Definition - What does Oligospermia mean?
Oligospermia is a male infertility condition. Men with oligospermia have an abnormally small number of viable sperm. An irregular sperm count decreases the odds of a man being able to contribute to conception.
Oligospermia is also known as oligozoospermia or a low sperm count.
FertilitySmarts explains Oligospermia
Oligospermia is diagnosed through a semen analysis, which measures a semen sample to identify sperm count, motility (movement), and morphology (shape). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), standards for low sperm count are as follows:
- Mild Oligospermia - 10 million to 20 million sperm/mL
- Moderate Oligospermia - 5 million to 10 million sperm/mL
- Severe Oligospermia - 0 to 5 million sperm/mL
Oligospermia may be caused by a variety of health conditions, including:
- Chromosome disorders
- Testicular injury
- Radiation, chemotherapy, or other cancer treatments
- Varicocele (enlargement of the veins in the penis)
- Thyroid conditions
- Smoking or excessive alcohol intake
- Untreated STDs, including chlamydia or gonorrhea
While some causes of oligospermia may be permanent, others may be reversible through medical treatment, medication, or lifestyle changes.