Low Sperm Count (Sperm Deficiency) Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

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Do you want to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of sperm deficiency? Then you are on the right page.

The complete absence of sperm is called azoospermia and low sperm count is called oligospermia.

Low sperm count causes a lot of difficulties in a man’s sex life. Knowing a low sperm count can help in many different ways, such as increasing confidence, better chances of pregnancy, and lower levels of stress.

In this article, we will tell you about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of sperm deficiency, what are the effects of low sperm count, and how you can treat flame sperm count.

What is the Normal Sperm Count?

A normal sperm count ranges from 15 million sperm to more than 200 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter, or 39 million sperm per ejaculation, is considered anything less.

Symptoms of Low Sperm Count

The first and most important sign of low sperm count is the inability to contribute to conceiving a child when the woman has no reproductive problems. There may be no other obvious signs or symptoms.

  • Problems with sexual function – low sex drive or difficulty in maintaining an erection ie erectile dysfunction
  • Pain, swelling, or a lump in the testicle area
  • Decreased facial or body hair

When Should You Go To The Doctor?

Are unable to conceive a child after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse with their partner

  • The problem of erection or ejaculation,
  • Showing low sex drive or other problems with sexual activity
  • There is pain, discomfort, a lump or swelling in the testicular area
  • Have a genetic history of testicles, prostate or sexual problems
  • Have undergone surgery of the groin, testicle, penis, or scrotum

Causes of Low Sperm Count

There are 3 main reasons for low sperm count in men.

1. Medical Cases:

Low sperm count can be caused by many health problems and medical treatments. Some of these include:

Varicocele: A varicocele is an inflammation of the veins that drains the testicles. It is a common cause of male infertility.

Infection: Some infections can interfere with sperm production and sperm health which prevents the passage of sperm. These include some sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia and testicular inflamed testicles, and other infections of the urinary tract or reproductive organs.

Ejaculation Problems: Various health conditions can cause ejaculation, including diabetes, spinal cord injury, and surgery of the bladder, prostate, or urethra. Some medications can also result in retrograde ejaculation, such as blood pressure-related drugs known as alpha-blockers.

Sperm Attack Antibodies: Anti-sperm antibodies are cells of the immune system that mistakenly identify sperm as harmful invaders and destroy them.

Tumors: Cancer and non-malignant tumors can directly affect male reproductive organs or glands that release reproductive-related hormones (such as the pituitary gland). Surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy to treat tumors can also affect male fertility.

Under Development of Scrotum: During fetal development, one or both testicles sometimes fail to descend from the abdomen into the sac that normally contains the testicle.

Hormone Imbalance: The hypothalamus, pituitary, and testicles produce hormones that are necessary to make sperm. Changes in these hormones, as well as other systems such as the thyroid and adrenal, can also lead to decreased sperm production.

Sperm Duct Defects: Sperm carrying tubes can be damaged by disease or injury. Some men are born with an obstruction in the part of the testicle that stores sperm or ejects sperm from the testicle.

Chromosomal Defects: Underlying disorders such as Klinefelter syndrome – in which a male is born with two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome instead of one X – causes abnormal development of male reproductive organs.

Celiac Disease: A digestive disorder caused by sensitivity to gluten, celiac disease can cause male infertility.

Some Medicines: testosterone replacement therapy, long-term use of anabolic steroids, cancer drugs (chemotherapy), some antifungals and antibiotics, some ulcer medications can inhibit sperm production and reduce male fertility.

2. Environmental Reasons:

Industrial Chemicals: Benzene, toluene, xylene, herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, painting materials, and lead exposure can reduce sperm count.

Heavy Metal Exposure: Infertility occurs due to exposure to lead or other heavy metals.

Radiation or X-ray: Sperm production can be reduced by exposure to radiation. It may take several years for sperm production to return to normal.

Warming the Testicles: Repeated use of a sauna or hot tub can temporarily reduce your sperm count. Sitting for long periods, wearing tight clothes, or prolonged

Laptops: Using a laptop on your lap can reduce sperm production. The type of underwear you choose is unlikely to significantly affect your sperm count.

Prolonged Cycling: Prolonged cycling is another possible cause of low fertility due to the overheating of the testicles.

3. Health, Lifestyle, and Other Reasons

Other reasons for low sperm count include:

  • Illicit drug use
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking tobacco
  • emotional stress
  • obesity

Prevention of Low Sperm Count

There are some methods to prevent low sperm count.

  • Do not smoke
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Eat nutritious food
  • Reduce stress
  • do not do drugs
  • Do not wear tight underwear
  • Lose weight
  • Avoid using lubricant while having sex

Diagnosis of Sperm Deficiency

Testing and testing of low sperm count include the following.

Medical History:

This includes an examination of your genitals and asking questions about any inherited conditions, chronic health problems, illnesses, injuries, or surgeries that may affect fertility. Your doctor may also ask about your sexual habits with your partner.

Semen Analysis:

A low sperm count is known as part of a semen analysis test. Sperm count is usually determined by examining semen under a microscope to determine how many sperm appear within the squares on a grid pattern. In some cases, a computer can be used to measure sperm count.

Semen samples can be obtained in a few different ways. You can provide a sample by masturbating and ejaculating in a special container in the doctor’s office.

Due to religious or cultural beliefs, some men prefer an alternative method of semen collection. In such cases, semen can be collected using a special condom during sexual intercourse.

Other Tests:

Based on the initial findings, your doctor may recommend additional tests to look for your low sperm count and other possible causes of male infertility.

  • Scrotal ultrasound.
  • Hormone test
  • Post-ejaculation urinal
  • genetic testing
  • Testis biopsy
  • Anti-sperm antibody test
  • Special sperm function test
  • Transverse ultrasound

Treatment of Sperm Deficiency

Low sperm count includes:

Surgery: In cases where no sperm is present in ejaculation, sperm can often be obtained directly from the testicles or epididymis using sperm retrieval techniques.

Treating infections: Antibiotics can cure an infection of the reproductive tract, but it does not always restore fertility.

Hormone treatment and medications: Your doctor may recommend hormone replacement or medications in cases where infertility is caused by high or low levels of certain hormones or problems with the body’s hormone use.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): ART treatment involves normal ejaculation, obtaining sperm through surgical extraction, depending on your specific situation and desires.

Low Sperm Count Complications

If there is a decrease in sperm count there are certain complications:

  • Unable to be a father
  • Loss of interest in sexual intercourse
  • There may be surgery which may not be effective
  • Invest in expensive procedures like IVF for pregnancy

Alternative Medicine for Sperm Deficiency

Studies showing potential benefits on improving sperm count or quality include:

  • Black seed
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Folic acid
  • Horse Chestnut (Eskin)
  • L-carnitine
  • Panax ginseng
  • Zinc


After reading this article, we are sure that we have given you complete help regarding low sperm count or sperm deficiency. We all know that when you have a low sperm count, it causes many problems in your personal life, especially for men.

By going through this article you have already got an idea about low sperm count, its causes, and treatment. Did you like this article? Please let us know in the comment section below.

Sraya is Health & Nutrition Content Writer at Zotezo since 2019. Her master's in Zoology has helped her to pull out critical scientific aspects of health and nutrition into user-friendly and easy to understand language for the readers. You can find her articles on medium and wordpress!
Dr. Ashok Kumar Dubey is a practicing Ayurvedic Physician and an Ayurvedic Sexologist with an experience of 19 years. He is located in Varanasi. Dr. Ashok Kumar Dubey practices at the Suman Ayurvedic Clinic in Varanasi. The Suman Ayurvedic Clinic is situated at #98, Mahamana Puri Colony ITI Varanasi BHU, Karaundhi, Varanasi. He pursued his BAMS in the year 2000 from Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University, Bihar.

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