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Low Sperm Count and Fertility

Oligospermia is a term that means you have a low sperm count. One medical definition is that you have fewer than 15 million sperm in 1 milliliter of semen. A typical sperm count is more than 15 million sperm per 1 milliliter of semen.

Besides being known as low sperm count, oligospermia is also called oligozoospermia. A severely low sperm count (fewer than 5 million sperm in 1 milliliter of semen) is also known as severe oligospermia.

What is the difference between oligospermia and azoospermia?

Oligospermia means that you do have a measurable amount of sperm in your semen, but the numbers are lower than the typical numbers. If you have azoospermia, it means there no sperm seen in your semen.

Having a low sperm count is a significant factor in infertility. You may be infertile if you’ve been trying to get pregnant (or get someone pregnant) for a year and haven’t yet done so. This means that for at least a year you’ve been having regular sex without using birth control methods.

How common is oligospermia?

Researchers aren’t sure how many people have oligospermia. The condition isn’t usually diagnosed unless a couple is trying to conceive and can’t. There are an estimated 180 million couples throughout the world who are dealing with infertility.

Infertility among people who have been assigned male at birth contributes to about half of the infertility issues overall. (Healthcare providers may call this male infertility or male-factor infertility.) This figure of about 50% includes situations where male factor infertility is the only factor and those more common situations where there are fertility factors in both partners.

What are the signs and symptoms of oligospermia?

The main sign or symptom of a low sperm count is the inability to conceive a baby with a partner after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse.

What causes a low sperm count?

There are a variety of things that could cause you to experience oligospermia or other sperm disorders. The list of causes include:

- Diseases, including those related to genetics, infection, hormones and obstructions (blockages).

- Environmental toxins.

- Heat.

- Drugs.

If the passage of sperm is blocked for some reason, such as by a tumor or swelling, it can affect the number of sperm found in ejaculate.


There are several reasons why an individual may have low sperm count. Medical, environmental and lifestyle choices can impact the number and quality of sperm. Production of sperm requires normal function of the male reproductive system. This includes the testicles, hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These glands, located in the brain, produce the hormones that trigger sperm production. After the sperm are produced in the testicles, they are transported through small tubes to mix with semen then ejaculated out of the penis.

If there are any problems within the system, the result may be fewer sperm being produced or ejaculated. Often, the exact cause of a low sperm count is not readily identifiable. There are also risk factors that can increase the likelihood of a lower sperm count.


There are a number of risk factors leading to this condition. They include:

- Tobacco use

- Drinking alcohol

- Using certain illegal drugs

- Obesity

- Depression

- Infection

- Exposure to toxins

- Overheated testicles

- Trauma to testicles

- Being born with a fertility disorder

- Tumors

- Chronic illness

- Cancer treatment

- Vasectomy or major abdominal or pelvic surgery

- A history of undescended testicles

You can lower your risks for low sperm count by living a healthy lifestyle and managing stress levels. Depending on the cause of your condition, various treatments are available. If you suspect you have a low sperm count and are concerned about conceiving a child, contact Chawla Nursing Home . We do in-house sperm analysis and offer a variety of treatments and solutions for issues of infertility. Contact us today to schedule a consultation appointment with one of our doctors.

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