Oligospermia or low sperm count is also one of the major causes of infertility in men. It is a disorder where male reproductive system becomes useless when it comes to reproduction. This can be a major problem for couples particularly men who want to become parents and build a family of their own.
What do you mean by Oligospermia?
Oligospermia is a male fertility problem characterized by low sperm count. There are other aspects of sexual dysfunction such as inability to keep the erection firm for a desirable period and irregularity in ejaculation (premature or delayed) in orgasm.
Sperm count during ejaculation can differ throughout your life. For fertility, a healthy sperm count is necessary. The World Health Organization (WHO) sets required sperm counts range to be 15 million sperm per milliliter (mL) of semen as average or more. Below this level can be considered as Oligospermia.
- Mild Oligospermia is if 10 to 15 million sperm/mL.
- Moderate Oligospermia if 5 to 10 million sperm/mL.
- Severe Oligospermia if 0 and 5 million sperm/mL.
There could be many causes of infertility. The question comes how they can be identified. The doctor may take up following approaches:
- General Physical examination and understanding the medical history
- Semen samples can be taken from couples for examination.
- Post-ejaculation urine tests (urinalysis): Urine tests are conducted for finding the signs of diabetes and other root level health conditions.
- Ultrasound: This test is usually done by a specialist in the lab using a wand-like device held over the blood vessels that supply the penis. It creates a video image to see if you have blood flow problems. Sometimes, it is done in combination with an injection of medications.
- Hormone testing: Hormones produced by the pituitary gland, hypothalamus and testicles are crucial to sperm production. The blood test is conducted to know the level of testosterone and other hormones.
- Testicular biopsy: It is done with the use of a needle to know the normal sperm production or blockage.
- Genetic Test: If there is an extreme low sperm production, that could be due to genetically issues. The blood test will reveal the problem.
- Surgery (varicocele)
- Treating infections
- Treatments for sexual intercourse disorders
- Hormone treatments and medications
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART)
- Lifestyle changes
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