Low sperm count is a condition observed when the semen collected, does not contain healthy sperm count. Any value less than 15 million sperm per millimetre is considered abnormal. In general, the zero sperm count is termed as Azoospermia, and the low count is referred to as, oligospermia. This condition may cause issues with conception. The general perception is that when a man is unable to father a child, he is said to be suffering from low sperm count. But, it is not so in reality.
A swollen and painful testicle, existing conditions of hormonal imbalance, chronic ED and other sexual disorders may be an indication of declining sperm count.
Causes of Oligospermia
Sperm generation requires a good coordination of hormone secretion from the pituitary glands and the hypothalamus. The hormones which generate the sperms transport them via tubes to mingle with the semen. This condition may arise due to improper working of the pituitary gland or due to the inability in transporting the healthy sperms to the semen. Listed below are few factors which may cause oligospermia.
Tumours, infections and varicocele
The tumours and cancers may interfere with hormonal functions of the body and affect the generation of sperms. Infection to the reproductive organs or tracts may result in blockage of the passage. Common forms of STDs are known to cause scarring of passage, affecting the transport of sperms. Varicocele causes swollen testicles, which affects the sperm quality, motility, and mobility. In certain cases of autoimmune diseases, sperm production is impaired.
Undescended testis, hormonal imbalance and celiac disease
The failure of the testis to descend into the scrotum is also one of the causes of impaired sperm production. The hormonal imbalance arises when the testis, hypothalamus and the pituitary glands do not work in tandem with each other. Gluten sensitivity in men is known to cause the digestive disorder namely celiac disease. This disease causes infertility in men.
Ejaculation problems and medication side effects
Men who suffer from ejaculation disorder like the Retrograde ejaculation, may not be able to secrete semen during the intercourse thereby causing infertility. Certain medicines like the anabolic steroids, antibiotics, chemotherapy, antifungal medications may impede sperm production and hence cause low sperm count.
Other general causes
Exposure to harmful rays, metals and excess heat causes the degradation of sperm quality. Addictions for drugs, smoking and alcohol may interfere with the health of the testicles thereby affecting the health of sperms.