Oligospermia

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:

  • Diabetes
  • Chromosome disorders
  • Testicular injury
  • Radiation, chemotherapy, or other cancer treatments
  • Illnesses
  • Varicocele (enlargement of the veins in the penis)
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • 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.


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