Oligozoospermia(Low Sperm Count): Causes & Treatment

Oligozoospermia(Low Sperm Count): Causes & Treatment

oligozoospermia

You might not realize you are experiencing low sperm count (also known as oligozoospermia or oligospermia) while trying to conceive a baby and failing. Further tests may reveal that you have less sperm than the average man. However, several causes of low sperm count have treatment options. 

Oligozoospermia Meaning

According to clinical definition, in 1 milliliter of semen, if you have less than 15 million sperm indicates a low sperm count. Over 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen is the average sperm count According to WHO.

How many men experience low sperm counts in their sperm is unknown, partly because not everyone with the condition gets diagnosed. Further, only males with trouble conceiving normally and want treatment undergo diagnosis. A low sperm count doesn’t eliminate the chances of natural conception but reduces your likelihood.

Types Of Oligozoospermia

There exist three types of oligozoospermia. Based on the low sperm count level, the doctor will diagnose the male with one of the types.

  • Mild oligospermia: When the spermatozoa amount discovered in a specimen of sperm varies from 14 to 5 million per milliliter.
  • Moderate oligospermia: There are between 5 and 10 million sperm per milliliter in the sample. In such cases, significant changes may be seen following adequate therapy and healthier life for the next few months. After this period, the doctor will perform the semen analysis again.
  • Severe oligospermia: If the sperm count ranges between 0 and 5 million sperm/mL, you have severe oligospermia.

What Causes Low Sperm Count?

It’s usual for your sperm concentration to vary over time, particularly as you become older. However, some medical problems and lifestyle choices might raise a person’s risk of oligozoospermia.

1. Varicocele

Varicocele, or enlarged veins in the scrotum, may cause oxidative stress, impede adequate blood supply to the testes, or limit testosterone levels, all of which can reduce sperm count. Further, Varicocele is a relatively frequent condition that develops throughout adolescence and frequently goes undiagnosed because of its mild symptoms.

2. Exposure to heat

Heat exposure may promote oxidative stress, which has a link to sperm destruction. Sitting for lengthy amounts of time every day, putting computers or other high-temperature gadgets near your genital harms your sperm. Further, it affects sperm motility, sperm count, and viability. Even utilizing saunas or hot baths or wearing tight clothes affects sperm count and it can also lead you to asthenozoospermia.

3. Toxic and radioactive exposure

Radiation, as well as insecticides, lead, metal, and petrochemicals, may harm sperm count. Further, males working in an environment regularly getting exposed to such chemicals have lower sperm quality and count.

Drug uses, drinking and smoking are major causes of low sperm count

4. STIs

STIs may lead to fertility problems like oligospermia. Although if you don’t have any indications, an ongoing bacterial infection or virus might have a harmful influence on your reproductive tract. Even while HPV – the most prevalent STI — does not have symptoms in several men, research suggests that it affects sperm production. So men must regularly test themselves for STIs and, if diagnosed, get treatment immediately.

5. Hormone imbalances

Several hormones are responsible for male fertility. So these include luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, and testosterone. These hormones and a few others play an essential role in spermatogenesis. However, if some of these hormones are out of balance, your sperm concentration may suffer, causing problems like oligozoospermia and hypogonadism.

6. Ejaculation issues

Ejaculation issues are another issue that causes low sperm count in men. Retrograde ejaculation is on of such ejaculation issue that create sperm count problems. It usually happen due to injuries, bladder or prostate cancer surgeries, and infections like prostatitis and gonorrhea.

7. Drug usage

Anabolic steroid drugs used to increase muscular strength and growth might cause testicles to shrink, reducing sperm production.

8. Smoking

smoking is also harmful to your sperm. Men smoking have lower sperm counts than men who do not smoke.

9. Weight issues

Being overweight or obese may raise your chances of low sperm counts in various ways. Excessive body fat and low muscle mass maintain testosterone levels below normal, resulting in poor sperm quality.

10. Stress

One of the most prevalent causes of oligozoospermia is stress, which affects sperm production by causing hormonal imbalance and hypogonadism.

11. Genetic Defect

genetic defects such as Klinefelter syndrome and undecadent testicles are one of the major cause of low sperm count in men. These factors directly affect the sperm production and cause male infertility issues.

Effects Of Oligozoospermia On Fertility

A few men with oligospermia still can conceive despite possessing lower sperm counts. However, fertilization may be more challenging and require more effort than for couples without reproductive problems. Further, several men with oligozoospermia may be able to conceive without difficulty, despite low sperm count.

The most prevalent causes of oligospermia also enhance a man’s likelihood of experiencing other reproductive concerns, and this involves issues with sperm motility.

Sperm motility describes the “activity” of sperm. Other normal behavior enables sperm to move toward an egg for fertilization without difficulty. Further, sperm with impaired motility may be incapable of reaching an egg. Additionally, sperm may travel unanticipatedly, preventing it from contacting an egg.

Oligozoospermia/Low Sperm Count Treatment

1. Surgery

If Varicocele causes oligospermia, the condition will need surgery to address it. During the operation, the physician will constrict the swollen vein and redirect blood circulation to another vein.

2. Medication

The underlying causes for oligospermia include hormone imbalance, infection, inflammation, etc. The therapy will consist of medications, and the medication stops future sperm count decline; nevertheless, additional treatment is necessary.

3. Hormone Therapies

Several hormonal medicines and injections may restore the hormones and increase sperm count.

4. Lifestyle changes

Weight loss and maintenance of healthy body weight may increase sperm count. Further, It may also lower your risk for various other illnesses. Avoid using alcohol, drugs, and smoke to increase sperm counts.

ART is one of the most widely used Low sperm count treatment which is suggested by doctors

5. Assistant Reproduction Techniques (ART)

While struggling with Oligozoospermia, Assisted Reproduction Techniques like IVF or IUI may assist you in approaching parenthood. However, you must first find a reputable reproductive clinic and then consult with a fertility specialist to discuss your alternatives.

If you are attempting to become a father but conception does not occur spontaneously, you and your spouse should consult with a fertility specialist and undergo fertility testing. If you have been diagnosed with oligospermia, you should see a reproductive specialist as soon as possible.

Treating Oligozoospermia: Home Remedies

Some of the natural methods to treat low sperm count include:

  • Get sufficient exercise and rest.
  • Stop smoking
  • Prevent excessive use of alcohol and drugs
  • Avoid using certain prescription drugs.
  • Receive adequate vitamin D
  • Take ashwagandha (moderate or prescribed amounts)
  • Take Ginseng (moderate or prescribed amounts)
  • Eat more meals high in antioxidants to increase sperm count.

Bottom Line

The symptoms of low sperm count may be discovered while you and your spouse attempt to conceive. You must see your healthcare professional if you engage in unprotected intercourse for a year or more. Further, A low sperm count may indicate various conditions, but it does not exclude parenthood. Ask your physician about procedures or procedures that may increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is oligozoospermia genetic?

In other circumstances, oligozoospermia may be a hereditary condition. Oligozoospermia may be caused by genetic abnormalities such as Klinefelter syndrome and Y chromosome microdeletions, and these conditions are often inherited from the man’s father.

2. Which drugs cause oligospermia?

Beta-blockers, blood pressure drugs, and antibiotics may cause issues with ejaculation and a decrease in sperm count.

3. Which food improves sperm?

Several foods boost sperm quality. So these may include dark chocolate, oysters, zinc-rich food, walnuts, etc.

4. What causes severe oligozoospermia?

A male with severe oligozoospermia has an abnormally low sperm count. Further, this may be due to various circumstances, including genetic abnormalities, infections, and exposure to specific chemicals and drugs.

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