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Low sperm count refers to semen (ejaculating fluid) containing fewer sperm than normal. Read more about low sperm count symptoms and treatment at Indira IVF.

Due to various lifestyle issues and many other known and unknown causes, there has been a considerable increase in male infertility problems mainly caused due to low sperm count. Hence, in the following chapter, we discuss issues related to low sperm count.

What is low sperm count?

Answer: Low sperm count implies that the fluids (semen) you ejaculate in the course of an orgasm consist of lesser sperm when compared with normal.

A low sperm count can be referred to as oligospermia. A total lack of sperm is known as Azoospermia. Your own sperm count is regarded as less than normal when you have less than fifteen million sperm per milliliter of semen.

Having a low sperm count reduces the chances that one of your own sperm will certainly fertilize the partner’s egg, leading to pregnancy. Nevertheless, numerous males that have a low sperm count will still be in a position to father a baby.

What are the symptoms of low sperm count?

Answer: Low sperm count symptoms

The primary low sperm count symptom is the incapability to have a baby. There can be no other noticeable signs and symptoms. In some cases, a fundamental issue, for example, a hereditary chromosomal abnormality, a hormonal disturbance, dilated testicular veins or perhaps a disorder that obstructs the passing of sperm could potentially cause warning signs.

Low sperm count symptoms could possibly include:

  • Difficulties with sexual functionality — for instance, reduced sexual desire or just problems sustaining an erection (erectile dysfunction).
  • The testicle region may suffer from pain, inflammation or even swelling.
  • Reduced facial and body hair or maybe additional indications of a chromosome or simply hormone abnormality.

When to consult a physician?

Answer: Consult a physician if you were not able to have a baby after 1 year of normal, unprotected intercourse or even earlier when you have any one of the following:

  1. Erection or perhaps ejaculation issues reduced sexual interest and additional issues with sexual function.
  2. Pain, uneasiness, a swelling or simply inflammation in the testicle region.
  3. A previous record of testicle, prostate or even sex-related issues.
  4. Groin, testicle, penis or possibly scrotum surgery.

What are low sperm count causes?

Answer: The development of sperm is a sophisticated procedure and even needs the regular working of the testicles (testes) and the hypothalamus and pituitary glands — internal organs in the brain that generate human hormones that result in sperm generation. Once sperms are made in the testicles, sophisticated tubes carry these until they mix with semen as they are ejaculated from the penis. Difficulties with any one of these could affect sperm generation.

Furthermore, there might be issues of irregular sperm shape (morphology), motion (motility) or functionality.

Nonetheless, usually, the reason for reduced sperm number isn’t identified.

Clinical causes

Low sperm count may be a result of numerous medical issues as well as treatment methods. A few of these involve:


A Varicocele is an inflammation of the veins that deplete the testicle. It is the most frequent reversible reason behind male infertility. Even though the precise cause that Varicocele trigger infertility is unidentified, it could be linked to irregular testicular heat regulation. Varicocele may lead to decreased quality of the sperm.

Bacterial infection:

A few bacterial infections can easily meddle in sperm generation or sperm well being or even may cause scars that obstruct the passing of sperm. These are swelling of the epididymis (epididymitis) or simply testicles (orchitis) as well as some sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea or HIV. Even though a few infections can lead to long-term testicular problems, quite often sperm can still be retrieved.

Ejaculation issues:

Retrograde ejaculation happens whenever semen goes into the bladder in the course of orgasm rather than escalating from the tip of the penis. Numerous health problems could cause retrograde or perhaps insufficient ejaculation, such as diabetic issues, spinal injury, together with the surgical treatment of the bladder, prostate as well as the urethra.

Some medicines may lead to ejaculatory issues, for instance, hypertension medicines referred to as alpha blockers. A few ejaculatory issues may be changed, while some are long-lasting. In many instances of long-term ejaculation issues, sperm may still be retrieved straight from the testicles.

Antibodies that harm sperm:

Anti-sperm antibodies are defense mechanisms cells that erroneously detect sperm as destructive invaders then try to harm them.


Cancer-related diseases and non-malignant tumors have an effect on the male reproductive organs immediately, by way of the glands that discharge bodily hormones linked to reproduction, for instance, the pituitary gland, or possibly through unidentified causes. Surgical treatment, radiation or even chemotherapy can cure cancerous growth but they may also have an effect on male fertility.

Un-descended testicles:

While in foetal growth one or perhaps both testicles sometimes are not able to descend from the abdominal area into the sac that usually has the testicles (scrotum). Reduced fertility is much more possibly in males with this particular condition.

Hormone imbalances:

The hypothalamus, pituitary as well as testicles generate our sex hormones which are essential to make sperm. Modifications of these hormones, and from other systems like the thyroid in addition to the adrenal gland, might damage sperm generation.

Deficiencies of tubules that transfer sperm:

A number of tubes carry sperm. They could be clogged up as a result of numerous causes, such as inadvertent harm from surgical treatment, previous bacterial infections, stress or perhaps irregular growth, like with cystic fibrosis or perhaps identical genetic problems.

Congestion can happen at any specific stage, like within the testicle, in the tubes that dissipate the testicle, in the epididymis, in the vas deferens, close to the ejaculatory ducts as well as in the urethra.

Chromosomal deficiencies:

Hereditary dysfunctions including Klinefelter syndrome — wherein a boy is born with 2 X chromosomes as well as one Y chromosome rather than one X and one Y — cause an anomalous growth of the male reproductive organs. Various other hereditary syndromes related to infertility consist of cystic fibrosis, Kallmann’s syndrome in addition to Kartagener’s syndrome.

Celiac disorder:

A digestive condition due to sensitiveness to gluten, celiac disorder may cause male infertility. Fertility might develop after eating a gluten-free diet.

Some medicines:

Testosterone replacement treatment, extensive anabolic steroid usage, cancer medicines (chemotherapy), a number of antifungal as well as antibiotic medicines, a few ulcer medicines along with other medicines can damage sperm generation as well as reduce male fertility.

Previous surgical treatments:

Some surgical treatments could stop you from bearing sperm in your ejaculate, such as vasectomy, inguinal hernia repairs, scrotal or perhaps testicular surgical treatments, prostate surgical procedures, in addition to big stomach surgical treatments carried out for testicular as well as rectal cancers, among others. Normally, surgical procedures could be done to counter these types of blockages or simply get sperm straight from the epididymis as well as testicles.

Climatic low sperm count causes

Sperm generation and functionality could be influenced by overexposure to some ecological elements, such as:

Industrial chemical compounds:

Prolonged contact with benzenes, toluene, xylene, herbicides, and chemical pesticides, organic solvents, painting components or lead may lead to low sperm counts.

Heavy metal exposure:

Contact with lead or perhaps various other heavy metals can also result in infertility.

Radiation or X-rays:

Subjection to radiation may result in low sperm count. It might take many years for sperm generation to come back to normal. With higher doses of radiation, sperm output could be completely reduced.

Overheating of the testicles:

Increased heat could result in low sperm count. Even though scientific studies are minimal and inconclusive, regular usage of saunas or even hot tubs may momentarily damage sperm count.

Sitting down for a long period, putting on close-fitting clothes or working away at a laptop for prolonged stretches of time as well may boost the temperature in your scrotum and lead to low sperm count.

Lifestyle, Wellness, and other low sperm count causes

Some other causes of low sperm count consist of:

Use of medications:

Anabolic steroids consumed to promote muscle mass strength as well as development may cause the testicles to reduce sperm generation. Usage of cocaine or marijuana may possibly lessen the amount as well as the quality of your sperm.

Alcohol consumption:

Consuming alcohol can easily reduce testosterone level and even result in low sperm count.


Some professions could be connected with a chance of infertility, such as welding or those related to long term sitting, like automobile driving. Yet, the statistics to aid these types of associations is inconsistent.

Cigarettes smoking:

Adult males who smoke cigarettes probably have lowered sperm count than people who do not smoke cigarettes.

Stress and anxiety:

Serious or perhaps long term emotional stress, such as stress over fertility, could tamper with hormones required to generate sperm.

Excess weight:

Being overweight can easily damage fertility in a number of ways, such as immediately impacting sperm and even by resulting in hormone alterations that lessen male fertility.

Laboratory tests and medical diagnosis to ascertain low sperm count

If you consult a physician since you are having problems getting your spouse expectant, she or he will certainly attempt to figure out the root cause. Even when your physician believes low sperm count is the issue, it is suggested that your spouse is examined to exclude prospective participating elements and even evaluate if assisted reproductive techniques might be needed.

Tests and medical diagnosis to find low sperm count consist of the following:

Basic physical exams as well as a medical background to find out low sperm count causes:

This consists of an evaluation of the genitals and also asking around any specific hereditary problems, long-term health issues, sickness, wounds or surgical treatments that might have an effect on fertility. Your physician could also inquire about sexual behavior along with your sexual growth.

Semen evaluation:

Sperm count is usually based on checking the semen under a microscope to find just how many sperms emerge within squares on a grid pattern. In some instances, a personal computer may be employed to calculate sperm count.

To gather a semen sample, your physician would have you masturbate and then ejaculate into a particular container. It is also likely that you can gather sperm for a test when having intercourse, utilizing a unique condom. Since sperm counts usually fluctuate, usually a number of semen evaluation exams are carried out in a period of time to assure correct results.

Fresh sperms are created constantly in the testicles and require around 42 to 76 days to develop fully. Hence, a present semen examination shows your condition in the last 3 months. Any affirmative modifications you might have produced will not appear for many months.

The single most typical reasons behind low sperm count are an imperfect or incorrect collection of a sperm sample. Almost all physicians are going to verify two or more semen samples as time passes to guarantee uniformity between trials.

To confirm accuracy and reliability in a collection, your physician will:

  • Request that you ensure most of your semen should make it into the collection beaker or in the collection condom whenever you ejaculate.
  • Enable you to refrain from ejaculating for a minimum of one yet no more in comparison to eleven days before gathering a sample.
  • Pick up the second sample at least one to 14 days after the first.
  • Enable you to prevent the use of lubricants since these things could affect sperm motility.

Semen evaluation results

Standard sperm densities vary from fifteen million to more than two hundred million sperm per milliliter of semen. You will be affected by a low sperm count when you have less than fifteen million sperm per milliliter or lower than 39 million sperm total per ejaculate.

Your own potential for having your spouse expectant diminishes with lowering sperm counts. A few adult males have zero sperm in their semen. It is referred to as Azoospermia.

There are numerous elements involved with reproduction, and quantity of sperm in your own semen is just one. A few adult males with low sperm counts effortlessly father kids. Similarly, a few adult males with regular sperm counts are not able to father kids. Even though you possess sufficient sperm, additional factors are essential to attain pregnancy, such as standard sperm mobility (motility).

Additional tests

Based on preliminary investigations, your physician may suggest other tests search for low sperm count causes along with other feasible reasons behind male infertility. These could consist of:

Scrotal ultrasound:

This examination employs high-frequency sound waves to check out the testicles and also supporting structures.

Hormone assessment:

Your physician could suggest a blood evaluation, to figure out the volume of hormones created by the pituitary gland as well as testicles, which perform an important role in sexual growth as well as sperm generation.

Post-ejaculation urinalysis:

Sperm in your own urine may show that your sperms are going back into the bladder as opposed to going out from your penis at the time of ejaculation (retrograde ejaculation).

Hereditary checks:

If you are having low sperm count then, hereditary reasons might also be involved. A blood evaluation may uncover whether or not there are actually delicate modifications in the Y chromosome — signals of a hereditary abnormality. Hereditary tests may also be required to analyze a variety of congenital or even hereditary syndromes.

Testicular biopsy:

This evaluation entails extracting samples from the testicle with a needle. The end results of the testicular biopsy can say whether sperm generation is regular or not. In case it is not, then your condition is more than likely to be brought on by congestion or perhaps an additional problem with sperm transfer. But, this evaluation is usually utilized in some scenarios which are not frequently used to detect the reasons for infertility.

Anti-sperm antibody checks:

These types of checks, that are utilized to look for immune cells (antibodies) that assault sperm as well as influence their capability to work, are not common.

Professional sperm operates checks: Numerous assessments may be used to examine precisely how nicely your sperm stay alive after ejaculation, just how nicely they are able to enter an egg and also whether or not there is any difficulty in sticking to the egg.

Transrectal ultrasound:

A tiny lubricated wand is placed into your anal cavity to look at your prostate, and also for blockages of the tubes that bear semen (ejaculatory ducts as well as seminal vesicles).

Medical treatments and medications

Low sperm count treatment options involve:

Surgery treatment:

For instance, a Varicocele is sometimes surgically resolved or just a blocked vas deferens restored. Previous vasectomies could be corrected. In situations where absolutely no sperm can be found in the ejaculate, sperm is often retrieved straight from the testicles or perhaps epididymis utilizing sperm retrieval methods.

The treatment of infections:

Antibiotics will treat infection of the reproductive path, yet this doesn’t constantly recover fertility.

Treatment methods for sexual intercourse issues:

Medicine or guidance will help develop fertility in circumstances like erectile dysfunction or even premature ejaculation.

Hormone treatment options and medicinal drugs:

Your physician could suggest hormone substitution or medicines in situations where infertility is due to higher or lower amounts of selected hormones and issues with the manner the entire body utilizes human hormones.

Assisted reproductive technology to treat low sperm count:

ART treatment options include getting sperm by means of natural ejaculation, clinical extraction or from donor human beings, based on your particular situation as well as aspirations. The sperms are then put into the woman’s genital path, or may be utilized for in vitro fertilization or perhaps intracytoplasmic sperm injection and Intracytoplasmic Morphologically selected Sperm Injection.

If low sperm count treatment methods fail:

In exceptional situations, male fertility issues cannot be dealt with and then it is not possible for a male to father a kid. If it is the situation, you as well as your companion can certainly think about either utilizing sperm from a donor or perhaps adopting a kid.

The way of life as well as natural home remedies:

There are actually actions you have to take in your own home to improve your own possibilities of getting your spouse pregnant, such as:

Improving the regularity of sexual intercourse:

Getting sexual intercourse each day or simply almost every other day starting no less than 4 days before ovulation boosts your own likelihood of having your spouse expectant.

Experiencing sexual activity whenever fertilization can be done:

Any woman will probably get expectant in the course of ovulation — which happens in the midst of the menstrual cycle, between periods. This may ensure sperm, which could survive a few days, exist whenever pregnancy is feasible.

Staying away from lubricants:

Certain lubricants like Astroglide or K-Y jelly, solutions, and even saliva may damage sperm movements as well as functionality. Consult your physician for sperm-safe lubricants.

Precautions to prevent low sperm count:

To safeguard your fertility, stay away from well-known elements which can result in low sperm count as well as quality. For instance:

  • Do not smoke cigarettes.
  • Restrict or else refrain from alcoholic beverages.
  • Stay away from adulterous drugs.
  • Speak with your physician regarding medicines which can result in low sperm count.
  • Manage a healthy and balanced weight.
  • Keep away from high temperature.
  • Handle stress.
  • Stay away from subjection to chemical pesticides, heavy metals along with other harmful toxins.






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