Sperm quality isn’t something that comes to mind every day. If you and your spouse want to conceive or grow a family, the quantity and quality of swimmers you have may be the most important consideration.
While only one sperm is required to fertilize an egg, the route to get there might be challenging. The higher your sperm count, the greater your chances.
Let’s look at why you could have a low sperm count, how to tell if you do, and what procedures are available to help you enhance your reserves or improve your chances of getting pregnant.
After a climax, the average guy will ejaculate roughly 250 million sperm cells per millilitre of semen. Only a few hundred of them will make it into the fallopian tubes for fertilization, so you can understand how tough the process becomes when the initial deposit is greatly reduced. A man’s sperm count must be less than 15 million sperm cells per millilitre of semen to be considered low.
Male factor infertility, according to experts, will become a more common problem in the future. This is due to a number of environmental, physical, and behavioural elements that have long-term consequences, and if men don’t act now, their prospects of repairing their reproductive health will be slim.
The inability a child to conceive is the most common symptom of low sperm count. There might be no other apparent signs or symptoms. An underlying condition, such as an inherited chromosomal flaw, a hormonal imbalance, dilated testicular veins, or an illness that inhibits sperm from flowing through, may produce signs and symptoms in certain men.
Symptoms of a low sperm count include:
The testicles (testes), as well as the hypothalamus and pituitary glands — structures in your brain that create hormones that activate sperm production — must all operate normally for sperm to be produced. When sperm are released in the testicles, they are transported through delicate tubes until they mingle with semen and are ejected from the penis. Any of these systems can have an impact on sperm production.
Here are some possible reasons for sperm count low:
Varicocele: A varicocele is an enlargement of the veins that drain the testis. It’s the most prevalent cause of male infertility that can be reversed. Although the actual reason for infertility caused by varicoceles is uncertain, it may be linked to poor testicular temperature regulation. This increased local temperature due to varicocele is not good for sperm health. Varicoceles cause sperm to be of lower quality.
Infection: Some infections can affect sperm production or health, or induce scarring that prevents sperm from passing through. Some sexually transmitted illnesses, such as gonorrhoea or HIV, cause inflammation of the epididymis (epididymitis) or testicles (orchitis). Childhood infection with mumps can cause permanent damage to the testicles and hamper sperm production.
Ejaculation Problems: During the climax, semen enters the bladder instead of exiting the tip of the penis, resulting in retrograde ejaculation. Certain drugs, such as blood pressure medications known as alpha-blockers, might cause ejaculatory issues. Some ejaculatory issues can be remedied, while others are irreversible. Sperm may still be extracted directly from the testicles in most situations with persistent ejaculation issues. Use of TESE, PESA and testicular biopsy of procuring sperms directly is beneficial for such couples.
Tumours: Male reproductive organs can be affected directly by cancers and nonmalignant tumours or indirectly through glands that release hormones associated with reproduction, such as the pituitary gland. Male fertility can be harmed by surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy used to treat tumours.
Undescended Testicles: One or both testicles may fail to descend from the abdomen into the sac that typically holds the testicles during foetal development (scrotum). Men with this illness are more likely to have lower fertility.
Hormone Imbalances: Hormones produced by the brain, pituitary, and testicles are required for sperm production. Changes in these hormones, as well as those from other systems, including the thyroid and adrenal gland, can impair sperm production.
Chromosome Defects: Men’s reproductive organs develop abnormally in inherited illnesses such as Klinefelter’s syndrome, in which a male is born with two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome instead of one X and one Y. Cystic fibrosis, Kallmann’s syndrome, and Kartagener’s syndrome are some of the other genetic disorders linked to infertility.
Environmental Causes: Low sperm counts may be caused by prolonged exposure to benzene, toluene, xylene, herbicides, pesticides, organic solvents, painting pigments, lead, or other heavy metals. Radiation can cause sperm production to decrease. Sperm production might take many years to return to normal. Sperm production can be permanently impaired by strong amounts of radiation.
Overheating the Testicles: Sperm production and function are harmed by high temperatures. Although research is sparse and inconsistent, regular use of saunas or hot tubs may reduce sperm count temporarily.
Lifestyle: Anabolic steroids, which are used to increase muscle strength and development, can shrink the testicles and reduce sperm production. Cocaine or marijuana use may also affect the quantity and quality of your sperm. Alcohol use lowers testosterone levels and reduces sperm production. Smokers’ sperm levels may be lower than non-smokers’.
It might be challenging to get the answers on your own, but Dr. Banker is here to make the process easier than ever. Our team of professionals can assist you and your partner in determining the causes of your infertility challenges, as well as provide you with a variety of treatment choices. Low sperm count should not be viewed as a barrier to your future; rather, it should be viewed as an opportunity to improve your health and maximise your results with each effort.
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