptoms And Treatment

What Cause A Low Sperm Count, Symptoms And Treatment

What Cause A Low Sperm Count, Symptoms And Treatment


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

Oligospermia is a term for a low sperm count (ol-ih-go-SPUR-me-uh). A complete lack of sperm is referred to as azoospermia. If you have fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of sperm, your sperm count is considered poor.

Low sperm counts reduce the chances of one of your sperm fertilizing your partner's egg and resulting in pregnancy. Despite this, many men with low sperm counts can nonetheless father a kid.


The inability to conceive a child is the most common symptom of low sperm count. There may be no other visible symptoms or indicators. In some men, signs and symptoms may be caused by an underlying problem such as an inherited chromosomal abnormality, a hormonal imbalance, dilated testicular veins, or a disease that prevents sperm from passing through.

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

When should you see a doctor?

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

Problems with erection or ejaculation, low sex drive, or other sexual function issues

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

Testicular, prostate, or sexual disorders in the past

Surgery on the groin, testicles, penis, or scrotum


The testicles (testes) as well as the hypothalamus and pituitary glands — structures in your brain that create hormones that activate sperm production — must all operate normally for sperm to be produced. When sperm are created in the testicles, they are transported through delicate tubes until they mingle with semen and are ejected from the penis. Any of these systems can have an impact on sperm production.

Anomalies in sperm shape (morphology), movement (motility), or function can also occur.

However, the cause of low sperm count is frequently unknown.

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 a swelling of the veins that drain the testicle (VAR-ih-koe-seel). It's the most common cause of male infertility that can be reversed. Although the actual etiology of infertility caused by varicoceles is uncertain, it may be linked to poor testicular temperature regulation. Varicoceles cause sperm to be of lower quality.

Infection. Some illnesses can affect sperm production or health, or induce scarring that prevents sperm from passing through. Some sexually transmitted illnesses, such as gonorrhea or HIV, cause inflammation of the epididymis (epididymitis) or testicles (orchitis). Despite the fact that some infections might result in irreversible testicular damage, sperm can usually be recovered.

Problems with ejaculation. During climax, semen enters the bladder instead of exiting out the tip of the penis, resulting in retrograde ejaculation. Diabetes, spinal injuries, and bladder, prostate, or urethra surgery are all examples of health issues that can produce retrograde ejaculation or lack of ejaculation.

Certain drugs, such as blood pressure medications known as alpha blockers, might cause ejaculatory issues. Some ejaculatory issues can be corrected, while others are irreversible. Sperm can still be extracted directly from the testicles in most situations of permanent ejaculation issues.

Antibodies that attack sperm are known as sperm antibodies. Anti-sperm antibodies are immune system cells that mistake sperm for hazardous invaders and try to eliminate them.

Tumors. Male reproductive organs can be affected directly by cancers and nonmalignant tumors, or indirectly through glands that release hormones associated to reproduction, such as the pituitary gland. Male fertility can be harmed by surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy used to treat malignancies.

Testicles that haven't descended. One or both testicles may fail to descend from the abdomen into the sac that normally holds the testicles during fetal development (scrotum). Men with this illness are more likely to have lower fertility.

Hormone imbalances are a common problem. Hormones produced by the brain, pituitary, and testicles are required for sperm production. Changes in these hormones, as well as those from other organs including the thyroid and adrenal gland, can cause sperm production to be impaired.

Tubule defects that carry sperm. Sperm is carried in a variety of tubes. They can be obstructed for a variety of reasons, including surgical accidental harm, past infections, trauma, or improper growth, such as in cystic fibrosis or other genetic disorders.

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. Guy reproductive organs develop abnormally in inherited illnesses such Klinefelter's syndrome, in which a male is born with two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome instead of one X and one Y. Cystic fibrosis, Kallmann's syndrome, and Kartagener's syndrome are some of the other genetic syndromes linked to infertility.

Medications in particular. Testosterone replacement therapy, long-term anabolic steroid use, cancer medications (chemotherapy), certain antifungal and antibiotic medications, some ulcer medications, and other pharmaceuticals can reduce male fertility and impede sperm production.

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.

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. Radiation can cause sperm production to decrease. Sperm production can take several years to return to normal. Sperm production can be permanently impaired by strong amounts of radiation.

The testicles are overheated. Sperm production and function are harmed by high temperatures. Although research is limited and inconsistent, frequent use of saunas or hot tubs may reduce sperm count briefly.

Sitting for lengthy amounts of time, wearing tight clothing, or working on a laptop computer for long lengths of time can all raise scrotal temperature and limit 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.

Problems with sperm testing Testing a sperm sample that was collected too soon after your previous ejaculation, too soon after an illness or stressful event, or didn't contain all of the semen you ejaculated because some was spilled during collection can result in lower than normal sperm counts. As a result, most outcomes are based on multiple samples taken over a period of time.

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