Low Sperm Count

Low sperm count is a condition called oligospermia. This is the term used to describe the condition when the sperm count is low, less than 15 million sperm/ml. The average man can produce this many sperm multiple times per day. If there are no sperm at all in a semen sample, the condition is termed azoospermia. When you are trying to have children, the number of sperm a man ejaculates is quite important. Having a low sperm count decreases the odds that one of your sperm will fertilize your partner's egg, resulting in pregnancy. Nonetheless, many men who have a low sperm count are still able to father a child. Sometimes it is necessary for Artificial Reproductive Technology like IUI or IVF to be utilized, but whether a couple is Trying To Conceive Naturally or preparing for an IUI or IVF cycle, low sperm counts can be improved to increase the likelihood of a successful and healthy pregnancy.

There are many potential causes for low sperm count. In some cases, an underlying problem such as an inherited chromosomal abnormality, a hormonal imbalance, varicoceles, or a condition that blocks the passage of sperm may be the cause. External factors such as smoking, drug usage, poor diet and lack of exercise can also all decrease sperm count:

  • Heat can have a detrimental effect on normal sperm production. It is for this reason that nature has placed the testicles outside the body in the scrotum rather than in the abdomen like the ovaries. Soaking in a bathtub full of hot water can almost halt sperm production completely.

  • Obese men can also become sterile because extra body insulation can overheat the testicles.

  • Men whose jobs involve long hours of sitting may have infertility due to the increased heat to the genital area.

  • Very frequent intercourse can lead to lowered sperm count due to demand exceeding supply.

  • Smoking over 20 cigarettes a day has been shown to reduce both the sperm count and sperm motility.

  • Excessive alcohol intake can lead to infertility. Alcohol can lower the production of sperm and of the male hormone testosterone.

  • Stress and fatigue can potentially interfere with sperm production.

  • Exposure to heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins may lead to low sperm production, and abnormal morphology.

  • Testosterone replacement therapy, long-term anabolic steroid use, cancer medications (chemotherapy), certain antifungal and antibiotic medications, some ulcer medications, and a wide variety of other medications can impair sperm production and decrease male fertility.

Addressing any of the above external factors is an important step in increasing male sperm count. Here at TCRA we carefully review health history, go over lifestyle factors and offer nutritional advice to help you or your spouse increase male fertility. Acupuncture is a valuable tool to treat male factor conditions as it increases circulation and lowers stress levels. Additionally, our powerful and highly effective male factor Chinese herbs may be prescribed. Call our team of male reproductive health experts to learn what we can do for you!


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