If you and your partner struggle a bit to conceive, you should know you are not alone.
Even if there are no infertility issues, conceiving a baby is not as easy as it may seem at first – it takes time, patience, and multiple tries. The issue might sometimes be a bit more difficult to deal with.
A low sperm count is often the main issue associated with infertility, and the good news is most cases can be reversed, but they require some lifestyle changes and perhaps some treatments.
To get there, you must first become familiar with the signs of low sperm count, as well as what you can do about them.
- 1 Effects Of Low Sperm Count
- 2 Signs Of Low Sperm Count
- 3 What Causes Low Sperm Count?
- 4 How To Treat Low Sperm Count At Home
- 5 Can Low Sperm Count Get A Woman Pregnant?
- 6 How To Increase Low Sperm Count Naturally
- 7 Conclusion
Effects Of Low Sperm Count
A low sperm count means you have less sperm than you should. Generally speaking, the average sperm production will go to 1.5 to 5 milliliters per ejaculation. In terms of male fertility, the actual count goes between 20 and 150 million sperm per milliliter.
Having 15 million sperm per milliliter or less should raise some question marks.
Unlike most expectations, the sperm count is not necessarily related to the quality of semen – there could be lots of semen, but a low sperm count. Having your sperm counts below this average may lead to male infertility – in other words, while sex and orgasms are normal, you will find it difficult to conceive a baby.
A deep semen analysis could give you all the answers you need – sometimes, the issue could be in the actual motility of the sperm and not the count. It is hard to determine the main male factor of infertility because men suffer from different problems.
The main and most significant effect of low sperm count is the incapability to conceive a baby. You do not have to panic, though – a low sperm count does not mean you cannot conceive. Some men manage to do it, but it takes multiple tries and patience.
However, most men would rather do something about it than try for months or even years. You can make many lifestyle changes to reverse the issue, as well as medical treatments. Keep in mind that other sexual issues may also lead to male infertility.
For instance, erectile dysfunction or low libido can also affect sperm production.
In the worst possible case, couples can rely on an intracytoplasmic sperm injection to conceive.
Apart from difficulty while trying to conceive, there are no other major effects of low sperm count. Sex will feel the same. If there are no other sexual issues associated with it, you should have no problems with erections.
Low sperm counts will not affect your orgasms either. Once you get there, they will be as intense as normally. Whether the count is affected or you have issues with the sperm quality or motility, these issues are not noticeable until you try to impregnate your partner.
Now that you understand the effects of this issue, what signs should you look for?
Signs Of Low Sperm Count
Many things can negatively affect sperm concentration and underline the necessity of in vitro fertilization.
However, some men can still conceive, despite going through all these problems. There are a few signs to pay attention to if you struggle to do it.
Impossibility To Conceive
Just like you have probably guessed already, the impossibility of conceiving a child is the most obvious sign that you cannot produce sperm by normal standards, whether it is the quality, the mobility, or the actual count.
Even if you do have healthy sperm, you will not always be able to impregnate your partner straight away. It will take weeks or even months to conceive anyway – unless you are lucky and get it done from your first attempt.
You should try to conceive consistently for about half a year before considering fewer sperm than normal. Sometimes, it is only a matter of luck, so give yourself some time and do not panic. Meanwhile, you can do a few things to improve your lifestyle – give up certain medications, for instance.
Another sign to pay attention to relates to your sexual function. Pay attention to your sex life. Erectile dysfunction could, for instance, reduce sperm production. In many cases, such issues will temporarily impair sperm count – sort them out, and the sperm count will return to normal.
Another issue is a low sex drive – similar to ED, a low libido can reduce sperm production. Though you can treat low sex drive by taking men’s libido pills, this is just a part of the issue and a high libido doesn’t instantly increases sperm count.
The sperm concentration can be affected by specific problems around the testicles too. Do you feel pain in the testicle area? It makes no difference if these sensations occur during sex or out of nowhere – you may want to consider seeing a doctor.
Swelling is also common if painful sensations are left untreated, not to mention long-term swelling. Feel the testicles, the scrotum, and the area around them. If you can see a lump, it might cause the impossibility to conceive.
In other cases, the issue might be related to a hormonal abnormality. Chromosome abnormalities are not to be overlooked either. Some causes include low or decreased body hair – the same rule applies to facial hair. Having low facial and body hair is a sign. Such issues are likely to affect sperm count.
Failing to reach normal sperm counts is often a medical diagnosis. Believe it or not, apart from the impossibility to conceive a child, there might be no other signs whatsoever. Lower sperm count can only be identified through a medical examination.
In some cases, all these signs can come simultaneously. It is not unusual to experience two or more signs that can affect male infertility. Plus, proper hygiene is mandatory because sexually transmitted infections can also affect fertility if they go up the system.
Now that you understand the signs you need to look for, what are the most common causes out there?
What Causes Low Sperm Count?
There are more factors behind this temporary form of infertility. Some of them affect the actual sperm count. Some others can cause an abnormal sperm shape, meaning sperm cannot penetrate female eggs. The sperm quality and mobility may also be affected.
The environmental causes of sperm production vary widely and may include exposure to heavy metals, as well as industrial chemicals – pesticides, painting materials, lead, and others. People working in these industries are more likely to struggle to conceive.
Causes may also include radiation or even classic X-rays for medical purposes. Sperm may need a few years to get back to its original shape and mobility. Then, overheating testicles are not to be overlooked either – hot tubs, for example.
Lifestyle causes are just as diversified. Using drugs regularly – including anabolic steroids – can harm sperm production and sperm quality. Besides reducing the count, drugs also affect how the body can transport sperm.
Regular alcohol use is just as harmful, not to mention jobs that involve prolonged sitting – such as truck driving.
Smoking too much is harmful to your testicles too, not to mention emotional stress and trauma. On the same note, anxiety and depression are also likely to affect male reproductive organs directly.
Make sure you maintain a healthy weight too. Being obese can affect the sperm quality, as well as different organs and mechanisms used in the production of sperm. Finally, sperm quality must be tested hours after ejaculation and not while recovering from an affection – more accurate results.
Certain medical issues will also decrease male fertility – blood pressure medications, testicular and rectal cancers, testosterone replacement therapy, chromosome or hormone abnormality, and so on. Varicocele is a swelling of the blood vessels responsible for transporting sperm.
When tubes carry sperm, swelling will cause low sperm count symptoms and decreased sperm production. The low sperm count decreases with infections, ejaculation problems, and antibodies attacking sperm too – all these things will decrease male fertility.
Low sperm count decreases with tumors, undescended testicles, complications infertility, hormone imbalances, chromosome defects, and certain medications. Some surgeries will also impair sperm production – such as scrotal or testicular surgeries.
Affections of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands are not to be overlooked either.
How To Treat Low Sperm Count At Home
There are many involved assisted reproductive techniques out there, and most of them require medical supervision and administration.
But then, the male reproductive tract can be enhanced with some safe home remedies.
You can get a sperm testing kit at home or seek help from a specialist doctor – first, you want to ensure you suffer from an issue and you are not just unlucky. If the diagnosis is confirmed, you can try to enhance your fertility at home before actually trying any specific medications.
Initially, the doctor will recommend trying more. Indeed, you are less likely to impregnate someone the first time you try. It may happen if you have super healthy sperm, but most couples need months or even years of trying before they can conceive.
Believe it or not, most couples tend to conceive within the second year of trying, so there are no reasons to panic if you fail for a few months.
There are things you can do to trigger sperm production and slightly reduce sperm production – they must be ceased. To rush the process, you can take sperm volume increase supplements and this can maximize your chances.
Have Sex More Often
You are supposed to have unprotected sex every two or three days. Having sex so often will keep the sperm production high and will keep it fresh.
On the same note, doing it more often may decrease the sperm quality a little, so try to find a balance.
Avoid Intoxicating Your Body
Avoid smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, and taking drugs. Tobacco will ruin every system in your body, including the reproductive one.
Too much alcohol will affect sexual function and can cause temporary erectile dysfunction. Drugs are just as harmful, especially for sperm motility.
Stay In Good Shape
Staying in good shape equals adopting a healthy lifestyle. Your sperm quality will increase, and retrograde ejaculation will never be an issue.
What does it mean, then? Simple – first, make sure you exercise. You do not necessarily need a gym – walk for an hour every day, and your body will appreciate it.
Second, you need a healthy diet. There is no need to count calories and nutrients, but you can eat more foods known to prevent erection and ejaculation problems. Your reproductive tract is only as healthy as you maintain it – all the nutrients you get will also get in there.
Look After Your Testicles
Abnormal testicular temperature regulation will also help. Avoid hot tubs and tight underwear. The male reproductive system must be kept cool – while the female one is internal and must stay warm. Keep your testicles cool, and you will be able to impregnate your partner’s egg much faster.
Testicles produce hormones that help in the process, hence the necessity to look after them.
Can Low Sperm Count Cause Infertility?
Low sperm count is known as oligozoospermia. Sperm health can be affected by many risk factors, from medical treatments and cancer medications to cancer treatments and an unhealthy lifestyle. Can it cause infertility?
Some people refer to a low sperm count as infertility. Conceiving a baby is more difficult but not impossible – consistency and a bit of luck can still lead to successful pregnancies. The good news is that low sperm count can normally be reversed.
Since its causes are usually clear, working on the causes and giving yourself time will most likely improve the condition. In some situations, medical treatments might be required for successful results. Discuss available options with your female partner too.
In the long run, if left untreated, the problem could aggravate. If you fail to do anything about it, low sperm count will go lower and lower. Sperm quality will degrade, as well as the actual sperm motility. Whatever the reason is, failing to look after yourself will make the problem worse.
Bottom line, low sperm count is often seen as a temporary form of infertility, yet it can be permanent too – nothing to worry about, there are other ways to conceive a baby.
In the long run, low sperm count may also lead to infertility, so it pays off doing all the natural things you can to prevent it from occurring.
Can Low Sperm Count Get A Woman Pregnant?
Low sperm count is officially diagnosed when a man has less than 15 million sperm per milliliter.
One test is not always conclusive, especially if you have it soon after ejaculating or while recovering from a medical condition. Take a few tests and make a decision later on.
Now, despite the sperm count being low – sometimes, way lower than that, you can still get a woman pregnant.
Obviously, the higher the sperm count, the higher the chance to impregnate your partner. But then, it is worth noting that even super healthy men can still take months or years to do it.
While the sperm count does matter, it is also a matter of luck. If both you and your partner test yourselves and everything seems alright, you may still need more than a year to conceive a baby. Many couples barely manage to do it in the second year of trying.
So, can a low sperm count get a woman pregnant? Ideally, you should do everything you can to increase sperm count. But if it is still relatively low, you can still make your partner pregnant. Sure, it will most likely take months to get it done.
A low sperm count can still lead to highly successful pregnancies. You need to be consistent and have sex regularly, but you also need to make all the lifestyle changes you can do to increase sperm count naturally.
A man with a low sperm count is not infertile. There are other options you can do it, apart from unprotected sex. For example, IVF is a common option these days – an egg is fertilized with sperm in the laboratory before being returned to the woman’s womb.
An intracytoplasmic sperm injection is similar – one sperm is injected into an egg. The egg is fertilized and then placed back into the womb, where it will grow naturally. The treatment is not suitable for all couples, so a few tests might be needed upfront.
Donor insemination is also a solution, but the sperm belongs to another man. Finally, in some cases, you may need to see a doctor and try out different therapies, such as gonadotropin drugs. Gonadotropin is responsible for the production of sperm – extra gonadotropin will boost the production.
How To Increase Low Sperm Count Naturally
Many changes are lifestyle related. Make sure you get eight hours of sleep every night. Get some exercise too, even if you are slightly overweight. Half an hour to an hour a day will do – go to the gym or simply walk around.
Some prescription drugs will also impair the ability to conceive – antibiotics, anti inflammatories, opiates, antidepressants, methadone, anabolic steroids, and so on. If your doctor gives them, ask for some alternatives.
Fenugreek has always been a traditional remedy for sperm health, so it would not harm you if you tried some more – you can find all sorts of supplements based on it. The same goes for vitamin D and calcium – they are mandatory, so eat specific foods for sperm health, or take some supplements.
Ashwagandha – Indian ginseng – has always been associated with superior sperm health. Many studies prove it, so get to a health food store and purchase a supplement. In terms of foods, opt for foods with plenty of antioxidants.
Vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein, and beta cryptoxanthin are your first choices.
Your body also needs fat, even if you are trying to lose some weight. Opt for healthy fats, though – the ones including omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. You can find these nutrients in different foods, but there are lots of supplements out there too. On the same note, reduce the unhealthy fat intake to a minimum.
Heavy air pollution and working in industrial areas are some of the main issues associated with a low sperm count. If you can avoid environmental toxins by wearing masks or changing your workplace, go for it.
Avoid too much soy – if you can avoid it completely, do it. The same goes for foods rich in estrogen – the hormone will naturally reduce testosterone production and sperm quality. Keep in mind that even plastic products and cans can be rich in estrogen.
On a more positive note, zinc and folate are highly related to male fertility, so you need to find products based on these nutrients. They will target everything related to your sperm – from count and motility to quality and shape.
The signs of low sperm count are often visible – such as the impossibility to conceive. Other times, there are no signs whatsoever. Then, you might as well be perfectly healthy and find yourself unable to conceive – it is quite normal, as most couples take around a year to do it.
The good news is a low sperm count is a reversible form of infertility in most men, yet it requires some changes and perhaps medical treatment. You can still make your partner pregnant, but it pays off doing everything you can to get your sperm back on track.