If you’ve just been hit by an oligospermia diagnosis, you probably have tons of questions about it. The following FAQ will shed some light on the most frequent inquiries and the specifics of having a low sperm count.
What Is Oligospermia?
Oligospermia is a medical term referring to having a low sperm count. It is one of the most common causes of infertility in men. Men are given this diagnosis if their sperm concentration is below 10 million sperm per milliliter. This is mild oligospermia.
Moderate oligospermia refers to a sperm concentration in the range from five to 10 million per milliliter. Severe oligospermia is characterized by a concentration of less than five million sperm per milliliter.
What Are The Causes Of Oligospermia?
A low sperm count could be caused by numerous lifestyle factors, as well as several medical conditions. Some of the possibilities that urologists will first look at include:
- Drug use, excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking
- The use of certain kinds of medications
- Strenuous exercise like biking or horseback riding
- Excessive heating of the testicles due to hot baths or the selection of the wrong kind of underwear
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Low testosterone
- Trauma to the testicles
- Other infections and medical conditions like malaria and mumps
- Age and genetic factors
- Vas deferens blockages
If you would like to know more about it’s causes – please check out this post
How Does Oligospermia Affect Fertility?
Oligospermia makes it more difficult to get a partner pregnant. The fertility issues will be heavily dependent on the degree of oligospermia and the health of the female partner.
Some men suffering from oligospermia experience no issues fathering a child, others have to rely on assisted reproductive techniques (like IVF and ICSI).
Can Oligospermia Be Idiopathic?
In 30 percent of the oligospermia cases, urologists are incapable of identifying a lifestyle factor or a medical condition that is contributing to the small count. Such cases of oligospermia are called idiopathic.
In this instance, age and genetic conditions could be determining for sperm production. Still, researchers haven’t established the exact cause of the issue.
Supplementation and the adoption of a healthier lifestyle could be sufficient to boost fertility in men suffering from idiopathic oligospermia.
How Is Oligospermia Diagnosed?
The diagnostic process is very simple. After having a consultation with a fertility specialist, both members of the couple will be asked to have certain medical exams.
The primary exam for guys is the spermogram – a lab exam that takes a look at sperm and semen parameters. The sperm concentration per milliliter is one of the staples of a spermogram.
Based on this exam, a physician will be capable of diagnosing a guy with a low sperm count. Most often, urologists will want the exam to be repeated after a certain period of time. It’s possible for the sperm count to dip temporarily, after which it goes back to normal levels.
What Are The Treatment Options?
The treatment option (more about that here) for oligospermia will depend on the specific cause of the problem. Once the cause is identified, an experienced urologist will be capable of prescribing an adequate treatment.
A few of the most common options include:
- Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and opting for loose underwear
- Improvements in nutrition and supplementation
- A high protein diet
- Hormone replacement therapy for men suffering from low testosterone
- Surgery in the case of varicocele
- Intrauterine insemination (in mild cases – it doesn’t treat oligospermia but helps to achieve pregnancy)
- IVF and ICSI in more severe cases (the procedures don’t treat oligospermia, they help to achieve a pregnancy)
Do Natural Treatments Work For Oligospermia?
The answer will once again be dependent on the cause of the condition.
Men suffering from low testosterone levels can get major improvements by opting for supplements containing:
Other great supplementation options include taking royal jelly, propolis and other bee products. Walnuts and other sources of healthy fats have also proven beneficial for men who suffer from a low sperm count and would like to enhance their fertility.
It’s very important to talk to a physician prior to getting started with herbs and other herbal remedies for oligospermia. Chances are that the condition is caused by another medical problem.
A thorough health assessment will be required prior to the selection of an adequate treatment.