The Signs of a Low Sperm Count
For most men, concerns about the quality and quantity of their sperm arise only when there is difficulty conceiving. Unless you experienced previous cancer treatment, which is known to negatively impact fertility, or faced a groin/spinal cord injury, a sperm issue is likely to come as a surprise.
What does it mean to have a low sperm count?
Low sperm count refers to semen that contains fewer sperm than normal (less than 15 million sperm/mL). It is also known as oligospermia. In the event that no sperm are present, the condition is known as azoospermia.
What are the signs/symptoms of having a low sperm count?
- The inability to conceive naturally (no female fertility issue present)
- Sexual dysfunction (low libido, erectile dysfunction)
- Testicular abnormalities (pain/discomfort, lump(s), or swelling)
- Evidence of a hormonal or chromosomal issue (loss of body/facial hair)
If any of the above symptoms are present, a visit to a physician is recommended in order to obtain a diagnosis and begin a treatment plan.
What causes low sperm count?
A wide range of medical and lifestyle factors can contribute to issues with sperm count. Some of these include:
- Certain medications
- Genetic causes
- Overheating of the testicles
- Alcohol consumtion
How is low sperm count treated?
The first step in treating low sperm count is to analyze the patient’s sperm to determine how many sperm are present as well as the concentration, motility, and morphology. A physical examination is also performed in order to determine if an underlying health issue exists.
A treatment plan will be recommended based on your individual diagnosis. Surgery and medication are possible treatment options, with one or both often linked with lifestyle changes to encourage better overall health.
It is important to note that there are many factors that can contribute to a male fertility issue such as having a low sperm count. The intensity of an exercise routine or lack thereof, steroid use, certain medications, previous injuries, exposure to heat, and other things can cause fertility issues. Bringing your concerns to an experienced male fertility specialist sooner rather than later is recommended.
If you have questions about low sperm count, low sperm count treatment or low sperm count symptoms, please contact the Male Fertility & Sexual Medicine Specialists today.