What Is Oligospermia? Low Sperm Count Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
What Is Oligospermia ?
Oligospermia is a type of male infertility condition found in men with low sperm count in their semen. A healthy amount of sperm in a man is usually required for successful conception of pregnancy. As per by WHO, oligospermia is defined as sperm count is less than 15 million sperm per ml.
Oligospermia can be classified into three categories:
- Mild oligospermia sperm count = 10 to 15 million sperm/mL.
- Moderate oligospermia sperm count = 5 to 10 million sperm/mL.
- Severe oligospermia sperm count = 0 and 5 million sperm/mL.
Causes of Oligospermia or low sperm count include:
Hypothalamus and pituitary gland Hormonal imbalances: The sperm production gets impaired if any alteration occurs in these hormones produced by hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
Ejaculation problems: In some patients semen reverses back to the bladder instead of flowing out of the penis. This condition reduces the sperm count and causes infertility in men.
Undescended testicles: Men born with this condition are more likely to be infertile. If during fetal development, the testicles do not descend from the abdomen into the testicular sac / scrotum, then the fertility of that person gets impacted.
Anti-sperm antibodies: Sometimes immune system cells (anti-sperm antibodies) tend to kill the sperms by mistakenly identifying them as harmful pathogens. This causes low sperm count.
Chromosomal abnormalities: Certain genetic conditions can cause abnormal development in the male reproductive organs.
Obstructions: Obstruction is one of the common causes of oligospermia. The reproductive system tubes that carry sperm, if blocked by some conditions like cystic fibrosis or any injury due to prior surgeries and infections, can lead to a low flow of semen.
Trauma or injury: Certain surgical procedures like prostate surgeries, vasectomy, hernia repair surgery, scrotal surgeries etc. cause reduction in the sperm count in your seme ejaculate.
medications: Certain medicines like testosterone replacement therapy, antibiotics, antifungal, ulcer medicines, chemotherapy drugs, etc. can interfere sperm production.
Environmental factors: Exposure to chemicals, radiation, and heavy metals may hamper sperm production.
Symptoms of Oligospermia
When to See a Doctor
If you find any of the above-given symptoms, then seeking help from a fertility expert as soon as possible is the best option for you. The fertility expert would further investigate and diagnose the condition and will provide guidance on further treatment accordingly.