Oligospermia is a medical condition found in men, which is characterised by a low sperm count in their semen. To impregnate a woman, a healthy amount of sperm in a man's semen is usually necessary. As stated by WHO in the year 2009, if the sperm count is less than 15 million sperm per millilitre (mL), then the condition is called oligospermia.

Oligospermia can be classified into three categories:

  • Mild oligospermia, when the sperm count is between 10 to 15 million sperm/mL.
  • Moderate oligospermia is diagnosed when sperm count lies between 5 to 10 million sperm/mL.
  • Severe oligospermia when the sperm count is between 0 and 5 million sperm/mL.

Causes of Oligospermia

The causes of the condition include:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Ejaculatory problems
  • Undescended testicles
  • Anti-sperm antibodies
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Obstructions
  • Trauma or injury
  • Certain medications
  • Environmental factors

Diagnosis of Oligospermia

Testing and diagnosis of the condition may involve the following:

  • Semen analysis
  • Scrotal ultrasound
  • Hormone testing
  • Post-ejaculation urine analysis
  • Genetic tests
  • Testicular biopsy
  • Anti-sperm antibody tests
  • Specialized sperm function tests
  • Transrectal ultrasound

Treatment of Oligospermia

There are many ways to treat this medical condition, which includes the following:

  • If varicocele or vasectomy is the reason for oligospermia, then it can be easily corrected or reversed through a surgery
  • With proper medications and hormone treatments, the sperm count can be increased in some cases.
  • Maintaining a good and healthy lifestyle through regular exercises and avoiding smoking and alcoholism can improve the sperm count to some extent.
  • If nothing works, then consulting a fertility expert will be your next best option. The doctor would help you with assisted reproductive treatments.
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