Currently, it has been observed how fertility problems, commonly associated with women, also affect men. In fact, 40% of fertility problems are due to male factors. And within that percentage, 90% the greatest difficulty lies in a low sperm count also known as oligozoospermia.

Low sperm count is one of the main indicators of male infertility. However, it could also be an indicator of other health problems, such as: cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders and bone damage.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A LOW SPERM COUNT?

The diagnosis is given after undergoing a spermatogram, that is, a semen test, which allows a sperm count to be carried out. To find out if there is a  low sperm count, the patient’s sample is viewed under a microscope, allowing the number of sperm to appear within a few squares in a grid pattern.

Spermatograms or sperm count tests have the main function of knowing the quality of semen and also allow diagnosing disorders, such as: azoospermia, oligozoospermia, asthenozoospermia, teratozoospermia, necrozoospermia, among others.

On the other hand, a sperm count is considered lower than normal if you have fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. This result decreases the chances that one of the sperm fertilizes the woman’s egg to produce pregnancy. However, in certain cases some men with a low sperm count are able to father children.

What are the causes of low sperm count?

The issue of male infertility is not as simple as you think, on the contrary, it is complex since there are a number of causes that can range from genetic to physical, hormonal and environmental factors.

In addition to this, there are also two other important causes to evaluate; one of them is slow sperm motility, that is, when the sperm cannot reach the egg to fertilize it, because they remain immobile, in addition to abnormal morphology, which must also be considered.

In some cases, one of these two reasons, or both, can be given, although it cannot always be determined with precision.

Some of the physical causes can include varicocele, or inflammation of the veins in the testicles, which causes the quality of the sperm to decrease. In most of these cases, the problem is reversible.

Similarly, infections count, as these can interfere with the health or production of sperm, as well as can cause scars that block their passage.

Another reason for male infertility is related to undescended testicles, or defects in the tubules that carry sperm.

It is important to note that some medications can also cause low sperm counts, such as antibiotics, steroids, or cancer therapies.

As for chromosomal causes, we can mention Klinefelter syndrome, which can cause abnormal development in the male reproductive organs. Likewise, cystic fibrosis, Kartagener’s syndrome and Kallmann’s syndrome should be ruled out.

In another order of ideas, when examining the causes of male infertility, it should also be considered that both the pituitary gland, as well as the hypothalamus and the testicles, produce important hormones for the production of sperm and when there is an imbalance in this system, the count can also decrease.

Among the environmental factors, there is exposure to industrial chemicals, or heavy metals, exposure to radiation or X-rays; All of these factors can alter and damage the quality and quantity of sperm.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a low sperm count include:

• Sparse facial or body hair or other signs of a chromosomal or hormonal abnormality.
• Pain, swelling, or lumps in the testicular area.
• Sexual function problems, for example low sexual desire or difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction).

It is necessary to take into account that, in some cases, such symptoms may be caused by an underlying problem, such as an inherited chromosomal abnormality, a hormonal imbalance, dilated testicular veins or another disease that obstructs the circulation of sperm.

Treatment

In cases of not being able to get pregnant due to this cause of male infertility, treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): These include obtaining sperm through normal ejaculation, surgical extraction, or from donors. , depending on the situation and specific wishes.
  • IVF/ICSI

Do you have any case of male infertility? Contact us!