Men’s low sperm counts, also known as oligospermia, is a fertility concern that isn’t generally considered or discussed. And what are the signs of low sperm count & how to increase it? Eager to know more about it?
Let’s delve deep! Low sperm count denotes a lower-than-normal sperm count in the semen you discharge during ejaculation or orgasm.
Sperm counts under 15 million per milliliter are regarded by physicians as low and may have an impact on your marital life if you or your spouse desires to expand your family.
Nevertheless, certain lifestyle decisions and natural treatments can boost the hormones that regulate spermatogenesis, promoting sperm health and increasing sperm count. In this write-up, let’s look more closely at the signs and causes of why you might have a low sperm count and some potential solutions to raise it.
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What Is Low Sperm Count?
Low sperm counts can make it more challenging for a male to impregnate his spouse, although successful pregnancies are still very much possible.
Approximately one in three couples who are having trouble becoming pregnant have sperm issues, including low sperm counts and poor sperm quality.
A male has a low sperm count when there are less than 15 million swimmers or sperms per milliliter of semen, commonly known as oligozoospermia or oligozoospermia.
Signs and Symptoms of Low Sperm Count
A low sperm count may not have overt symptoms or indicators other than an inability to conceive after a year of unsupervised sexual activity.
Some underlying issues in certain men, for instance, hormonal imbalance, chromosomal abnormalities, swollen testicular veins, or blockage of sperm flow condition, may result in symptoms. Following are a few signs and symptoms to be aware of:
- Swelling, lumps, or discomfort in or near the testicles
- Low sex drive
- Less hair on the face or body
- Erectile dysfunction
Low Sperm Count Causes
Oligospermia and other sperm abnormalities can result from a variety of conditions. The intricate process of producing sperm necessitates the normal operation of several body organs, including the testicles, hypothalamus, and pituitary glands, and complications with any of these systems can impact the production of sperm.
In addition, being overweight, injuries or surgeries to the testis or the surrounding area, and using specific drugs are also risk factors. Moreover, environmental, lifestyle-related, and medical categories can be used to classify the causes of poor sperm quality.
Overexposure to several environmental factors might alter sperm production, quality, and functions. For example, low sperm counts may be caused by prolonged contact with industrial chemicals such as toluene, xylene, benzenes, and paints. Also, infertility may result from heavy metal exposure, such as lead.
In addition, sperm production may be harmed by radiation exposure from X-rays or other sources.
Your testicles can produce less sperm when they are overheated. Prolonged hours of sitting, regular hot baths or saunas, tight clothing, or long use of a laptop atop your lap can elevate the temperature within your scrotum and somewhat lower sperm production.
Numerous medical conditions and therapeutic procedures might result in low sperm counts. Similarly, hormone and sperm production may be impacted by cancer therapies involving surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. However, several significant medical factors include:
- Low sperm counts may be more likely in those with histories of testicular symptoms, trauma, or operations and genetic diseases such as Klinefelter syndrome.
- Diseases like cystic fibrosis may inhibit the ability of sperm to penetrate the semen.
- Low testosterone levels and other hormonal imbalances, such as in the case of hypogonadism, insufficient sex hormone production occurs in the sex glands.
- Varicocele, swelling in the testicular veins that drain them, is among the most typical reasons for male infertility.
Lifestyle and Other Factors
Hormones required for the production of sperm may be affected by severe or chronic emotional stress. Alcohol consumption can drop testosterone levels and reduce sperm production as well.
Also, anabolic steroids used to build muscle mass nearly always cause testicles to atrophy and sperm production to decline.
The essential hormones for the sperm can also be influenced by body weight, especially if you are obese or overweight. Some professions, like welding or those involving extended sitting, like truck driving, may increase the chance of infertility.
Best Ways to Boost Sperm Production
The majority of evidence recommends the use of dietary supplements, natural treatments, and changes in lifestyle can assist in managing and enhancing a low sperm count.
Moreover, the ideal strategy to increase sperm count is avoiding tobacco, drinking excessively, using drugs, and living a structured routine with regular physical activity, sleep schedules, and healthy-balanced diets. Here are a few techniques to boost sperm count.
Enough Vitamin D Intake
Fertility in both men and women can benefit from vitamin D. This excellent nutrition may help to raise testosterone levels.
Sperm health appears to be influenced by calcium and vitamin D levels in the blood, and sperm count may be negatively impacted by calcium deprivation.
According to one observational study, men with low testosterone levels were more prone to vitamin D deficiency.
In addition, researchers discovered a statistically significant correlation between increased blood levels of vitamin D and better fertility in males.
Limit the Use of Drugs and Alcohol
Steer clear of excessive alcohol drinking/use as it may lower testosterone levels and deteriorate the quality of the sperm. A review from 2018 revealed that sperm production was diminished by the widespread use of drugs like alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine.
Enough Zinc Intake and Folate
One of the fundamentals of male fertility is consuming enough zinc, a vital mineral abundant in animal foods like meat, eggs, and fish.
According to observational research, insufficiency of zinc is linked to decreased testosterone levels, a higher incidence of male infertility, and poor sperm quality. A few research suggest that poor folate intake may degrade the quality of semen.
Get Adequate Rest and Exercise
Regular exercise not only benefits your overall health but also increases testosterone levels and increases fertility.
According to several studies, individuals who are overweight or obese may benefit from losing weight and exercise since it may raise or improve their sperm count.
Additionally, studies demonstrate that active males had higher levels of testosterone and superior sperm quality compared to inactive individuals.
Also, it’s important to get enough sleep if you want to stay healthy. Low-quality sperm has also been connected to limited or extensive sleep.
As a treatment for various types of sexual dysfunction, Ashwagandha, often known as Indian ginseng, has long been used in traditional remedies. It raises testosterone levels, enhancing male fertility.
One study found that consuming 675 mg of its root extract daily for three months dramatically increased fertility in males with low sperm counts.
Supplemental antioxidants also appear to be effective. There is some proof that coenzyme Q10 enhances the quality of the sperm. Furthermore, numerous vitamins and minerals function as antioxidants, and some research has connected antioxidant intake with improved sperm count.
Consume Fenugreek Supplements
An all-natural treatment for unhealthy sperm is fenugreek, a famous medicinal and culinary herb. This dietary supplement markedly raised testosterone levels.
An experiment on 60 healthy males revealed that consuming Testofen, a dietary supplement composed of fenugreek seed, daily for six weeks increased stamina, sexual desire, and performance.
In accordance with our information, you should now be fully informed about the signs of low sperm count & how to increase it. Avoid panicking or worrying excessively because doing so can worsen the situation you are in now.
However, a poor sperm count does not necessarily preclude you from becoming a parent. Do speak with your medical professionals and present them with the information they request; they will outline the best options for you to take.
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About Dr. Kate Gundy MD