What Causes Leukocytospermia?

What Causes Leukocytospermia?

Leukocytospermia is a condition related to male infertility. When a man suffers from this condition the semen ejaculated contains a higher than normal concentration of white blood cells. According to the World Health Organization, men suffering from leukocytospermia have more than 1 million white blood cells per ml of semen. These white blood cells can damage the genetic matter in sperm and weaken the sperm cells. The condition is also known as Pyospermia.

Leukocytospermia is not a common condition. It affects less than 5% of all men diagnosed with male infertility. However, it is a serious condition. White blood cells secrete a substance known as reactive oxygen species. Under normal conditions, this substance attacks and kills microorganisms that cause infections. However, it can also damage healthy tissues. In the case of Leukocytospermia, it damages the sperm structure so as to impair movement and damages the sperm DNA.

Cause of Leukocytospermia:

Leukocytospermia may be caused by a number of factors including:

  • Genital infections such as chlamydia, herpes or gonorrhea
  • Other bacterial infections
  • Systemic infections that affect the whole body
  • Autoimmune conditions that may the body's immune system attack itself
  • Narrowing of the urethra or urethral strictures
  • Inflammation
  • Varicocele or widening/dilation of the veins leading to the testicles
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco or marijuana
  • Infrequent ejaculation

Genital infections are the most common cause of Leukocytospermia. Most of these infections can be sexually transmitted. In the case of infections like chlamydia, it could cause permanent primary or secondary infertility if it infects a woman.

Hence, it is advisable to abstain from sex if possible until the test results are clear. Else, a condom must be used while having sexual intercourse. If the man does test positive for an STD, his partner or spouse should also be tested and treated at the same time.