Low Sperm Count

Last Updated: October 27, 2018

Definition - What does Low Sperm Count mean?

The term low sperm count indicates an abnormally limited number of active, living sperm in a man’s ejaculate (semen). It is possible that men diagnosed with low sperm count may experience difficulty contributing to conception. Men with low sperm count may be diagnosed with oligospermia.

Low sperm count may also be called low sperm concentration

FertilitySmarts explains Low Sperm Count

In order to determine whether or not a man’s sperm is contributing to a couple’s infertility, a semen analysis is performed. A semen analysis measures three things: sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm shape.

A typical ejaculation contains as many as 20 to 300 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Sperm counts below 10 million are considered highly problematic while counts that range between 10 and 20 million are considered potentially problematic. Men with sperm counts in these ranges may find it challenging to conceive. However, if motility and morphology are normal, the odds of conception rise.

A low sperm count may be caused by:

  • Age
  • Lifestyle factors
  • Damage to the pituitary gland
  • Testicular disease
  • Cancer treatments

It may be possible to increase sperm count through:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Reducing stress
  • Refraining from smoking, drinking, and drug use
  • Eliminating household toxins
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