Oligospermia – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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Oligospermia – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Oligospermia – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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The decrease in sperm concentration in semen below the standard level (15 million per milliliter) is termed oligospermia or low sperm count. Low sperm count is one of the factors that decrease the chances of having a baby.

Normal sperm count – 15 million per milliliter to 200 million per milliliter

Low sperm count – Less than 15 million per milliliter 

How to know if I have a low sperm count?

You may visit a doctor if you and your partner are having problems conceiving. The problem of low sperm count is revealed through a diagnostic test called sperm analysis along with other hormone tests. Oligospermia may indicate health problems such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Hence the diagnosis of low sperm count demands a thorough medical examination.

If you have a low sperm count, you will have a problem with having a baby. This is the main sign of low sperm count. Other symptoms of oligospermia include –

  • Inflammation in the testicle area
  • Having sexual dysfunctions such as low libido, erection problem, etc
  • Decrease in masculine features due to hormonal imbalance/abnormality

Causes of low sperm count (oligospermia)

Given below are the common causes of low sperm count in men –

Overweight or obesity

High BMI is known to affect the quantity and quality of sperms. Men who are obese are likely to have low sperm count when compared to men with ideal BMI. Excess body fat adversely affects the male reproductive system. It affects the cells in the testes and this results in the development and function of sperm cells. 


Smoking decreases the sperm count and sperm quality causing infertility in males. 


Sexual problems increase with age and so does the risk of low sperm count. With advancing age sperms production retards. Although a man can have a baby it is less likely when compared to younger men.

Alcohol consumption 

Excessive alcohol intake lowers the sperm count and also affects the shape of sperm cells. 


Certain medicines and chemotherapy drugs cause low sperm count. 

Health issues

Health conditions such as sexually transmitted diseases, inflammation in the testicles, tumors, celiac disease, etc lead to low sperm count.


Stress affects physical, mental, and sexual health. The stress hormone i.e cortisol suppresses the male hormone testosterone, this affects the sperm quality and quantity. 

High temperature around the scrotum

Due to any reason when there is a rise in temperature around the genital it affects sperm production leading to low sperm count.

Treatment for oligospermia

The motive of treatment for low sperm count is to improve the fertility for conception. Treatment is administered depending on the underlying cause. Given below are the treatment options for curing oligospermia due to health problems. 


A surgical procedure is performed when the low sperm count is a result of blocked tubes. Sperm retrieval is done when there are no sperms in ejaculate.

Hormonal therapy

It is done when a low or high level of hormones is leading to low sperm count.


Medicines are recommended for the treatment of infections or to balance the hormones.

Assisted reproductive technique

ART is indicated when a couple wants to conceive under certain conditions. The treatment involves the extraction of sperms from ejaculation. the sperm is then inserted in females or used for other ARTs. 

Measures to improve conception in men with low sperm count

Have frequent sexual intercourse

If you have a low sperm count and you and your partner are struggling to have a baby then frequent sex can help in conception.

Avoid lubricants

Some lubricants affect the sperm’s movement and this prevents the sperm from reaching the egg.

Track the window

Having sexual intercourse during the ovulation period increases the chances of pregnancy.

Change in lifestyle

Following a healthy lifestyle and eating balanced nutritious food can help in weight management and this improves the sperm count.

Conclusion Low sperm count decreases the chances of fertility but it does not indicate the impossibility of pregnancy with your partner. Men with low sperm count can fertilize the egg which does not allow you to ignore the problem. Treatment and cure for oligospermia are important for smooth conception and to rule out other health conditions.

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