Low sperm count, also known as oligospermia, is a condition where the semen a man ejaculates during orgasm contains fewer sperm than normal.
The World Health Organization defines a low sperm count as having fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.
Sperm count is just one factor in male fertility, and it’s important to consider sperm motility (movement) and morphology (shape) as well. If a man has a low sperm count and is experiencing fertility issues, it may impact his ability to father a child.
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However, it’s worth noting that conception can still occur, and assisted reproductive technologies may offer options in such cases. If someone is concerned about their sperm count or fertility, consulting with a healthcare professional or a fertility specialist is recommended for a thorough evaluation and appropriate guidance.
10 most common causes of low sperm count were listed below..
Hormonal Imbalances: Disruptions in hormonal signals, particularly involving the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and testicles, can impact sperm production.
Testicular Overheating: Prolonged exposure of the testicles to high temperatures, such as frequent hot baths, saunas, or wearing tight underwear, may reduce sperm count.
Medications: Certain medications, including some antibiotics, antifungals, and anabolic steroids, can adversely affect sperm production.
Genetic Factors: Inherited conditions, such as Klinefelter syndrome or chromosomal abnormalities, can contribute to low sperm count.
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Infections: Infections, especially those affecting the reproductive organs, can interfere with sperm production and function.
Ejaculation Problems: Issues with the ejaculation process, like retrograde ejaculation where semen enters the bladder instead of exiting the penis, can impact sperm count.
Exposure to Environmental Toxins: Prolonged exposure to environmental pollutants, pesticides, and industrial chemicals can have detrimental effects on sperm production.
Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, and poor diet can negatively impact sperm count and overall reproductive health.
Stress: Chronic stress may affect hormonal balance, potentially leading to a decrease in sperm production.
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Age-Related Factors: Advanced paternal age is associated with a decline in sperm quality and quantity, although the impact is generally less pronounced than in women.
It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation if there are concerns about low sperm count.