Definition - What does Hypospermia mean?
Hypospermia is an abnormally low amount of ejaculate, or semen, expelled per ejaculation. The typical volume of semen per ejaculation is between 1.5 and 5 ml of ejaculate fluid. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) men with hypospermia expel less than 1.5 ml.
In order to conceive, sperm relies on a set amount of semen to aid in expulsion from the male to enter the female. As a result, this condition can be problematic for fertility.
Hypospermia may also be called a low semen production.
FertilitySmarts explains Hypospermia
Once sperm is produced in the testes, it must travel through a series of male reproductive organs before being expelled from the penis. Ejaculate is composed of a variety of fluids gathered throughout the route.
The most substantial fluid is seminal fluid, contributed by the seminal vesicles, which comprises over 80% of ejaculate fluid. The remainder of the ejaculate is produced by the epididymis, prostate, and other glands.
Hypospermia can be caused by:
- Retrograde ejaculation, when the semen goes backward into the bladder as opposed to being expelled through the urethra and out the penis. One study suggests this accounts for around 40.5% of patients with hypospermia.
- Congenital and genetic defects that stop or decrease sperm production. One common genetic condition is Klinefelter’s syndrome which causes hypogonadism and hypospermia. It occurs in up to 1-2.5 of every 1000 men. Other congenital conditions include lack of the vas deferens or seminal vesicles.
- Anejaculation, total lack of ejaculation
- Ejaculatory duct obstruction (EDO)
- Blockage of seminal vesicles
- Hormonal imbalance, causing hypogonadism, or abnormally low testosterone levels
- Excessive ejaculation, caused by overly frequent sexual activity or intercourse
Treatment of hypospermia is based on the specific cause and may involve medication changes, reparative surgery, or lifestyle changes.
- Semen Analysis. (2020).
- Why and how realizing hypospermia assessment?. (2008).
- WHO laboratory manual for the Examination and processing of human semen. (2010).
- Retrograde ejaculation. (2019).
- Male Factor. (n.d.).
- Prevalence of retrograde ejaculation in infertility associated to hypospermia. (2011).